Aural Probe (formerly: Sample Auditioning Tool)

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a1studmuffin
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Aural Probe (formerly: Sample Auditioning Tool)

Post by a1studmuffin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:09 am

With the inevitable gigs of percussive samples most producers accumulate, does anyone know of any software that will let you audition/search for certain sounds quickly and painlessly? Ideally I'd like to preserve my sample CDs' directory hierarchies, it'd be great if there was something like Picasa or ACDsee that would just bring up a list of all the sounds and let me quickly go through and listen to them. Bonus points if I can:

- Play the sound instantly (without opening another app) by hovering the mouse over the item
- Be able to jump to the file, or copy it to the clipboard (either the file or the actual WAV data) at the click of a button

Am I being too idealistic? Is browsing files easy enough from VST apps like Battery?

EDIT: Get the latest version of Aural Probe, my Windows-only solution to this problem, here:

Image

http://auralprobe.sourceforge.net

Requires Microsoft .NET framework available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en

(If you have an up to date install of XP this will already be installed.)
Last edited by a1studmuffin on Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:19 am, edited 7 times in total.

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LuKo
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Post by LuKo » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:01 am

no I would love this too

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:09 pm

Very interesting... stay tuned and I'll see if I can't knock something up...

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LuKo
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Post by LuKo » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:12 pm

there has to be something out there that organises your sample library,, i think finding one that allows previewing will be the hard part.

See the new Native Instruments Kore system, is likea new breed of this, no matter where you are , or what instrumnet your using you can search for preset names and sample names from any other instrumnet within Kore.

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:33 pm

Yeah fuck that, previewing is the most important part imho... also KORE looks like an expensive solution, plus it requires hardware, plus it just adds another layer of communication between you and the synths/samplers guts, which I'm not convinced would really be beneficial... they keep going on about a universal interface for everything, but how can you really say that, I mean the whole point of individual instruments is that they allow you to do different things in different ways, including the way you interface with them, that's WHY they're different... plus I'm quite confused as to how it could work with non-NI VSTs... I guess it just acts as a MIDI remapper for the VSTs its hosting, probably comes with presets for individual VSTs.. I don't know...

But in any case I'm working on a tiny app at the moment that should do the trick, just an easy app for auditioning and selecting samples, that's all. :)

Basically it just has a bunch of categories in a list on the left (eg. Kicks, Snares etc.) and for each category you specify filename search terms (eg. "bd", "bassdrum", "kick" etc.), plus a set of working directories (Eg. "C:\Music\Samples, D:\Samples") and then when you click on a category on the left, it fills the main panel up with all of the samples, then you can simply let it play through all of them in a row, with the ability to stop/start the playing, mark individual samples as favourites, or simply roll your mouse over the list and hear the samples under the mouse play instantly. There'll also be a "Favourites Only" filter which limits the lists to the marked as favourite samples. If you double click a sample it'll bring up an explorer window with the file selected. How's that sound? Any other features you'd want? That was all I could think of...

It should be ready some time next week I reckon for people to try out. :) I'll post it in this thread...

One question that would help me out:

How many samples do people have? Like if you go to your samples directory, right click and choose Properties, how many files come up? I've got about 14000, just wondering what size databases I should be expecting... at the moment I've got a limit of 32768 samples because I'm a hack programmer :), but I could increase that.

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Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:11 pm

Righto peepz, try this out. This is just a small app to demonstrate what I mean. I was thinking of adding more features like the ability to flag samples as favourites (and have a favourites-only view), allowing hovering over items to set the item playing rather than having to click or use the cursor keys, etc... any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Image

(EDIT: REMOVED LINK TO OLD VERSION) (317KB)

Just unrar it to a directory and fire it up. If there's any problems let me know. I guess the ultimate question here is: Is this thing actually going to be useful to people? If not, why not? And if so, how could it be better?

(EDIT: I think this will only run on XP, not under 98 or 2K as I'm using the new XP icons... I'll fix this soon.)
Last edited by a1studmuffin on Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shadowgames
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Post by Shadowgames » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:44 pm

awesome! i'll try this out and get back to you.

very cool idea. big up!

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:57 pm

I've been playing around with it over my lunch break... the categories are figured out by search strings in the filename so there's a fair few false positives in there for certain categories (especially the hihats where I've put "hh"/"oh"/"ch"), mind you it's all tweakable.

I was thinking it might be useful to have an option to only search the filename (not the path as well), but this will miss situations like:

C:\Bassdrums\01.wav
.
.
.
etc

I've also been tweaking the look + feel a bit. I'll stick a tooltip up when you hover over each item that tells you info about the sound (filename, path, length, bitrate, samplerate etc.) and make it so pressing ENTER will also act like a doubleclick.

Also on the list of things to add:

Ability to mark things as favourites, only show favourites, etc.

Allow user to specify max # of samples (at the moment it's 32768)

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Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:29 am

A minor update, now with sexier sample lists, sample information in status bar, favorites (although THESE WILL NOT BE SAVED! this will change soon), pop-up menu, ability to Explore the file, copy its path to the clipboard, etc.

Now supports: WAV, AIF, MP3, OGG, WMA, FLAC.

