How to Use Your Own Drum Samples in Stagelight

Open Labs offer first party drum samples for Stagelight in various music genres. There are some good ones like Analog Drums, if you like that type of sound. But, sometimes you want to use your own sounds for the sake of originality or because you are familiar with certain samples from your collection.

Luckily, you can do just that without too much hassle.

Unlike Audio Tracks, there’s no button to import your own samples in the Drum Track. That means that there’s a bit of preparation work involved, but as you are about to see, not too much.

If you did your research and browsed Open Lab’s website, you may have found the information about using your own samples in Stagelight’s Drum track.

But, did you know that you can go a step further and organize those samples?

Copying Your Samples

Copy your samples to:

  • C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Open Labs Library\Drum Kits
  • Macintosh HD > Users > Shared > Open Labs Library > Drum Kits
  • Internal Storage\OpenLabsLibrary\Drum Kits

Now, if you launch Stagelight, open the Drum Track, expand the sidebar, click the cog icon and select Change Sound you’ll see your new samples listed.

That’s great, but you’ll also notice that there is no filtering for your new samples which makes them harder to locate, unless you know the exact sample name.

Here we come to the next step that I was talking about.

Drum Sample Filters

To organize samples, Stagelight uses XML, a simple text format that can be edited in any text editor like Notepad, Notepad++ or Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code.

The XML code is saved with a sad extension. If you browse to the aforementioned location with your drum samples, you’ll find a .sad file next to samples from each factory drum kit that you own.

This is an example of a simple TR-808 drum kit XML:

  <File FileName="kick.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Kicks" />
  <File FileName="snare.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Snares" />
  <File FileName="closed-hat.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Hats" />
  <File FileName="open-hat.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Hats" />
  <File FileName="cymbal.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Cymbals" />
  <File FileName="tom.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Toms" />
  <File FileName="cowbell.wav" Pack="TR-808" Genre="Electro" InstrumentType="Percussion" />

The entire code is enclosed in a StagelightFiles tag. Inside are definitions for the Filename, Pack, Genre and Instrument Type. Each line is for one sample. If you have a kit with 10 samples, you need to have 10 lines of code excluding the opening and closing tags.

You can copy and paste the example above in your text editor and edit only the parts inside the double-quotes.

Stagelight supports 7 instrument types, that’s why this example TR-808 kit has 7 samples, one each for every instrument type, but you can add as many samples as you need.

After you are done with editing the code save it with the .sad extension in the same folder as your samples. Don’t use MS Word or Libre Office for this because they will add their own formatting which will mess up your code.

Re-launch Stagelight and you’ll see you drum samples neatly organized and ready for your next groove.

You are now free to load your own samples and create new Drum Kits that you can then save from within Stagelight.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.