What is the right audio format for me?

Sample and loop packs are usually organized into several categories like the musical genre, the producing label or almost most importantly the audio format. We often receive emails from customers who are not sure which audio format will work with their music software and quite frankly, the whole format issue can be very annoying and misleading.

Naturally these formats were developed out of different needs and operating systems. This is why we now have the standard Windows format called WAV and the Apple pendant called AIF or AIFF. But today it doesn’t even matter because audio tools on both Mac and PC will work with WAV and AIFF. So if you’re a Mac user you can still work with WAV files without any problems – they’re basically the same anyway.

When it comes to loops you might have heard of ACID Loops and Apple Loops, both offering extended functionality by being able to time-stretch the file by keeping the key and tempo. Again, almost all popular audio tools will work with these formats which are very handy when you’re adding loops into your songs. These flexible loops originated from the REX format which was developed by Propellerheads, the company behind Reason. Although REX is fairly old it is still extremely popular for loops and allows for even better time-stretching. Not all audio tools can process REX files but most major ones do.

So these are the typical audio formats of a modern sample pack. Again, it doesn’t really matter if you’re on a Mac or PC, simply refer to the specifications of your audio software of choice for compatibility issues.

And what about mp3? Well, professional sample packs are never available in mp3 format since it is a compressed format and doesn’t offer the same high quality WAV and AIFF files do. And imagine producing a song with mp3 sounds which are then in the end compressed into an mp3 song again. I don’t even want to know how that would sound : )

In case you haven’t seen it yet, we also have a nice little glossary with all formats and relevant terms explained.

In addition we just added a “ask a question” tab for each product where you can simply drop us a quick message regarding a product.

 

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