Thoughts about creating a generic workflow for editing and curating samples


Is Christian reading these posts?

I decided not to post this as a reply buried in the Bently sample thread. Anybody else who is considering the Pianobook objectives from a less DAW-centric position, please contribute to discussion. Plus, I really want someone to help me with full length sound files of the Kate tracks!

If egalitarianism is a Pianobook objective, consider this plea:

I am groping through a way to do this in DAWs other than whichever one Christian is using or Protools.
And trying to parse through the jargon in the videos gets easier with my own experience having done the tasks while learning what they are called in my DAW. Rewind, play, repeat; checking his workflow against the tools I have available to me.
Something I did not understand several months ago was the timing involved that tells me how long each sample should be. Files from link above are all too long.
So, enter Kate, something I thought I could do without. And now I have no idea how to recreate the Kate tracks from the little sound snippets provided.
I really truly need full length sound files or maybe a midi file to guide me.
That is, if you really want a good product, you have to give me more generic tools to work with.

Please and thanks.
: )

PS: before my purchase of a ‘real’ DAW, I was using Audacity. Free and open source. Imagine a guide for sampling a piano that a complete novice could use with ‘price to play’ significantly reduced.


Edit: I found the original full length Kate files are in the Session Stems folder of the downloadable template zip file. As I mentioned below, kate will talk you through the entire sampling process no matter what kind of recorder you are using.

Hmm, the original Kate file from here was just one long file. I sampled my first piano with an MP3 player playing Kate, and a portable recorder. It was really easy. Kate talked me through both layers and the release triggers all in one go.


Thanks for info. In this case, the Bently was sampled with a much greater number of notes. Thirds. And the Kate files in the Bently file download are all just little pieces. I need them to be the same length as whatever Christian was listening to as he played the notes for the “note off” cues.
Also, I can’t process the release triggers without them.
There is nothing in the Bently files that registers as a ‘template’ for me or my DAW – which is part of my point about this.
However, I can work with AAF files. Can Logic export those?

But here in this thread I am also hoping for some discussion about the process in general.

Are you a long time DAW user? How much experience with recording did you have before you sampled your piano? What were the challenges?

: )


Hi JustLisa,
The template from the ‘How To Sample’ page (
makes the workflow for creating/editing samples fairly generic and ‘DAW-agnostic’ (thanks Christian!!), so the problems you’re experiencing would seem to be specific to the Bentley sample relay. I haven’t had chance to download the Bentley files to compare them to the template, but perhaps the standardised process wasn’t followed?

If the sample relay is going to be a regular thing, we might need to define a set of standardised deliverables for each step of the process. A defined process and a series of checklists should ensure that even someone who’s new to using a DAW can still create a sample library. Although, from experience it’s one thing to define and document a process, and another thing entirely to get people to follow the instructions! :smiley:

To make collaboration easier, maybe we should set up Pianobook as a project on Github or a similar service. This would allow people to see what others are working on and pick a ready task to get on with. Robert Agthe (aka Polarity) already has a Github project for Pianobook on Bitwig Studio, so maybe he could advise us on how to go about this, if none of us know within the group…


Since the Bently has already been sampled, I’m not sure what use the Kate files are now. I used the one long Kate mp3 as an aid in recording my piano, but it was of no use once the initial recording was completed. I simply sliced each file at the beginning of each note until the beginning of the next note. I use Reaper DAW which allows me to mark each sliced note as a region and then export each region as a separate file.


the kate files will tell me how long each sample is supposed to be and help me to determine which noises of the release triggers I want and those ‘special’ notes off that I want to find the ‘creative use’ for.
I’m sorry for needing help because I don’t work in one of the approved DAWs.
Thanks anyway.


I completely agree about standardized deliverables.
I can’t use the template – wrong DAW.

And just to clarify: all I’m asking for is for someone to open the template and export stems of Kate as WAVs or mp3s or AIFF or whatever. I didn’t think I was asking for something so controversial or difficult and I’m disappointed.
I want to be able to hear exactly what Christian was listening to as he recorded the samples.


