Timothy William

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”!

Same Old
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.

_Timothy William

3 thoughts on “The Endless Search for Sample Libraries

  1. Well said indeed…and I can admit that I am currently at that stage or finally starting to realize the same. this is one of the things one HAS to go through himself. I have read so many tips and articles and now yours, and it all makes so much sense, but at the end of the day the change has to come from myself, from within. This has probably lead me to this article. Thank you for taking the time .

  2. So well said Tim! And worse yet, the only gigs you can get which demand a need your samples for the end result, are typically those projects which are low budget and are trying too hard to pretend to be big budget and never end up being any kind of successful film. They at best go to 3rd world film markets for the less astute movie fan, probably dubbed in a foreign language and just butcher the audio and your score anyway … and won’t do anything in the end to further your career other than prove you can get and do those kinds of faux-budget movies!

  3. the best music comes from your mind, and then using your libraries judiciously and know how to layer helps too

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