Sample packs are all the rage in the audio world. Sharing, either by giving away or selling a collection is another way for an artist to get kudos. Or even earn a bit of extra money in the process. So let us show you a simple way how to create a sample pack using Bitwig Studio.
Quick disclaimer, you don’t need Bitwig Studio specifically, you can use your DAW of choice. However my example is in Bitwig as it is my preference. As long as you can create sounds and export to WAV, you are good to go with the process.
What is a sample pack?
In order to learn how to create a sample pack we need to be clear what a sample pack is. A sample pack is a collection of sound files or midi files containing specific areas of a mix. This can range from basslines, to drum hits, to vocal hooks and loops or even just plain midi files with patterns available to drag and drop in.
Deciding how to create a sample pack and what to include is certainly one of the big challenges you will face. There are a few options to consider so let us take a look at where to begin.
Show me how to create a sample pack
What to include in your sample pack
When you create a sample pack there are a few pointers that need to be included:
- Decide if your pack is going to be midi or wav
- What BPM is your pack going to be?
- Is it all one particular genre?
- Will you include drum loops or individual hits?
When looking how to create a sample pack there are so many things to consider so keep in mind with there being loads of packs to choose from. Make it easy for a potential buyer to know what it is there and what sort of things it includes.
Create the sample pack
Using Bitwig there are so many tools which can be implemented when you are learning how to create a sample pack. For my example I have the following plugin chain:
Polymer Synth > Reverb > Compressor
This chain gives me a simple pluck patch which I have placed in a 4 / 4 pattern. One pluck on every beat in the bar. A simple example, but purely for demonstration.
This synth pluck sits in a midi pattern and this is what will be exported for my demo.
You can go as simple or as complicated as you wish with your patterns. You can even break down an entire track piece by piece and export one sample at a time. This would be a good way for another person to remix your music. Exporting each stem is one method, but exporting each fraction of the track would be a granular approach for another producer to do a full remix. This is certainly a key point when deciding how to create a sample pack.
Export the samples
When it comes to exporting the samples you have, there are a couple of options. You can export the actual sound it makes in a WAV file. Another choice is to export the Midi pattern. This means that whoever is using you sample pack will be able to import the midi pattern into their DAW. Once they have done this, then they can transpose with any instrument they like. The midi pattern will keep playing but sounding different with each instrument.
Midi exports are particularly useful for Drum Loop patterns or Bass lines. In my example I have a 4/4 pluck which could be used as a kick drum or a bass pluck if exported to midi.
There are also some pointers to consider with the exports when deciding how to create a sample pack. You must ensure the exported files are organised well so the samples are easy to find. This could be by:
- Length of Loop
- Drum pattern
- Style of music
The more organised you can make the pack, the better. If you create more than one sample pack then make sure you stick to the same format with your organisation methods.
Design the logo for your sample pack
Getting an eye catching look for the cover of your sample pack will make it or break it. You need to stand it out from the rest. Look at some of these:
Now you can see why it is so important to have a stand out design for your artwork. Choose a square format for the artwork. If you are selling via a website they normally will say the artwork requirements, but as a rule of thumb you are best to get arrkwork in the following formats:
- 1000 x 1000 pixels
- 3000 x 3000 pixels
- PNG and JPEG formats
This way then you will be prepared for any requirements from any sites. You don’t want a grainy looking image when you have worked hard on how to create a sample pack, only for it to look unprofessional.
There are a number of options online for creating a sample pack cover. Think of it being like an album cover. So web apps such as Canva.com are a good place to create. Alternatively there is always MS Paint or Publisher!
Share and share alike
So you’ve learnt how to create a sample pack. You have created it. It’s all your own work (I should probably have mentioned a disclaimer earlier in this post that you can only release your own work and not resell something that is not yours!) You have a zip file with all elements of the sample pack contained (and neatly organised) within it. The artwork is looking sharp and eye catching. Now you need to promote it.
So what tools can you use to promote a sample pack. How do you sell a sample pack? Well there are many methods talked about online and plenty of discussion already written. However the main trains of thought are:
- Sell on your own site
- Use a reseller such as SampleMagic.com
- Share on FB and Instagram (promo rather than sales)
You might want to investigate sites such as Loopmasters and Splice.com as they have options for selling too.
Well done on learning how to create a sample pack. You now need to get creating, get sharing and get promoting.