The Endless Search for Sample Libraries
Posted on 2016-09-20
Hey everyone! Just wanted to share my opinion on the never-ending amount of posts across Social Media – debating which sample libraries, soundsets, and patches are “best.”
I’ve spent years looking for the perfect sound, and haven’t obtained it. That is because the perfect sound doesn’t come from a sample library!
Let me elaborate:
There was a period in my career (lasting almost two years) where I obsessively collected samples, watched video reviews, and had to be on top of the latest and greatest programs and sample libraries coming out. Literally; my only focus was to obtain better-sounding samples. In my mind, that was the only way to create amazing music. I needed amazing samples, but nothing was good enough. I wanted more. Just when I thought I was ready to build out the template to end all templates; I would hear even BETTER strings/brass/percussion from a different library and think “OOH I HAVE to have this one now!”
I will be the first to tell you from experience, that it is a terrible place to get stuck or overthink.
Eventually I realized that no matter how good your samples are; the end goal is to write something amazing enough to have performed and recorded on a scoring stage by professional musicians. I haven’t accomplished this yet, but I have accomplished something amazing in my own mind – the realization that the end goal of what we do – is simply a piece of sheet music that we hand over.
The sample library that I recommend is the one that won’t stifle your creativity. One that doesn’t force you to fight with technology. One that you can create a mock-up of a cue in the least amount of time possible. There’s always time to refine the sound, but it’s not the end goal.
Don’t spend too much time on this. Don’t get stuck in a rut. My “same old thinking” led me to the “same old results”!
In hindsight, I should have spent that time learning the basics of orchestration, the voicing of instruments, etc. Now what I have is an endless supply of sample libraries at my disposal, with too little knowledge to use them effectively.
So don’t overthink. Create.