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Q: Is it possible to extract the samples contained within Decent Sampler instruments?

Occasionally, users will reach out and ask me whether it’s possible to extract the samples contained in a Decent Sampler library. One common use-case for this is users who want to use the samples with a hardware sampler such as an MPC or an SP-404. Anyway, the answer to the question is that in some cases it’s possible and in others it is not.

Me: “Are you sure you really want to do this?”

Before we go into the details of when it’s possible, it’s worth mentioning that a Decent Sampler instrument is usually much more than just a collection of samples: a creator of a library will often have made use of creative layering techniques as well as onboard effects, both of which play a huge part in producing the distinctive sound of a library. This means that the only reliable way of getting the intended sound of a library is to actually use the output from DecentSampler as your sound. This doesn’t mean that you are out of luck if you want to use these sounds with a hardware sampler. You can always load DecentSampler up in your DAW of choice, play a bunch of long notes, and then export the audio out from that session. This will often yield better sound than if you were to just go directly into the sample library and grab the underlying samples.

You: “OK, but I still want to do it!”

So, assuming that you really do want to grab the underlying audio files, here’s what you need to know. First, if the sample library is a commercial release and copy-protected then you are out of luck: the underlying wave files will all encrypted and the only thing that can decrypt them is the DecentSampler plugin itself. In such cases, the only thing that you can do is go into your favorite DAW, play any notes you might want to have as audio files, and export out the audio from that DAW session. This is always my preferred way of operating anyway.

If the library is not copy protected, then you should definitely be able to get at the underlying samples. In fact, it’s pretty easy. There are two formats that DecentSampler libraries come in:

  1. If you are presented with a .dsbundle file, this is really just a directory. If you are on Windows or Linux, you should be able to just look inside that directory and find the sample files. If you are on Mac, this file will show up as a “package.” To get access to it, find the file in the Finder, hold down the Control key, and then click on the file: a context menu will pop up, from which you should select Show Package Contents. From this point on, the .dsbundle file will be presented to you just like any other folder…and somewhere in that folder you will find the raw audio files. The exact location will be different for every library.
  2. If you are presented with a .dslibrary file, then you will need to decompress it. In reality, .dslibrary files are simply .zip files, and if you change their extension from .dslibrary to .zip you should be able to decompress the library just as you would any other .zip file. Within the directory structure that gets created, you should be able to find a folder that contains your samples.

That’s it! Hope this was helpful.

– Dave

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