Live Sampling

Was gonna ask a gear question as I’m building my live sampling setup, but then I was like hey, live sampling thread? Seems like a good time for it.

Anyway, this can be for process and stuff too in addition to gear. Anything live granular/sampling/looping/pitch-fiddling.


I love live sampling. Currently making a granular sampler for my Organelle to take the duties i previously gave to granulator.

Saving that cpu


Anywho, my question was about mic’ing for acoustic instrument input (most of my input). I’ve been rolling with headphones so far (and omni’s no less) but I need to figure out how to translate everything to a PA without endlessly feeding back the room sound. A friend recommended going with some shotgun mics, which seems to make sense. Maybe something like this?

If someone with experience playing live with this kind of setup (I know there’s a few of you) has any advice that would be rad.

Pro tip for saving CPU on a mac: Make a non-admin user and block anything that isn’t needed for your setup under parental controls.


plus one for contacts.

if you want to go high-end with it, check out ehrlund—their mics have triangular diaphragms, which allows them to capture transients more accurately while reducing room noise, feedback, and all other ambient contaminants.

If you’re sending your own mix to the PA, using headphones instead of the venue’s monitors should help with feedback. Also, for things you can’t use a contact mic on, you’d be better off using a dynamic w/good off-axis rejection than a condenser. Even something cheap like a SM58 might be sufficient for this application.

@1049 @autreland interesting, I’ve kind of counted them out since my home-made ones don’t do much in terms of quality (especially with getting the high end), but maybe with something pro-built plugged into a pre-amp I could do better. I tend to be drawn to microphones cause I love room sound but I could always get that back with some extra mics recording dry. Another concern is that I play flute. I guess I could still contact mic that? Cyber flute?

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Hmm ok, I was leaning towards condesors for sound quality but I’ll take your word for going dynamic. SM58 looks perfect as far as I can tell. I guess vocal mics make more sense than instrument ones in this case.

Do you know of any cheaper pick-ups off-hand? This one is decently out of what I can afford, especially if I need 1 per instrument.

i’ve always thought most of the fishman offerings sound pretty good for the money—they have quite a variety of designs too, so might be a good place to start your investigation.

as for the flute, i couldn’t tell you one way or the other i’m afraid—sounds like it could be a bit tenuous, but it’d also be extra-badass if you got it to work! :raised_hands:t2::raised_hands:t2::raised_hands:t2:

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@andrew Not sure about other instruments, but I’d strongly suggest using a condenser microphone for flute. LOM Uši electret condensers are imo the best value condensers (and it’s hardly a secret–they sell out faster than Mannequins restocks). I had a friend record flute on these and he could not believe that they were only $120.

(If you ever want to try them out/borrow them, lmk [I’m based in Chicago]. My sound generation these days is exclusively modular synth sans sampling, so I don’t really use microphones anymore.)


regarding flute : DPA4061 with headset, the mic positioned some 5-7 cm on the right side of your mouth. I think it is as standard as the SM58/BETA57 options for singers.

I would avoid interference tube mics in places with a relatively loud sound field, you will get nasty comb filtering; plus the sweet spot of such microphones is small and not that easy to find/stay in when doing many things at once.
I’ve seen live sampling artists use boundary microphones to get all kind of stuff (voice, rocks, crumpling stuff…) into their loopers with great sounding results.
Depending on your process, a single of those mics can be sufficient.
In doubt/scarcity of resources i would favor a solid dynamic cardioïd as per previous advices.

A trick i learnt recently, regarding controllers (applies for live sampling but really for many other cases):
instead of using one button for each function (play, stop, record, loop), think of your process and streamline multiple functions around the course of a single knob. (ex. full ccw = stop; from 7 to 10, record; from 10 to 12, play loop; from 12 to 2, play loop with an added layer of granular stuff; etc.). Easy to do if your controller goes into a pd/max patch and feels clever once you figure a playable and memorizable layout :slight_smile:


Yea I’ve got a couple of condensers I use for recording, will probably still use those on headphones when I’m playing at home. Been meaning to get some uzis someday to up my field recording game though, been on that mailing list for a while.

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paging @marcus_fischer hehe


Wow, love that one of the recommended instruments for the soundboard pickup is a dulcimer, which I also must mic. Do you think that one of these would sound better on my nylon guitar than the built in pickup, which historically I have not liked that much? (But hey can’t perfect my stage sound too much)


this made my cat get up from my lap and leave the room—good stuff @Rodrigo :joy:


I thought there was a contact mic in the flute but after second watch honestly I have no idea what’s going on here. I think it’s just pure concentrated exploding people’s faces.


very true, and very real—i like it.

regarding the guitar, it’s definitely possible it will be a major improvement! sounds like the general ensemble is eccentric enough that you should probably see about testing em in person somewhere though—i have absolutely no idea how well the dulcimer one will function, for example.

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these look glorious—i bet they’d be highly synergistic with norns.