Structuring instrument sample folders

I'm putting together instrument sample folders for Tidal. How should I organize and set up for playing chords and sequenced notes correctly? Should I sample only C root notes, a full octave, or three octaves per instrument? Any tips for structuring the folders and arranging the samples?

This is something I think about quite a bit... the long answer is, it depends.

I had some thoughts on it back when I recorded a set of fretless bass samples

My thoughts have since changed, after trying to apply those rules to a couple of other instruments and it not working nearly as well.

In short, if you can sample every note from the lowest range to the highest range - starting at C and ending with B, it will give you the most flexibility with chords (using n notation, rather than note).

The problem is, with most analog instruments there are often timbral/tonal variations that are important to have to really capture the nature of the instrument... which makes doing this whole process massive as you build multiple sets with multiple variations.

The flbass set was great because I didn't need a wide range of notes to still sound ok pitched up or down, and I got all the timbral/tonal variety in the one set - these work well with note notation

Some instruments just sound crappy once you start adjusting their pitch through playback speed though (sax, bowed instruments etc) - so you kind of need to pick a method based on what instrument you're sampling, and how the sound changes as you re-pitch.

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At the moment I only create samples with the help of a synthesizer with analogue subtractive synthesis. From my experience, it is sufficient to sample a complete octave for its sounds. If necessary, I make further transpositions with speed or |+/- 12.

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I've been exploring sampling instruments across two octaves and splitting them into two folders. The lower octave samples are stored in one folder, and the higher octave samples in another. Preparing the samples manually can be tedious, so I created scripts to automate the task with Python - Here's the link to it: GitHub - diegochavez-io/TidalToolbox: Python scripts designed to assist with preparing audio files for live coding sessions in TidalCycles