Auto Sampling VSTi and Hardware Synths the easy way.

ESC Extreme Sample Converter

ESC Extreme Sample Converter

Recently, sampling is becoming a very popular art form in music. Whether you are using a popular software sampler such as Native Instruments Kontakt or a hardware workstation such the the new Yamaha Motif XF, there is a growing trend to sample new sounds for your instrument of choice. After spending a fair amount of time using conversion programs such as Awave, CDXtract, Translator, etc. to convert from one sound format to another, I stumbled upon the concept of sampling VSTi soundsets directly to create one’s own multisamples. Well, they are not exactly my own as I am sampling another soundset, but the multisample itself is something I have been programming into my hardware synths such as the Roland Fantom-XR and Xa. I also have a Yamaha A3000, Roland S-760, W-30, and S-330 hardware samplers. Hopefully soon, I’ll be jumping on the Yamaha Motif XF wagon and with that you get a whopping 2GB of Flash memory.

I recently purchased Nexoe’s YASE for the Roland Fantom-XR to import samples and create multisample patches. This lead me to trying out Nexoe’s RESAMPLE to sample patches from NI’s Kontakt because I couldn’t extract the WAV files very well. Unfortunately, RESAMPLE wouldn’t allow me to test fully in demo mode. Quickly one will find out that many of these auto sample VSTi applications are quite expensive. So, I went on to the next offering which was Extranslator’s Extreme Sample Converter. I was successfully able to sample “beautifully” 4 velocity layers with different zones across the keyboard. It was very fast and accurate. I was then able to select all the wav files at once and auto loop them. I then exported to AKAI S5000 format (Nexoe YASE imports this format into the XR easily) and opened them later in Sony’s Soundforge 8. Within Soundforge, I was able to trim the excess fat outside the loop points and work a fade in to eliminate any pops at the beginning. Flawless!

I then opened up Nexoe’s YASE and imported the AKAI S5000 formatted file and instantly created a new patch and multisample for the Fantom-XR. In addition, the loop points and root keys were fully intact. I then saved the file to my CF card and loaded it up in the Fantom-XR. The sound and quality was practically perfect. I couldn’t believe how simple it was using Nexoe’s YASE, Extreme Sample Converter, and Sony Sound Forge 8 to grab an NI Kontakt patch and dump it to the Roland Fantom-XR. In fact, Extreme Sample Converter allows you to load up just about any Software VSTi and start auto sampling patches galore!! You can sample any number of keys but there is a limit of only 4 velocity layers which is fine. Auto loop points in single or batch mode is also supported.

Sampling sounds from other VSTi and Hardware Intruments allows you to greatly increase the number of sounds you can work with away from the computer on stage. The technology is here and I can only see it getting more popular. With the release of the new Yamaha Motif XF series keyboards, you can now place your newly created multisampled patches into flash memory effectively eliminating the loading wait times. My Roland Fantom-XR is not bad though with a 15 minute or less wait at 512MB, but I’m sure Korg, Roland, and other vendors will soon have flash memory options for their newer workstations and synths.

So what’s the best software for auto sampling your hardware synths and/or VSTi software synths? I really can’t answer that yet, but for now I’m sticking with Extreme Sample Converter for sampling VSTi soundsets to be imported into the Roland Fantom X. It works fantastic and the price is reasonable at around $100 USD. I did glance at the other options I have listed below, but they are either redundant in features compared to Extreme Sample Converter, much more expensive, or in some cases lacking in necessary features.

What do you use for sampling your VSTi’s and Hardware keyboards? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. I am amazed at how fast and easy it is (once you know what you’re doing) to auto sample any VSTi patch and import it into your synth or workstation of choice. WOW! A whole new dimension has been added to creating and adding fresh sounds to your instrument.

Here is a list of probably the most well known auto sampling VSTi and hardware synth applications. There may be others, but at the time of this posting, I was only able to find these below. Feel free to comment if you find others or wish to share your experiences. Thanks!!

Extranslator – Extreme Sample Converter
Imageline – Direct Wave
Highlife – Disco DSP
Xlutop – Chainer
Nexoe – Resampler
ESI – Sample Robot
Redmatica – AutoSampler

UPDATE: I contacted the developer (Wlodzimierz Grabowski) of Extreme Sample Converter today (12/16/2010) and he replied within an hour of my message. I inquired about the future development and support of Extreme Sample Converter. His reply was “New versions are under development and supported all the time.” Thus it appears that Mr. Wlodzimierz Grabowski is still working on and supporting Extreme Sample Converter despite the last news date of 11/10/2009. His website hints at a new version 4 which would be exciting if released in the near future.

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3 thoughts on “Auto Sampling VSTi and Hardware Synths the easy way.

  1. I have discovered that recording multiple velocity layers is actually quite difficult with Extreme Sample Converter. Say for example you want to only record a layer with a velocity range from 64 to 100. You can’t do this with Extreme Sampler Converter easily at all. You MUST also record a layer from 1 to 63 and from 101 to 127. Thus you must record 3 velocity layers. Then you can probably delete the two layers you don’t want. So I suppose you can do it, but it’s extra work.

    In addition, it’s incredibly tedious in Extreme Sample Converter 3.6.0 to adjust the velocity layer values. First, you cannot see what value you have adjusted to until after you adjust the layer. This sucks because you need to see the velocity values as you adjust the layer.

    Thus, Extreme Sample Converter is a long way off from effectively implementing multiple velocity layers with ease. If you are recording just one layer then it’s one of the best auto VSTi samplers out there. If you require something to record a 4 to 8 layer Fender Rhodes with, it’s probably best to find another solution. What exactly that solution is I’m not sure.

    Anyone have any tips or techniques about adjusting velocity layers with Extreme Sample Converter? Note that the manual online is for version 3.1.4 only. It’s completely different than version 3.6.0. Although Wlodzimierz Grabowski provides support for his product, it’s rather outdated support.

  2. WOW!

    Just registered Extreme Sample Converter after visiting the website today.

    http://www.extranslator.com/
    XMas Offer – 50% off
    New software is under development yet.
    Sorry for delay due to decision of rewriting all GUI and ENGINE frameworks from the basics.
    Thank you for your support and using my software.

    For the price “Extreme Sample Converter” can’t be beat. Geez! To think I almost forked over $232 for Resampler!! Resampler is so over priced now.

    I don’t know how long “Extreme Sample Converter” will be on sale, but for $52 it’s the best in my book. Just do a search on the internet and you’ll find it’s one of the best, if not the best. It definitely works fantastic with my Roland Fantom XR and Xa. I just export to Akai S5000 and then import into Nexoe’s YASE. Indeed Resampler has that nifty save to YASE format step, but it seriously isn’t worth the extra $150+ to get that option. Extreme Sample Converter is much easier to follow. It took me forever to figure out the Resampler interface.

    YASE + Extreme Sample Converter is a great combo in my opinion for Roland Fantom-X sampling.

    Note that I’m not an affiliate for either YASE or Extreme Sample Converter. I just like software that works and is reasonably priced.

    Enjoy!

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