What's new

I've started making my first Kontakt Sample library! Any advice?

thesteelydane

Bunker Samples
Test everything small scale from recording through to a rudimentary patch. What sounds great in the studio may not work well when programmed inside a sampler. You don’t want to realize that after you spent 600 hours editing 80 GB of material...

Become an RX ninja. And if you’re going to sell it, obsess over the details.
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Test everything small scale from recording through to a rudimentary patch. What sounds great in the studio may not work well when programmed inside a sampler. You don’t want to realize that after you spent 600 hours editing 80 GB of material...

Become an RX ninja. And if you’re going to sell it, obsess over the details.
I've just been playing around with RX. Such a wonderful tool! God, I'm already obsessing over yesterdays test samples.
 

FinGael

Serene Member
Feeling really excited. I've finally started making my first Kontakt Sample Library. Yesterday I had my first recording session and have many more booked. It's too early to share any specifics of what the library is going to be but I will say I am doing this with a good friend who has a great studio and live room and we can record there as much as we need to (when there aren't clients in there). I've already got a huge amount of pre planning done and the google sheets look scary with number of articulations, RRs, Dynamic Layers, One Shots, and much more.

Yesterday, as a first test for recording, I recorded an Octave of an instrument (with a specific articulation I chose for a test) and each note has 16 RRs (I'm adamant that details such as numbers of RRs need to be thorough), and 3 Dynamic Layers (3 to start with). More octaves will be added as I go but the workload doubles each time which is fine but I just need to find my feet first.

I'm a KSP noob and have bought David Healey's Xtant KSP Lesson 1 and 2 so I'm going to redo those (I did them over two years ago but life changed dramatically for me which stopped me going down this road). No doubt I will be frequenting this part of VI-C quite a lot from now on so I can definitely promise you I'm going to annoy with my questions! 😂

Anyone got any advice on making sample libraries? Any advice from experience that you learned from years of sampling? I'm very excited I'm embarking on this journey but also realise how little I know about actually sampling. Reading stuff isn't the same as actually doing stuff!

Anyway, I guess I'm just sharing my excitement as I literally don't have many friends that would find any joy in this endeavour. Let alone be able to share this with anyone whilst in a Covid lockdown. Mainly because they have real lives! 😂

Jono
will.jpeg
 

Technostica

Subscription! Get off my lawn.
Don't forget that the current Musicians Union rules require you to sacrifice a chicken for every thousand samples in your project.
Plus a goat for every ten thousand.
It's all voodoo really.
Not sure what the vegan equivalent is?
Fire the recording engineer if they wear leather trousers!
 

aaronventure

Senior Member
Anyone got any advice on making sample libraries?
Comment your code and be very descriptive, especially if you're just starting out (goes for all software, not just sample libraries). In the same manner, document your entire project—your processes and changes to them, context of decisions and changes, gear used, settings, setups... supplement with pictures and screenshots where possible. You think you can remember it all but with so much stuff going through your head on a daily basis, you'd be surprised how fast you forget what you did two months ago (and now you're wasting time on reverse engineering your own code), or how the recording setup looked the last time. Write. It. Down.

Decide what purpose your library will serve and stick to that. It's very easy to fall into the feature creep trap. Think about how it will be used, and what does it offer that others don't.

Depending on how complex the project is, and how many instruments you have, making a vertical slice first is a good idea. Finish one instrument to completion first, that should have you dip your toes in all the processes involved, allow you to make changes to them, and give you an idea how long the whole thing will take (and cost), whether you need to scale back or can push even further etc.

Good luck!
 

EvgenyEmelyanov

Wavelet Audio
Do not forget to check your samples in the real mix. No matter how good your samples sound on their own, they should work great with each other. Together, in the mix. And I would recommend using Reaper as a DAW because it saves a lot of time :emoji_laughing:
 

thorwald

Member
One advice I have is please keep in mind people who are unable to access the Kontakt-based UI via a mouse and add Komplete Kontrol support, either via making the library NKS-ready, or, if that's not feasible, at least map CC-based parameters to Komplete knobs, which your library does not need to be NKS-ready for. This makes a world of difference to blind and visually impaired people, for example, or for anyone who'd rather access parameters via their keyboard instead.

Please get in touch if you need more advice or testing regarding this, even if it is only relevant for the later stages.

Otherwise, I feel your excitement, and the very best for the rest of your adventure! ☺️
 

thesteelydane

Bunker Samples
I've just been playing around with RX. Such a wonderful tool! God, I'm already obsessing over yesterdays test samples.
In time you will come to loathe RX with a passion - I have spent thousands and thousand of hours in it over the years, and yes, it's an incredibly powerful tool, but it also represents the most boring, yet important part of the process. I'm about 140 hours into RX'ing the samples for Bunker Strings Vol. 2 and at this point I'd rather have needles in my eyes than spent another second in RX - but it has to be done, and it has to be done well. Spacing it out and doing more creative things in between sessions is my strategy - always helps to avoid carpal tunnel in my mouse hand, definitely starting to feel it in my wrist.

