Quick sampler zones question

If I have 4 velocity zones for, let's say, a snare hit. Should I normalize this 4 files to use in sampler when turning velocity knob to the max?


  • edited July 5

    Short answer: Yes.

    Using normalized audio files at different velocity levels is always a good idea - well, at least if they're normalized to perceived loudness.

    With the Velocity knob set to zero you could also use the samples for round robin or key switching because the samples will then play with equal levels.

    Tip: Inserting a Graphic Shaper into the Velocity signal will allow you to change the velocity response curve.

  • What do you mean by “normalized to perceived loudness”?

    I bounced 4 audio files of a snare hit from logic on different velocities and want to put them into sampler.

    4 levels of velocity seems “not good enough”, well at least thats what I think.

    So I’m turning the velocity knob to the max.

    When I don’t normalize files it seems that the softest is too soft and the loudest is too loud.

    When I normalize all of them with “sox —norm=-6 input.wav output.wav” it seems that dynamics almost gone at all.


    I don’t want to complicate patch with graphic shapers etc, rather prepare audio files and set reasonable sampler setting

  • Normalizing all samples (soft and loud hits) to the same level is a recipe for loosing dynamics as the relative level between the sounds is lost...

    Depending on how much the sound actually changes between soft and loud hits 4 samples with a cross-fade would do for most cases.

    When it comes to Logic samples it's better to try and figure out which sample is being used and copy it straight from the disk (maybe converting to *.wav first in case it's stored in some other format on the disk). I mean they are all there on the hard-drive for grabs into any app that can handle samples...


  • Do you know you can get many more velocity ‘layers’ in flexi sampler? If you set the mode to ‘1-slice’ and start slice mode to ‘velocity’ then you can have near unlimited layers. Just make sure that all your hits are in the same file.

    Here you can see I have 5 velocity ‘layers’. The file is normalized, so you see that the max velocity is right below the clipping point. When I adjust the velocity knob on flexi itself, it does help to smooth things out.

    if you want better velocity dynamics with sampling, I highly recommend Flexi instead. That is, unless it’s an extensive multi sample.

  • edited July 5

    @clowm As you're mapping quite a number of samples, I'd recommend to stay with Sampler and stack multiple Samplers to achieve finer velocity layers.

    What do you mean by “normalized to perceived loudness”?

    Like @samu mentioned, it's the general issue with normalizing samples: Normalize all your drum samples to 100% and then listen to them in sequence.

    Do they all have the same loudness? If so then you're lucky but if not, welcome to life 😉

    It's really super useful to have samples at the same subjective levels. You don't necessarily have to change the sample data (and if their resolution is 16 bits or less, it may not be a good idea anyway) - individual sample volume adjustment in Sampler works as well, just make sure you've turned the Velocity knob to zero first.

    Splitting velocity into multiple samplers or re-shaping the velocity curve is really easy to do, and it will save you from headaches.

    When I don’t normalize files it seems that the softest is too soft and the loudest is too loud.

    I guess the velocity level has been "baked into" the samples already. In that case, you'd keep the velocity knob low or at zero but then of course the velocity switch between velocity thresholds would become more apparent. Using normalized samples and turning up the Velocity knob, it would be smooth.

  • Thank you guys! Now I have 3 new things to try 😊

    • find original samples
    • if there’re more than 4 files use flexi
    • try to fiddle with normalization, samples volume and volume knob
  • edited July 6

    @clowm Just in case, here's an instrument rack with 2 samplers to provide 8 velocity layers. It takes pitch/gate/velocity signals so you can add a Graphic Shaper in front to change the velocity response if required.

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