Audio sample management

September 14, 2021 — February 19, 2022

computers are awful
data sets
machine listening
making things
signal processing
Figure 1: Put a banging donk on it

Here be sample library indexers that use machine listening to classify audio for music production purposes.

1 Atlas 2

Atlas 2 (USD99) (Windows/macos/linux)

I have, use, and love this. It is a combination drum sequencer, sampler and indexer. The interface is smooth and well designed but definitely quirky. Undo is limited but there is much scope for random re-dos. The similarity search seems powerful but most of the information is hidden from the user in favour of a shiny animated visualisation through which we can browse.

Figure 2

It looks like some kind of classic 2d clustering such as UMap driving the search, which is fine IMO; that is more or less what those algorithms were designed for You are encouraged to lean into serendipity to get stuff done. I would say that this attempts to surf serendipity, which is probably the right approach for me personally.

2 Sononym

Sononym (USD99) (Windows/macos/linux) is more of an indexer and less of a sampler in its own right. It also focuses on drum sounds but has a richer vocabulary for them than Atlas; seems to be designed to supplement traditional workflows with precision searching rather than an instrument in its own right.

Since I already seem to suffer some kind of OCD when it comes to sample organisation I am restricting myself to Atlas rather than get lost in the excessive informativeness of Sononym. This is probably about my brain.

3 Incoming

XO - XLN Audio

Looks like Atlas 2 but…

  • better sequencer
  • no linux support

Polarity’s intro video is pretty good I didn’t know xo could do that? : Bitwig

4 Acquiring samples

That’s a different thing; see sample libraries.