Maybe what is needed is the same collaborative approach as for the sample files - upload whatever you can, and someone else may be able to noise-reduce them or turn them into an instrument, etc.

So my proposal is that we could have the same for templates - if someone has the capability of converting templates from one DAW to another could download them, convert them, and upload them back again. The templates could be put in a /templates/ directory in the ZIP file, although for something generic like the templates then an upload/download box (GitHub?) might be better. Christian’s existing ‘upload only’ dropbox called MVP Session are almost the obvious place, although only Christian has access to this (and the spelling typo of ‘templates’ triggers my Asperger’s!) . If there was a way of automating the process of taking the contents of a /templates/ file inside a ZIP uploaded to the Pianobook Dropbox, and then putting that as a download in the MVP Sessions area, then that would solve it. (But I’m not sure if this is possible…)

I’m happy to set up a Github repository if people are ok with going outside the existing Pianobook Dropbox storage…


I think you are thinking in the right direction!
I’ve never heard of Github, I use Google Drive to upload anything I put out there for other people.
And yes, after all the editing of files I’ve done, it’s a bit frustrating to not know who is doing what as far as noise removal etc.
One thing I find a bit unnerving (not OCD, but very particular about some editing issues) is that we all do not share a common ‘standard of quality’ – how can we know we all hear the difference between okay and good? Better yet, between good and great.
I’m not sure I like the idea of going outside Pianobook for storage, at least not until Christian or some other forum authority has weighed in.
: )

PS: for my part, I have set myself the goal of creating my own custom build piano with the Bentley Samples. It’s a learning exercise. Plus, I have a project for which I need a particular type of piano sound that I can manipulate in a way that makes sense to me, so this is a potential double win (if I can get those Kate audio files).


Hi JustLisa,
I apologize. I thought you were looking for the original Kate file. I now understand that you need the new “enhanced” Kate file that is for the Medium MVP samples in thirds with round robins. It seems that Christian did not make that one available as an mp3.


No worries! I found a Logic using friend who kindly sent me stems. Gave me exactly what I needed.


So, I apologize if I’m taking up too much room in the discussions – according to the site, I may be preventing other people from responding.

How important are the details for creating pianos (and other instruments)?

I have questions I really hope other people have answers.

For example, I discovered that the A3 samples are completely out of phase with all the other notes, loud and soft layers. From basic high school physics, I know why, but should I/we fix things like that? (Kudos re: the mic placement @christianhenson !)

About the stereo field…is the consistency of that important? I listen mostly in headphones, so variations are really obvious to me. Following on from the soundwave theory re: phase, I think it must have something to do with resonance and other room factors, plus varying velocities in the samples themselves, but, again…thoughts anyone? Please.

And last a question about best practices with respect to stereo files and normalization. In Studio One I get significantly different results if I normalize first and then merge or merge then normalize. I’ve been experimenting. Is this the same in all DAWs? Anyone willing to get into the nitty gritty details about it?

Thanks everyone.
: )

Oh, and noise reduction factors into the stereo and normalizing issue also – something I know almost nothing about, but from the experiments, I can see that it does have influence.
I don’t mean to overthink, it’s just my tendency to be detail oriented when required. Professionally, I’ve done a lot of design work that requires global thinking and also some pretty detailed math so other people can rely on the accuracy.


Thanks - my understanding is that Github offers benefits for collaboration over and above Dropbox or Google Drive, such as tracking changes and allowing projects to be forked and merged (I’m not a coder, my experience is from a PM perspective). I believe there are integration options that could mean Pianobook users don’t need to sign up to Github as well, but I’ve no idea how complex (or even possible) it would be to set that up. Apologies, my technical skill is limited to suggesting the idea…


Kav, I’ve messaged timmy to check that it is okay to use shared storage outside of Pianobook or Dropbox…


@synthesizerwriter Did @timmy answer you?


@tikihorea Not yet…