Image

(EDIT: REMOVED LINK TO OLD VERSION) (321KB)

Feedback welcome as usual...
Last edited by a1studmuffin on Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LuKo
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Post by LuKo » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:39 am

wickid man, iwll load it up when i get home tonight and have a play

i just reformatted and was sorting all my samples yesterday, god knows i have built up a collection in a short amount of time!

this will come in handy

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:15 pm

Yeah my collection blew out to well over 10 gig really quickly, all it takes is a few sample CDs/DVDs and all of a sudden you've got a logistical nightmare just trying to find anything at all.

I really want to make this tool an integral part of everyone's workflow if they're frequently looking for samples so if anyone has any suggestions at all or things that shit them/make it annoying/unusable/useless please speak up. :)

By the way, latest installer is here and will be updated as this link from now on:

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe

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Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:54 pm

*bump*

I've just put the latest version up (v1.3). Now supports loading/saving favorites, plus a bunch of bug fixes. Link:

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe (486KB)

Anyone tried it out yet? Had any problems?

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Post by Snowie » Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:59 pm

that's exactly what every producer needs, good stuff a1studmuffin.
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Post by flippo » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:20 pm

*humps a1studmuffin*

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system
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Post by system » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:50 pm

Sounds good mate. NB: Mac OS X's Finder/PathFinder has Spotlight and QuickTime for searching and previewing purposes. All built in.

I'll grab the app you referenced and check it out this weekend.
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Post by a1studmuffin » Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:36 pm

Ahhh, see Apple are already onto it then. :) Still, if it were available on Mac you'd probably still get some benefit from being able to browse through categories quickly.

I'm thinking of adding more search criteria for each category beyond a couple of filename/directory name matches. Probably a useful one would be only including samples shorter or longer than a certain length.

One idea I've been fantasising about would be a magical button: "Find samples like this one". You could generate a spectral fingerprint for each sample, store them, and then search through them finding similar ones to the sound you've just selected. I'm not sure how well it work though... probably one of those things an academic could write a paper on and still not get right...

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Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:14 pm

Just fixed a few bugs which were making it a bit unstable when you flicked through a lot of samples quickly. Also added a new feature to the pop-up menu/shortcuts so now if you Ctrl+C on a sample, it copies the actual file (rather than just the filename) to the clipboard so you can paste it straight into your DAW/sampler/whatever. Of course you can still right click and copy the filename or double-click to bring it up in Explorer...

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe

Same link as always...

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Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:42 am

Added some new features:

- Allows an unlimited number of samples
- Caches samples so you don't have to rescan folders every time you start up

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe

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Post by a1studmuffin » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:23 am

New version is up.

- Samples appear with sample name now instead of a random number
- Audio playback is done in software rather than hardware to avoid issues with certain soundcards (thanks Stray for helping me sort that one out)

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe

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Post by a1studmuffin » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:02 pm

Hey guys, latest version is up. This one has fixed the nasty FMOD error that was cropping up frequently, it should be pretty rock solid now. Thanks to cotdagoo on the NSB forum for testing it for me.

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe (500KB)

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Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:58 pm

New version is up.

http://michael.4bitterguys.com/Programm ... taller.exe (505KB)

WHATS NEW IN 1.4:
- Exclude/include specific file types
- Volume slider
- Sound output device selection
- Auto-play support, with optional repeat count
- Fixed opening old explorer windows to highlight different files

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Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:18 am


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LuKo
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Post by LuKo » Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:20 am

Yo I must bloody check this out!

;)

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:45 am

Yeah, it's become a bit of a productivity tool in my studio that's for sure! :)

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Post by betson » Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:05 pm

now this is what the interntet is for, nice job a1.
Don't forget to bring a towell!!

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LuKo
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Post by LuKo » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:31 pm

hey A1, i tried installing this on the weekend...finnally!

dont know why it took me so long, i really need somethin like this

trouble is after install i get an error when i try and start it up

i am running XP windows...any thoughts, ?? gopnna try a re-install just in case tonight

cheers mate!

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:21 pm

RTFM ;) You probably need to install the .NET Framework 2:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en

:)

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Post by spiral » Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:50 am

would this run in mono on os x?

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a1studmuffin
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Post by a1studmuffin » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:51 am

Hmmm I doubt it, sorry :) There's one called SoundAbout that might do similar things though?

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Post by spiral » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:59 pm


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Post by a1studmuffin » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:19 pm

A (long overdue!) version is up.

http://auralprobe.sourceforge.net

WHATS NEW IN 1.44:
- Added drag & drop support
- Added "Always on top" option
- Fixed "System Volume Information" folder permission error

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Re: Aural Probe (formerly: Sample Auditioning Tool)

Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:00 pm

Digging up this thread to announce a new version. Mostly stability and bugfixes. If you're using Aural Probe, you'll want to grab this.

http://auralprobe.sourceforge.net

WHATS NEW IN 1.45:
- Maintenance and bugfix release.
- Updated source code for Visual Studio 2010.
- Updated FMOD API to version 4.44.20.
- Updated NSIS installer and scripts to version 3.0a1.
- Fixed FMOD memory leak.
- Fixed cross-thread UI control modification issues.
- Better handling of corrupt/missing/unplayable samples.
- Better handling of duplicate/overlapping search folders.
- Ignore all hidden and invalid folders when searching in search folders.
- Added keyboard shortcut for popup menu item "Copy as path" (Ctrl+Shift+C).
- Faster playback for very large files.
- Installer bugfixes relating to Windows Vista/7/8.
- Cancel button while scanning folders no longer hangs.
- Better UI feedback at the beginning of a large scanning folders operation.
- Replaced help with more detailed CHM documentation.

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