Automated Sample Mapping for Busy Producers

This unique software has become a recent addition to my studio, it not only saves me time but it's also fun to play with. I wanted to share my thoughts on the Drum auto-mapping utility from Kit Maker.

The Auto-Mapping Sampler Utility

As a music producer, time is a precious commodity. Building drum kits from individual one-shot samples can be tedious and time-consuming. That's where Kit Maker comes in. This utility app automatically creates drum kits from your sample packs, saving you valuable hours. It generates kits compatible with MPCs and major Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) such as Ableton Live, as well as several others which I'll talk about later.

Kit Maker streamlines your workflow, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: Being creative and producing music.

This software simplifies the process of building sampler patches significantly. I can simply drag and drop folders of samples into the app, select my target DAW, and click "Make Kits." The app then works its magic.

Depending on the size of the source pack, Kit Maker typically generates around a dozen kits. However, the output scales with the input: the more samples in the pack, the more kits it will create. This scalability ensures that larger, more diverse sample packs yield an even greater variety of ready-to-use kits.

I let Kit Maker loose on my entire sample collection, and I can tell you - having drum kits automatically mapped out is a great way to start a music session.

Before Kit Maker, I would manually map the individual samples which can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Automatically building drum kits, with the ability to save the presets for later has revolutionized my workflow, freeing up valuable time and creative energy.

Their YouTube overview video does a great job of explaining how it works:

In recent years, drum sample packs and expansion kits have gained popularity. Kit Maker transforms these sample packs into organized sampler presets. This offers a perfect blend of convenience and personalization. By automating the conversion process, Kit Maker adds significant value, turning your sample library into a versatile collection of ready-to-use drum kits.

How Kit Maker behind the scenes

The app scans the sample packs you import and identifies drum sample categories by detecting common folders or filenames that include words like "Kicks" and "HiHats". It already knows a lot of common keywords (e.g. "hh" for hi-hats) to accurately categorize and sort the samples.

While it seems like Kit Makers would be limited to drum samples like kicks, snares, and hi-hats, I was surprised that it also recognizes and categorizes short melodic snippets like synth notes, guitar notes, or even sound effects. Many sample packs include additional instruments, and Kit Maker will sprinkle these sounds into the kits in a way that makes sense. This makes it fun to play with and offers lots of inspiration.

Convert Maschine Expansions Kits!

How can I use Maschine Expansion Kits with my DAW?

You can import Machine expansion folders and Kit Maker recreates the Maschine kits in the format of your choice. This means you can play Maschine kits on your MPC or in DAWS such as Ableton Live. The kits are recreated and even given the same names and layouts as the original kits!

On an MPC, the kits will play a “preview” of the sample when selected, which allows you to audition all the sounds before you load them. 

DAW and Sampler support

Kit Maker currently makes presets for:

  • MPC (Modern hardware including X and Force)
  • MPC Desktop software (including MPC Beats)
  • Ableton Live 10, 11, 12 (including Push 3 Standalone mode)
  • Synthstrom Deluge (Drum machine)
  • BeatMaker 3 (iOS)
  • Nanostudio 2 (iOS)
  • EG Pulse (iOS)

For DAWs and samplers that don't support direct presets (or have restrictions that prevent 3rd party presets), Kit Maker offers a "Numbered Files" format. This is a workaround that creates folders of 16 samples, which are labeled 1-16. Many Samplers allow you to drag and drop the contents of the kit folder which will automatically lay out samples in the correct order (due to the numbering of the filenames). It’s great to have this extra ability to bring the kits into a huge range of software, some of which don’t even have kit presets as a feature, eg, the Koala iOS sampler. 

Supported DAWs and sampler for the "Numbered Files" workaround:

  • Koala Sampler
  • Logic Pro
  • Reason
  • Maschine
  • Bitwig Studio
  • Roland SP-404 MKII
  • Groove Agent SE 5
  • Geist2

Kit Maker looks like it will be staying as a regular part of my workflow. It saves me tons of time and allows me to focus on what really matters - the music.