I’ve been sampling since the 80’s when I got an Ensoniq Mirage. I’ve since moved on to software and now use Ableton Sampler, and Camel Audio Alchemy for sample-based work these days. I still find sample-based sound design fascinating and recently found some cool videos which illustrate how far we’ve come over the last few decades.
Next is a great video of Peter Gabriel using the Fairlight in 1982. The video has some awesome footage of Peter Grabriel and company recording found sound and manipulating sound from the Farilight. He also discusses the use of non-lyrical human voice in music.
If you are into Ableton Live I think you’ll enjoy the following videos.
DJ Jazzy Jeff on Ableton Live I saw reference to this on Synthtopia. It’s a an Ableton Inc video featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff on how he uses Ableton Live. At 2:30 he discusses his use of Ableton Sampler to slice segments of entire songs into key zones. Near the end he concludes that “If everyone knew what this [Ableton Live] did, this would probably be the main program that everyone would use.”
Life as an Ableton Developer The second video via twitter.com/abletonfreaks is an Ableton Inc, video containing interviews with developers that work at Ableton. It's actually a recruiting video and offers a nice behind the scenes view of life at Ableton. Watch on YouTube
I Love Sampler! I’m a huge fan of of Sampler, Ableton’s advance sampling instrument. I was recently corresponding with an artist who was considering Live and I wrote this about it:
“Ableton Sampler breaks with the classic sampler metaphor and supports a more immediate and "organic" workflow than other hardware or software samplers. This workflow is well suited to turning found sound into musical instruments. If you add Sampler to a rack in Live you can then easily assign 8 performance knobs to just about any parameter within Sampler.”
Sampler is simply a fantastic tool for helping you make your tracks more creative and unique. For sound designers it’s interface makes for rapid tweaking.
I just received some info from Ableton marketing.
Promotion ”Every customer who buys Ableton Live 8 before August 31st will get Sampler, Ableton's advanced sampling instrument, absolutely free. Sampler, worth 99 EUR/129 USD, combines traditional sampling features with advanced sound design functions.“
New Movie Ableton has also produced a new move “Making sounds with Sampler"—which shows “how Sampler transforms a single piano note into an organic, modulating synth bass”. Watch on YouTube.
Free audio pack for Sampler ”Samplification All Sampler owners, old and new, can also download the free Samplification audio package, which offers Construction Kits, Live Sets with drum clips, new Instrument Racks, new lessons, and sounds from Puremagnetik, Cycling '74 and Sonarte's Sound Objects Lite collection. Samplification is a Live Pack—450 MB download, 950 MB installed and requires Sampler and Live 8.0.4 or higher.”
Native Instruments has released KONTAKT 3. It now comes with over 33GB of sounds and 1,000 individual instruments. These instruments include orchestral, band, world, urban beats, vintage synths and more. KONTAKT 3 has a new "Performance View" that allows you to quickly tweak sounds.
This video offers a nice tour of the new library and tour of new features.
Other new features include:
Reworked wave editor for intuitive looping, slicing and destructive sample editing
Multi-break point envelopes per sample
Vastly improved navigation
New effects including tube amp, cabinet simulator, rotator
MIDI loop drag and drop into host application
The product is now available now in stores and the NI Online Shop. Full version: $449.-/ €399., Update from KONTAKT 1 or 2: $149.- / €129., Crossgrade: $279 / €249.- (from all KOMPAKT, INTAKT, KONTAKT Player versions, including 3rd party sample libraries with included NI sampler).
Looking for a way to sample your hardware-based keyboards into your software sampler? Take a look at Sample Robot. It's a software utility that lets you clone musical instruments by automating the process of sampling external instruments so you can build software versions.
The software uses MIDI to programmatically send note-on messages in various keyboard ranges and velocities to your external instrument. It then records the output of the instrument into samples files. These files can then be imported into software samplers.
A new version 2.50 has just released. According to the press release:
"With the new generation 2.50 of award-winning audio software SKYLIFE SampleRobot it is now even easier and faster to clone musical instruments. In addition to the new Project Wizard a lot of functions have been included to make SampleRobot an indispensable creative tool for composers, music producers and sound designers. Furthermore all SampleRobot products include hundreds of megabytes of high quality and rare synthesizer multi-samples."