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cclarry

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I've been playing around with sample & Loop managers. I'm looking for something that can scan all my sample/loop folders and helps me explore them by musical qualities. I cannot find one that's fully satisfactory. Here are some thoughts:

XLN XO - Very nice but only handles one-hit samples, no loops

Algonaut Atlas- Similar to XO but also only handles one-hit samples, no loops

Waves Cosmos - Handles both samples and loops, from a feature point of view looks really good, but performance is abysmal (takes longer than 24x7 to scan a large collection, when others take a few hours but less than a day to scan the same files). If you're looking for something that doesn't use much resources it may work for you. if you're looking for something that can handle a large collection, better forget about it.

ADSR Sample manager - No sample-space exploration (point cloud) but otherwise pretty good performance

WA Loopademy -  No sample-space exploration either. You can import your samples/loops collection but you cannot update the imported results, it's always a re-scan & new import

Loopcloud sample manager - Probably one of the best performers in terms of scanning time, but no sample-space exploration either and the good features (requires subscription to monthly service (a number of downloads per month depending on subscription tier) and, if you already have a large collection of samples/loops, it is probably not too appealing

Of course, some of these can do more than sample management.

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I was a fan of an older version of Loopcloud that let you index your own files without an active subscription. I think I may have mangled my library location somewhere along the way, but for tagging and some quick searching, it was pretty great. Sadly, later versions only tag and index downloaded clips, so the app is less useful without a sub.

I've since moved to Sononym, which has the sort of "musicality comparisons" -- by brightness, harmonicity and noisiness (all app-defined), among others -- you mentioned. It's also a bit slow to initially index a large collection, but nothing so sluggish as Cosmos or ADSR. (Older versions of ADSR, at least -- I haven't tried that one in a while, but I had performance issues in the past.) Incremental updates are pretty quick, and Sononym also browses folders without full "library" indexing -- you lose the ability to compare in those, but browsing is quick and converting to a library is a single click.

For real (eventual) convenience, I'm slowly sorting through the more interesting sample sets in my library using Sononym to browse and explore, and using symlinks to group similar subsets (hand percussion, hits and stabs, etc.). I plan to run the full "categorized" set back through Sononym and my DAW for quick browsing through, e.g., all the ambient drones or perc loops, and also hand various sets of one shot percs/drums to Atlas to make more focused maps. 

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Posted (edited)

My last concern when subscribing to a sample / loop company is how well their software manages my existing sample library. I'm paying money for their catalog of sounds, not for their management software. 

I subscribe to Loopcloud Professional and Splice because of the sounds they offer. But their DAW integration & sample management features will ALWAYS be shit, because you can't build a software that is A) a massive e-commerce service B) an account / subscription service C) a data / library manager D) an integrated DAW sample player / editor / tagger, and, well you get the point. It will always be a shit experience. These platforms are built to sell you more shit. Not to make your workflow better.

Honestly. Why would people spend money on a sample / loop subscription and make "how well does this software manage my entire sample catalog" as their priority, instead of "does it have any sounds that I actually want"? If you need a sample libary manager, get a dedicated piece of software that isn't a bloated mess of e-commerce. Most DAWs these days have excellent dedicated options anyway.

Edited by Carl Ewing

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