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Topic: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

  1. #1

    How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    I\'d like to know how I can get some clean, high-quality samples without spending thousands of dollars on equipment and mics. What\'s a good setup that can grab a crystal clear sound? It doesn\'t need to be 24-bit sound at 96KHz... at what rate are most average sample libraries recorded? (like SAM Horns for instance).

    I have a few ideas for things I\'d like to sample and maybe sell down the road (if the quality is good enough, of course).


  2. #2

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    Here\'s what I use.

    2 Audio Technica 4047 Mics

    Cranesong Flamingo Preamp (This is expensive, so you may want to look at other preamp options)

    M Audio Delta 1010 Audio card (for A to D conversion)

    Wavelab (you\'ll need some sort of sound editing program to create and edit the wave files that will be used by the gigastudio editor)

    I spend a lot of time tweaking the individual wave files that will make up the instrument (cropping the head and tail, EQing out unnecessary low end, evening out the gain from sample to sample, etc.)

    44.1kHz at 16 bit can sound great if you have quality instruments, mics (and mic placement), and a decent preamp.

    Then just use the giga studio editor to create your instrument.

    The main thing I would recommend would be to keep things VERY organized. If you are new to gigastudio, I would highly advise that you pick up a copy of Dave Govett\'s tutorial CD. He\'ll walk you through the whole process.

  3. #3

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.


    - And try searching past post .....

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    I would record 24/44.1. This will give you better results, even if you dither/truncate to 16 bit now and hold the originals for future use.

    Tip: Do all your editing at 24/44.1, including all trimming, tips, tails, organization, etc. Then batch process everything down to 16-bit. You don\'t want to do double work!!

    You mention sampling for yourself, then potentially selling the work later. This presents something of a challenge. Fair or not, there\'s a certain amount of judgement placed upon your library as a result of your signal chain. Since your sampling sessions would be somewhat time limited, I\'d suggest renting pedigreed mics and preamps if you don\'t own them. It won\'t cost that much, and if you do decide to sell the libraries down the road, you\'ll have a signal chain that\'s beyond reproach. The comments you read in this forum should be indication enough that people nitpick libraries to death. You don\'t want to set up any easy targets for criticism.

    I concur with the recommendation to buy Dave Govett\'s tutorial. It\'s excellent. I\'m an \"old dog\" on Giga, and I learned some new tricks, for sure.

  5. #5

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    OK, a few questions:

    1) I found those Technica mics on eBay.. whew. A bit high for my budget. Maybe sampling is something left for people with bigger wallets.. but I don\'t believe it\'s impossible to get a good quality sound recording on a less expensive mic. What about a Sennheiser E845?

    2) What if I don\'t want to record straight to my computer? I\'d rather find a quiet room with the proper acoustics, away from all the machine noise. What could I dump the recordings to, and then what would I use to transfer from there to my computer?

    I suppose the type of mics depend on what I will be sampling. I\'ll let the cat out of the bag I guess [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I\'d like to create a comprehensive dumbek(/doumbek) library with different drum sizes, head diameters, drum bodies (wooden, aluminum, etc.), complete with all kinds of different slaps, taps, and so forth. As far as I know, no such library exists.

    I can land the instruments without too much difficulty, even if I have to rent them or just use someone else\'s temporarily. The equipment to record these is the real hurdle.

    Thanks for the info. I\'m sure there will be further discussion on this thread... [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    Sam, You\'re going to end up with the files in an audio editor on your PC at some time. As long as you have good A/D in your soundcard, why not use it. By all means find a nice quiet acoustic space, but if it doesn\'t have a control room, try putting the PC in an adjacent room and running long cables to where you sit with the mouse/monitor etc. There\'s a few companies which make suitable cable extenders for jobs like this.

  7. #7

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    I would also highly recommend getting a qualified professional to play the instruments. Even if you can do this yourself, your role should be as producer, to more easily detect subtle problems that you simply won\'t here if you\'re doing the performance.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: How to sample your own stuff? Equipment, mics, etc.

    I wonder why you wouldn\'t use the $$ to just rent a block of time in a nice studio. You\'ll come out cheaper than purchasing the mics you\'d need to do good dumbek recordings.

    Dumbek can be tricky to record, depending on the sound you want to get for your project. One method is to use an x/y pair a couple of feet from the head, and I\'d use an ElectroVoice RE-20 behind the drum, to catch the bass from the pipe. You\'ll want to track discretely (a stereo track for the x/y and a separate mono track for the RE-20) so that you can phase and time align the RE-20 to the XY pair and mix to taste after the fact. Without the phase/time alignment, you\'ll get a really smeary image, but when you get it all lined up, it will focus in like magic.

    Another method to try would be to put an RE-20 on the pipe and maybe 6\" from the head, and use the X/Y pair similar to a drum overhead...3 to 4 feet from the drum, up in the air. Four discrete tracks this time, one stereo for the overheads and one each for the RE-20s. Time and phase align all mics to the overheads, then blend to taste. This would get a more intimate and agressive sound than the first methodology, but still with some nice air in the soundstage.

    I\'d hire a player, too, rather than just picking up the instruments (unless you\'re a slamming dumbek player yourself). There is a world of difference in tone from a good player...it would be worth every penny, plus you\'d save the rental on the instruments.

    I\'m all for do it yourself, but in this case, you\'re not really geared up for the task, so why spend a bunch of money and not get anything particularly great in terms of mics, when you can just rent some studio time and get the best mics and preamps around as part of the deal? Seems to me you\'d spend a lot less and get a lot more for your trouble...especially if you want to sell the resulting sample instrument.

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