[linux-audio-user] Beginner sampler questions

Mark Knecht mknecht at controlnet.com
Wed Mar 24 12:33:00 EST 2004

Chris Metzler wrote:
> One of the most obvious uses I can see for a sampler would be to
> use it to provide instrumentation that the user doesn't know how
> to play.  For instance, if I wanted to record myself on guitar
> with a piano accompaniment, I could use a sequencer to write the
> piano line and generate it through a sampler.  But that brings my
> first question -- if you don't own/play the instruments in question,
> where do you get the samples?  

I buy them. My sampler of choice is (the now long in the tooth) 
GigaStudio Ver 2.5x. (GSt) File format is *.gig. (Generally) 
LinuxSampler will play many of them, and it's getting better all the time.

Here are just a very few of the places where you can purchase GSt 
libraries, but they are some of my favorites:


Also check out


for gigabytes of free gig files.

I've done a lot of web searching,
> and found tons of drum loops and bass lines that are two measures
> long and so forth, but don't find much in the way of e.g. individual
> notes on basses.

Scarbee is wonderful, both for fingered and slap styles. Worra has a 
number of options in the free price range that are OK, so check that 
out. My one piece of advice, assuming you're going to tell me that you 
don't have money, is to stay away from Sound Fonts converted to gig 
format (whether you buy them or do it yourself) if you are looking for 
the best results. You get what you pay for...

> And I wonder about how people use the extended samples I find.
> It seems kinda constraining, to be stuck with a melody/harmony
> line given to you by whatever someone sampled.  Of course, there
> are tons and tons of samples available; but then, in order to
> express the music you're hearing in your head, you're gonna be
> spending hours and hours trying to find samples that work.

That is a problem...

> Am I missing some obvious things here?  How do people use samplers,
> for the most part?

In general I play a MIDI keyboard to orchestrate what I want in the 
beginning. In the end I don't often record the audio from MIDI but will 
attempt to replay the parts with more feeling than MIDI seems to give 
me, but I've done both.

All of this depends a lot on the music you are doing. It's different 
doing 'Art Rock' on a sampler vs. doing orchestral, but samplers are 
used everywhere these days.

(I even have gigs that are full of Acid Loops and get triggered by MIDI. 

Good luck with your explorations,

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