Making Good Samples

I’m not a noob when it comes to sampling, but lately frustratingly varying sample levels in my tunes have forced me to seriously consider refining and systematizing my approach.

For such a simple request in google there is a headache inducing amount of useless and irrelevant info.
Can someone suggest some good concise resources regarding desirable input levels and normalization strategies for making samples?

Or if you are feeling especially nice, you could just answer my questions and save me time.

If it helps I’m primarily using Sound Forge 8.

What is the peak level I want to see when recording a sample?

What settings should I use when normalizing (in soundforge), (and lets assume there aren’t any severe peaks)?

Sampling is not that hard. I do not know how to turn on a monitor-view in Soundforge but usually, sampling programs show you, when a sound begins to clip.

So, try to monitor the sound and while you do that, change the volume until the sound is at least at 75% of the available scale.

After that, you can simply normalize the sample to 0db or 100%. Some people might also tell you that you should compress or EQ the sample but I do not like the idea to change a “natural” sound in the raw form. EQing should be done in the song IMHO.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2…l_basics_4.html

Thanks. I believe Ctrl+r opens the meter/recording window in sound forge.

I’m used to working with analog equipment in terms of setting levels.
From what I have read, on digital equipment my recording input levels should be around -3db.

Should the samples final db level be close to 0 or should it be less (I have seen different figures given including 0)?

It seems like distortion is introduced when I normalize a sample to 0db.
I have also seen a figure of -3db suggested…

What’s best?