Once you’ve got your raw samples of course, you’re going to have to make them nice and ready for mapping into the sampler. Naturally, this part might be easily overlooked. After all, you’re just editing a few samples right? Batch editing can save time and energy and you can be done before your tea’s gone cold.
Nope. Nah ah. Definitely not.
Now, I can’t speak for all DAWs and audio editing software, but if like me you work with what you’ve got already and are working mainly with the key players (Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, etc), then you’ll have to settle in for the long run. Sadly, there’s no substitute for listening carefully to each individual note/sound, and editing them to your preference. Zooming in close to the sound waves, making sure the ADSR is all uniform, listening to the samples over and over again to choose your favourites, and organising them by articulation or velocity or length is well…lengthy work. And if you’re one to usually put on some music in the background to help along tedious business like admin, then that option isn’t available here.
It’s jobs like these that require a good deal of self-care. Due to my own health I’ve had to give a lot of thought to good and sustainable work patterns. I’m sure you’ve probably already considered making your workstation/rig more ergonomically friendly – this is definitely one of those occasions when that kind of attention will be invaluable. Supporting your back/wrist/legs and getting up to move on a regular basis will not only help keep you fresh and focused, but will also help guard against ear fatigue. Keep some form of hydration nearby, and maybe a small snack too (but save lunch/dinner for the kitchen). If you’re devoting the day to editing, make sure you go and get some exercise and fresh air.
Possibly the thing that helps most for me during this arduous stage is watching some sitcom over my lunch break. Something from Michael Schur usually does the trick – the funnier the better! Editing is a pretty humourless task, and if you’re not much of an audio engineer by trade then it’s especially important to keep things fun!