Sampler Cheat Sheet

This is just a little thing I have been wanting to share with you all. Hopefully it can serve you well like it does me.

This document lays out a few handy things you may need when sampling and editing.

The first half of the chart lays out the sample length of certain notes at various sampling rates. This is useful if you are sampling a note from a synth and want to truncate it and have it loop properly. For instance, on my Korg DSS-1 when I sample a C note saw wave from a synth, I can use this to determine how long one cycle of the waveform should be. Based on the fact that the DSS-1 can sample at 48kHz, I know that a 48kHz sample of one cycle of an oscillator playing the note “C” should be exactly 734 samples long, or a multiple of that. The note one octave up would be half the length, 367 samples in length, and each octave up gets shorter by 1/2 again. I use math instead of my ears to trim the sample.

The second half of the chart has two parts:
One column gives you the sample length per 1 bar at 44.1kHz. This is nice because if you are resampling a loop and you know the BPM, you can determine the exact length in samples to truncate the sample. For instance, most samplers have an auto start feature which begins sampling at the first instance of sound, but you often need to manually trim the end to get the loop to play properly. If you know the BPM of the loop that you sample, you can chop it to the specific sample from this cheat sheet and it will loop perfect. I use this a lot with the Korg ESX when re-sampling. The ESX will auto start, but I can let it record just over 1 bar, then trim the end point with this formula. If it is a beat/riff at 75BPM, I just set the end to 141120 samples and it loops perfect! (aside from possible pops, which may need a miniature adjustment because of a waveform being too far away from “0”, but I believe the ESX automatically quick-fades because I don’t get too many pops.)
The second column gives you BPM to milliseconds. If you have an old school delay and you need to know how to set it to synchronize to your beat’s BPM, use this.

I hope this helps you all out!

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11 thoughts on “Sampler Cheat Sheet

  1. Again, thank you, Nick. I’m wondering if you could go a little bit more in depth in the actual application of this “Cheat Sheet”?

    • Yes, I altered the post slightly, but I use this cheat sheet when I want to loop a sustaining sound. The first half helps me gauge where the natural loop-points would be based on the pitch. The second half helps me find the proper loop length of beats when I know the BPM of the song.

      • Hey still having a really hard time with this formula…wanting to calculate the sample length for 130 bpm and 133 bpm sample and must be missing a step or two.

      • It is a little strange. The way to calculate it is to take 60 divided by the BPM (130) times the amount of beats (4 beats for 1 bar) and then multiply it by the Sample Rate (probably 44,100).


        0.46153846153846 x 4= 1.84615384615384

        1.84615384615384 x 44,100= 81415.384615384344

        or round it to 81415 samples for 1 bar at 130 BPM

        and 79579 for 1 bar at 133 BPM
        Hope that helps

  2. ah yes, must have overlooked it since I skipped right to the last page πŸ™‚ Anyways, I did a quick calculation and it works πŸ™‚

    suppose 120bpm :

    ; 60/120
    ; 0.5*44100
    ; 4*22050

    thnx again man

    • Thanks again. Yeah, the main reason that I shared this is that I found myself wanting to calculate things and always forgetting the formula. First came a written formula cheat sheet, then I made myself the sampler cheat sheet that I shared online.

      Luckily I have programmed most of the samplers I have and I only occasionally pull this out to calculate delay times to coincide with bpm.


      • πŸ™‚ yes well it is amazing what you can do with seamless loops (im talking not only beats here). Btw. it has been my experience that the korg esx adds 1240 samples of silence when resampling sound. So with the given calculations first 1240 need to be trimmed of from the start, then trim the end to the values given in the chart.

  3. Hi
    Can you explain why all Stretch Parts on the appear as 120bpm. When you browse them in sample mode and press one of the stretch part buttons no matter how many steps the part its always 120bpm. Thus has lead me to re-record stuff because I think its at the wrong tempo.



    • Hello Stephen,
      I sold my ESX, so I wish I could check it for you first hand, but I can’t. I think that it will preview the sample at the tempo for the pattern that you have selected. If you have a default/ new pattern selected when you sample a sound it, the default pattern is at 120 BPM, thus the stretch sample will play back at 120 BPM. Try setting the pattern tempo before sampling something. Hope that helps.


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