- Unnecessary digital silence before and after the sound. Drum sample packs occasionally have 'problem' samples with short a delay before the transient, or a large amount of digital / analog silence afterwards that does nothing but eat disk space - or worse yet - can even eat headroom)
- Needlessly quiet sounds. I prefer normalizing most of my drum samples to utilize full dynamic range so that when I audition them, the volume of my samples stay consistent. It makes it much easier to compare several drum hits together on the fly since your brain can more easily focus on the frequency content of your samples rather than also having to adapt to volume changes.
- Incorrect 'root note' data. This is a FL Studio only issue as far as I know, but it causes drums to be automatically played on something other than C5 in FL's playlist and sampler. This is a minor annoyance, but the 2-3 seconds of time I spend resetting the root note of an incorrect sample can add up. I've been working in FL for over 10 years now, and sometimes I wonder distinctly how much time in my life I have actually wasted just on that task alone. Root Note Fixer is a tool posted on the Image Line forums to fix this specific issue, and is great, but obviously it doesn't really do anything else.
- Unnecessary markers and/or loop points. If the creator of any of your samples was using an application that automatically inserts markers/loop points on export, all of their samples will have markers/loop points even if the sound is a one-shot. Sometimes samples have random markers for no apparent reason at all... either way, it's annoying!
There are many applications both freeware and paid that can automatically fix/handle each of these issues separately. But I have yet to come across anything that can tackle all of them at once, wrapped in single efficient utility. I think many other slightly OCD producers would value this functionality too, so what I'd like to offer is the following:
I will personally paypal $100 to the first person that can simply refer me to a batch processing application or script that can completely handle all of the below functionality labelled as "Must:", without having to learn any complicated scripting languages or coding. I.E. you can't just link me to SoX (http://sox.sourceforge.net/). If there is no existing application out there that can handle the below functionality, I would like to offer a bounty of $400 to the first developer who CAN make it. I know that this isn't an incredible amount of money, and I apologize if the amount makes any DSP developer reading this feel patronized, but it's really all I can afford at the moment. (If anyone else also sees value in an application like this, please feel free to contribute!)
A lightweight windows application that will auto-trim, normalize, and optionally strip different types of metadata out of .wav files via batch processing.
- Must: Ability to automatically trim both digital and non-digital silence (specified by DB threshold on a per-job basis) at the beginning and end of all wave files in the batch at near sample accuracy.
- Must: Ability to perform the above trimming functionality on very short samples, I.E. single hit drum oneshots.
- Must: Ability to apply peak-based normalization to all wave files in the batch at a specified DB ceiling.
- Must: Toggleable ability to reset the root note of all wave files in the batch to C5
- Must: Toggleable ability to remove all markers and regions from the wave file.
- Must: Toggleable ability to remove all loop points from the wave file.
- Must: Toggleable ability to remove ALL metadata from the wave file, including 'ACID' information.
- Must: Needs to run on Windows 7 x64
- Must: Have a 'somewhat' intuitive and lightweight user interface with drag and drop functionality (I.E. If I want to process a folder of samples, all I need to do is drag that folder to said application). Application shouldn't take more than 10 seconds to open.
- Must: Ability to be given a target directory to process (obviously), but ALSO have a toggleable ability to recursively scan all sub-directories in the target folder for .wav files to include in the batch.
- Must: Batch process must be mostly non-destructive (except the normalization functionality), and preserve all essential aspects of the WAV like bit depth, samplerate, codec, etc.
- Must: Ability to choose whether to A. Rename processed files or B. Overwrite existing files.
- Bonus: Ability to select a target folder for the batch VIA shell context menu in Windows Explorer (I.E. I can right click any folder and select an option like 'Clean all .wavs in this folder' to start the batch).
- Bonus: Ability to select a single wave file or multiple wave files to include in the batch VIA shell context menu in Windows Explorer (I.E. I can right click any single or multiple wave files and click an option like 'Clean all selected WAVs')
- Bonus: Can optionally convert all .mp3/.aiff/.ogg/.flac files found in the target folder to wave, and also optionally delete the original .mp3/.aiff/.ogg/.flac files after conversion, before running the batch.
- Bonus: Extended ability to move / rename processed files - options to either: A. Rename processed files with specified prefix/suffix B. Overwrite existing files C. Move all processed files to a new folder D. In the case that 'recursive mode' is enabled, move all processed files to a new folder and replicate the existing folder structure of the processed target directory.
- Bonus: Ability to save 'presets' that remember all settings for the normalization/auto-trimming/metadata removal functionality, so that a batch can be run in one click by selecting a saved preset.
Solutions I've tried already:
- Soundforge 10's batch functionality. Soundforge is great for auto trimming and normalization, but will not natively remove markers and loop points in this process, and it's metadata manipulation is primitive. I have not found an easy way to strip ACID data or remove "Root Note" data through this process. I think if you have it reconvert to wav in the batch it may erase the metadata but I haven't tried that yet. Either way, Soundforge is not an optimal solution for several reasons: The program is very heavy for such a simple task, it takes a relatively long time to start up, batches are on a per-folder basis without any sort of recursive scanning for subfolders, and batch 'presets' have to be saved and loaded separately as a file. It's a sluggish solution that makes automating the process for several nested folders and libraries of sound files cumbersome.
- Root Note Fixer Coded by Reflex and posted on the Image Line forum in 2008, RootNoteFixer will simply correct the 'Root Note' metadata for all samples that are incorrectly set to 0. It's a great utility that I use a lot, but obviously is limited in scope.
- Goldwave's batch processing. Same drawbacks as Soundforge. No recursive search.
- Wavosaur's batch processing. Same drawbacks as Soundforge. No recursive search.
- Audacity's batch processing. Same drawbacks as Soundforge. No recursive search.
- Sample Manager (http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/samplemanager/). Holy crap! This is almost exactly what I need! Unfortunately, it's Mac only. Maybe someone here with a mac can benefit from this tool.
- dBpoweramp. dBpoweramp is an amazing tool and can *almost* do what I need. You can convert samples between many different formats on the fly with Windows' right click context menu, re-sample, and even run DSP effect chains, including normalization and silence trimming/removal. Unfortunately dBpoweramp's trimming functionality just doesn't work on very short audio files. I couldn't personally get it to work with any drum sample I fed it. It also won't strip ACID data / other metadata, but I think you can get around that by converting the sample to FLAC, and then back to WAV.
This is a monumentally long forum post, so apologies for that. But I would like to solve this time consuming workflow issue once and for all.