AutoSampler for Max4Live

Sep 8 2016

AutoSampler is an intelligent Max4Live instrument that plays audio segments found in your library matching the notes of incoming live MIDI. Here's what it looks like in action! (A simple sine tone is playing in addition to the instrument so you can hear what notes are being played.)

I love sample-based music but one of the problems I often run into is getting stuck in habits, using the same sources for the same job over and over again. Need a breakbeat? I know where to get that. Need some smooth female vocal samples to cut up? Default to that acappella album I downloaded 8 years ago. I have a huge song library in my iTunes folder, but when I'm looking for a specific sound, I don't have the time to go loop hunting all day long for a sample that's just right. So I end up going back to the tried-and-true comforts again and again.

My dream instrument would take high-level input from me ("I want a layered kick drum, a textured ambient loop and a vocal sample that works with this melody...") and give me back things that work well together, giving me fresh inspiration and choices to get me started, allowing me to sculpt them further into a finished product.

AutoSampler doesn't hit this audacious target by any means, but it tackles one such specific problem, "I want to find samples in my library that match this note or melody and work well together, and I want to play them live". It's easy in most DAWs to find a sample and pitch it up and down with a keyboard, but if you want to find samples that already match the pitches of a melody and preserve the original sound quality entirely, there's no way to do that other than to start digging.

As it is, this instrument can find inspiring combinations of samples that sound great together. You can trigger them with a keyboard or arpeggiator or MIDI effect, loop them and rearrange them. But while I think it is fun and unique as an instrument on its own, my real hope is that it helps introduce you to more of the raw sounds in your music collection (or maybe podcast library, or books on tape...) in a musical context, so that you can quickly find inspiration when you're creating a great track.

Have fun, and please share anything you come up with!