MUSIC TECH: Organizing Your Samples and Sound Libraries for Better Workflow

I spent the two days re organizing my sample library. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but up until now had only managed to do maybe one or two collection. However, I just decided to get it done.

My sample library file system:

Basically what I do is this. Sample libraries have two main categories, Sample Packs and Sample Libraries. In the “sample pack” I put all the stuff I get like drums, loops, and riffs, the smaller collections. In the “sample library” folder I put all my dvds and large libraries like stuff from Big Fish or Sample Magic…the multi gigabyte stuff.

After that I organize them even further.

For the sample packs, I break them up first by company, then within each company folder I will break it down more depending on how much I have from them. Sample pack companies like nova loops, where I have a bunch of stuff, I’ll break into categories within the folder. I’d do drums, keys, synth, strings, loop sets, etc.

Then in each folder I’d put the sample pack that goes in there. So if I have roots rhodes, I’d put that in the keys, if I have Hood RnB construction set I put that in loop sets. I THEN break down the loop sets even further.

First I break them down by genre, like pop, rnb, dirty south, chillout, etc, depending on what collections I have. Then I go into each construction set collection and break it down. By default, they are just a bunch of folders with each individual construction kit, that includes the bass, keys, strings, drums, etc for that kit. You get anywhere from 10-30 of these depending on the set and the company.

Basically these are “pre made” beats, that you can put back together.

I don’t roll like that, so I needed a better way to utilize these kits, since many companies make them and they have dope sounds. I hated going through each folder looking for some keys, or strings, or bass. So I take all the files out of the individual kits, and put them in one big folder. Then I create new folders based on the instrument category…so I’d have bass, keys, synths, drums, brass, etc.

So now instead of a bunch of folders with premade beats, I have a bunch of folders with various instruments from across the whole collection. So I can find what I want much faster, go to keys for keys, bass for bass, etc. I do the same thing for my sample library collection, it’s just much bigger because they are dvds full of stuff.

I break it out by genre, then I put each library where it needs to go. After that I break each library up into folders of sounds instead of construction kits. I also take the demos out, which is a full mix of each construction set. I only use those for review purposes when I show yall the libraries, then I delete them.

Okay…so how does all this help me work faster?

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