You've probably already discovered this, but short articulations takes WAAAAAYYYY more work than longs - I always deal with the shorts first, so the project becomes easier as I get towards the end.
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Comment your code and be very descriptive, especially if you're just starting out (goes for all software, not just sample libraries). In the same manner, document your entire project—your processes and changes to them, context of decisions and changes, gear used, settings, setups... supplement with pictures and screenshots where possible. You think you can remember it all but with so much stuff going through your head on a daily basis, you'd be surprised how fast you forget what you did two months ago (and now you're wasting time on reverse engineering your own code), or how the recording setup looked the last time. Write. It. Down.

Decide what purpose your library will serve and stick to that. It's very easy to fall into the feature creep trap. Think about how it will be used, and what does it offer that others don't.

Depending on how complex the project is, and how many instruments you have, making a vertical slice first is a good idea. Finish one instrument to completion first, that should have you dip your toes in all the processes involved, allow you to make changes to them, and give you an idea how long the whole thing will take (and cost), whether you need to scale back or can push even further etc.

Good luck!
Thanks man. Yeah, already photographed first recording session positions of mics etc. Google sheets is a very useful tool for everything so far as well!

I made a test instrument with no scripting yesterday and although ropey, it’s making me feel excited to have something that works. Sort of works. Have much more to learn though and in making a test instrument, it’s taught me tons in what to look out for in the recording session next as well!
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
And I would recommend using Reaper as a DAW because it saves a lot of time
I actually bought a couple of Xtant's KSP scripting lessons in 2018 because I decided then that I wanted to make some sample libraries. However, life can suddenly change drastically and I found myself moving out to New York so these plans have been on hold. I say this because last night was the first time I've used Reaper since 2018. And it took me a few hours to get into it but man, the batching of files, and audio editing for sample libraries creation are in a different universe to all the main DAWs out there. Being able to label so many audio files for RRs and not have to even bother with locators etc. Yeah, Reaper is an amazing DAW. Don't get me wrong, nothing is going to replace Cubase/Nuendo for me for writing music but Reaper is definitely the DAW of choice for this adventure! Love it!
 
OP
jononotbono

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
In time you will come to loathe RX with a passion - I have spent thousands and thousand of hours in it over the years, and yes, it's an incredibly powerful tool, but it also represents the most boring, yet important part of the process. I'm about 140 hours into RX'ing the samples for Bunker Strings Vol. 2 and at this point I'd rather have needles in my eyes than spent another second in RX - but it has to be done, and it has to be done well. Spacing it out and doing more creative things in between sessions is my strategy - always helps to avoid carpal tunnel in my mouse hand, definitely starting to feel it in my wrist.

You've probably already discovered this, but short articulations takes WAAAAAYYYY more work than longs - I always deal with the shorts first, so the project becomes easier as I get towards the end.
Yeah, my comment must have been misleading. I didn't mean I've only just started using RX as in "Wow! I've just bought it and discovered it". I mean't I just started having a play with RX on my newly recorded samples and I love how powerful it is. I've been using RX for quite a few years. It's probably the best tool and most important tool anybody that should ever buy. Unless they don't use computers for music.

Thousands of hours in RX? Then you must be a god with it. Way more time than myself! Have you got any RX videos online that you like or have seen? Always up for getting better with these tools.

I roughly edited a lot of short samples yesterday just to have something to play around with. Test stuff. Build a test instrument etc. Yeah they take a lot of work. Also a huge lesson in the recording process and I already have a lot of notes on what needs to not happen on the next recording session.
 

thesteelydane

Bunker Samples
Thousands of hours in RX? Then you must be a god with it. Way more time than myself! Have you got any RX videos online that you like or have seen? Always up for getting better with these tools.
Yes, not to brag but I’m a freaking RX ninja ;) As any ninja will tell you, there are no shortcuts to becoming a ninja, only putting in the practice day after day. Maybe get yourself some messed up recordings and practice on them. Removing unwanted noise without affecting the timbre and room tone can be very labor intensive and require lots of zoomed all the way in super detailed work. Get to know and understand the algorithms in Spectral Repair and what they do really, really well.

For Denoise always audition the "output noise only" to make sure you’re not removing any musical material. Learn the difference between broadband and tonal noise, and use the reduction curve wisely.

In the end working in RX is about listening really intently to what your edit does to the audio. Sometimes the right tool for the job is not what you would think. And it’s very easy to mess things up if you don’t learn to use it like a surgical scalpel rather than an axe.
 
Last edited:

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Can we do a Kickstarter to fund Kontakt Player compatibility? I want this artwork in my Kontakt Library too, to troll my Chris Hein, Native Instruments and Embertone “Player” libraries with a couple of Holodeck Luke’s playing guitar behind their backs.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Can we do a Kickstarter to fund Kontakt Player compatibility? I want this artwork in my Kontakt Library too, to troll my Chris Hein, Native Instruments and Embertone “Player” libraries with a couple of Holodeck Luke’s playing guitar behind their backs.
At least do a Photoshop hahaha
 
Top Bottom