A problem I sometimes run into when working with random/found audio to generate rhythmic parts (as in the prior tips) is that the sound is a bit mushy and needs a more percussive or agressive character.

Here are a couple of simple techniques for adding some smack to your samples.

First off, go into the Filter/Global tab and create a percussive volume envelope:

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When you do this, you’ll generally need to crank up the overall volume a bit (notice that I’ve set Volume to 0db above).

Ok, that’s easy. If you need to add more snap, that can be done in the Pitch/Osc tab. Sampler has a built in oscillator that allows you to do some frequency modulation (FM) with your samples.

First, turn on the Osc switch.

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Then set up the FM oscillator something like this:

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All of the controls are adjustable to taste, but that will be hard to do at first: at this point, the sample probably will sound like a mess of frequency modulated chaos.

Get that under control by creating a percussive volume envelope for the FM oscillator:

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The decay of this envelope should be really fast. In this example, I’ve set the main volume envelope to about 700ms and the FM envelope to 24ms.

The result is a tiny blast of FM modulation at the start of every triggered sample which lends an extra pop or click to the attack. The sound of the attack can be greatly customized by adjusting the Type, Volume and Frequency of the FM oscillator.

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