Sample organisation/browsing/creativity on the AR

Firstly, I apologise for yet another sample organisation thread. I had a search and I couldn’t find anything recent that fit the bill so I hope it’s OK to start another one!

Basically, it’s no big deal to organise samples on my computer as there are endless options and it’s a much easier process with the mouse and keyboard plus XO, Atlas, Sononym etc. The issue I’m having is how to organise and browse in a non-frustrating way on the AR itself. I have considered separating the process into “make kits on the computer” and “make music with those kits on the AR” and although it’s still up in the air I’m just spending loads of time on the computer which is what I’m hoping to avoid. When I talk about a kit I mean a larger set of samples to make an entire track, not just a drum kit, as I’m using the AR as a self-contained groovebox.

Basically the browsing and previewing process on the AR has it’s quirks and going back-and-forth inside lots of nested folders can be a bit annoying given that you have to do some hand gymnastics to preview each sample with FUNC+YES whilst trying to scroll through the files.

My first thought is to “flatten” the folders structures a bit so I have a single flat list of folders and try to give them sensible descriptive names like “Kicks Hard”, “Bass Plucks”, “Metal Hits”, “Bells”, “Wooden Percussions” or whatever I can think of so the folder browsing is easier and I can find the type of sound I want without having a massive nest of sample packs with their own unique folder structures to navigate.

I’m not really someone who starts the process with something in mind outside of vague genre, so I might sit down and think I’ll try to make some drum and bass or try to write some downtempo dub techno, but I don’t have an idea beyond that, I just enjoy the process of seeing what I can come up with. With that in mind, I have thought about just trying to quickly select a load of samples almost at random and then see what I can do with them. So I could just quickly grab 5 kicks, 5 snares, 5 hats, 5 bass sounds, 5 pad sounds, 5 random percussive sounds or whatever and then try to rely on the sounds-shaping and design process on the AR to turn that into something.

Anyway, always good to get some ideas from the community here in terms of practical considerations (sample curation) but also creative thoughts and ways to kick-start your process and be creative.