Where do you get your samples anyways?

What sources do you use? Field recordings mostly? Internet archive? What kind of samples lend themselves best to sampling for musical purposes? Do you ever worry about copyright issues? Do you use popular music? Or mostly use odd sources, say an old news reel? I find myself often confused as where to look. How much manipulation do use?

I haven’t been doing this long enough to give an answer really, but one of the recent samples I used that felt neat to sample and use in a song was something from a demonstration video of the new Novation Bass Station II. It seems to me that videos like that (people testing or demoing new synths) are a good source for interesting sounds.

Because you need to narrow your scope. Think about manipulation later. Now figure out what sample you need. Keep in mind you could want, “a vocal sample, a drum kit, a break beat, the sound of glass breaking against a tile floor.”

In audio production, almost anything and everything is some sort of sample. If you narrow your scope, to the type of project you are making, “dark psy trance, big beat, video game soundtrack, a podcast history of Dr. Martin Luther King,” you will have more of an idea of what you need, because now you are looking for certain samples, for certain things.

If you are making jungle, break beat, and old school hip hop, then you probably want to find whatever record store might still be in business and go crate diving. If you are podcast’ing Dr. King, you may go to internet archives.

However, there are no exact rules. I suppose you could snippet some Malcolm X and come up with a hardcore rave moment.

A great use of breaking glass, that comes to my mind is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P4A1K4lXDo Its the most musical instance of breaking glass, afaik

Here’s to the long version of Stan by Eminem, this is where Dre sampled dido for him, and they made her totally famous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOMhN-hfMtY

Look for a sample that fits a project… You can even start a project off a sample, just be logical. If you are making classical music, than you probably want to shy away from “I’ll Be Back.” via the Terminator. If you are going for what I believe the kids are now calling Trap… Than you just buy those samples from beatport, powerfx, arturia, or native instruments.

For lead sounds I sometimes sample C notes from a soft synth, that way I can manipulate it using renoise glide and vibrato commands and whatnot.
I use freesound.org for ‘cinematic-ish’ samples (bird noises, laughter, dialog, field recordings) Depending on the CC license I will give credit to any sample used. If I sample something that isn’t Creative Commons I’ll pretty much release it anyway without any worry I’ll be prosecuted as I don’t sell any of my music at the moment. I’d still tell people if it’s a sample if they ask. The YouTube to mp3 website is great for preripping great samples, but yeah probably isn’t legal.

For me it’s either competition-packs, other Renoise-songs, ripped snippets from CD’s/MP3:s, sample collections included in magazines, and extremely rarely sounds that I recorded myself.

I’m not too worried about copyright-issues since a) I’m so far from an established musician you can get “the letter b”)* I’m making ZERO money out of it c) I rarely use a complete riff or a longer sample. I guess if someone wants to know I probably couldn’t say where it came from anyway.

  • can’t use a B and a ) without getting an emoticon.

Download any you like sofsynth demo, make sound and sample it. Youtube is good sample source to.

I think it helps to have a working method when it comes to sampling, i.e. what do I need and what can I do myself, what sources will be complimentary to my style or genre of music-making, etc.

For me personally sampling is about accessing sounds, timbres and instruments that I cannot make myself. Guitar is my primary instrument so I never sample guitar parts and always play them myself. If I can imitate other stringed instruments like harp, koto or dulcimer I will try to do that with unusual playing techniques, stompboxes, capo, slide or digital manipulation. Similarly, I have bought licensed copies of FM8 and Battery 3 so I do not generally bother sampling pads/string, bells or other digital / FM synth sounds or individual drum / percussive sounds & kits.

However, I do not currently own or have access to a bass guitar, a real drum kit or any of the other real-world instruments I am particularly fond of such analogue synths, cello / violin, flute, saxophone, etc so I will typically sample breaks and phrases of these instruments to chop and tune them for my own compositions which I add my own content to in the form of guitar, (soft)synths, vocals and so on.

90% of the time I phrase-sample from commercially released CDs I own which I have discovered interesting snippets of through pure serendipity as I find this provides both the best sound quality and the most musically useful / charming elements.

The other 10% of the time I will use individual hits, stabs and tones / waveforms from free sample CDs that come with magazines like Future Music, Music Tech, etc.

I started using hardware samplers back in 1997 because as a guitarist I was disgusted by the artificial nature of drum machines for getting real drum sounds (although I have always loved 808-style analogue drums) and was inspired by a lot of the stuff coming out on Mo’Wax at the time so sampling for me personally is all about found sounds that are part of your own life experience and musical history, so I avoid downloading ready-made sample packs the vast majority of the time.

Each to their own though, this is just my own personal approach.

PS. try this without the space between characters:

b & # 4 1 ;

freesound.org <-- win!

most from magazines I gathered throughout the years and synhts I used to own. Mostly drums. The rest, presets and tweaking synths.

I spent a day recording dolphins recently, i meant to post the recordings here before and forgot, you just reminded me…
that was a fun day.

Get’s my vote for just about the coolest thing, I’ve heard somebody do all year…

Out in the open ocean its very tricky, the boat and the dolphins are always moving making recording difficult.(its also been realised recently that the dolphins have the ability to direct the sound within a 20 degrees radius from the “melon” making it even more difficult),…but for a few days when they came up the river to bunratty we could just dangle the hydrophone off the bridge and watch (and listen) to them feeding. My lecturer said that in all the years of him doing it, it must be the best recordings he ever got…

So the past year I’ve made 90% of my tunes only using Overtune the ultimate sample generator tool for Renoise. :)
So one of the things I really like to do is resample my own loops (I get a lot of xrns where I love the drums and hate the rest, or love one synth line, or whatever - so I render the loop with automatic filenaming, put the BPM in there plus the name of the xrns where it came from so I could alter the bpm if really needed).
like this;


For the rest I sample records sometimes, you can get super cool sounds. Make the cowboy guitar outro of some oldschool dutch song the throughout-sample for a whole new beat. Stuff like that. And sometimes beatbox stuff, little vocal loops that I’m humming while composing (advice: just record that, and put it on top!). And sometimes crazy stuff when I’m out of ideas I just go into the kitchen with mp3 player and record drumhits-to-be with the cups pots n pans.
I also really like “Endtroducing” style vocal samples, but those specific things can be hard to find so I wouldn’t tell you.
About copyright, I do indeed believe that when you give projects away, originators cannot do a lot about it (see the history of the Grey Album) - as long as you’re a ‘smalltime’ producer I think you need to just focus on the music, improve your skills, get shows etc. Really ‘flipping’ the samples somewhat helps a lot. In the end, if you’re making money with it it’s only fair that you share with the people that inspired your track right?

PS where’s the topicstarters own answer? ;)

I think we have sticky threads of sound resources. My sources are vsts from that thread, some puremagnetik things, and whatever stuff ends up in packs at compos I do.

When I was making the last track I made, the Chase was on TV in the background, someone got a question right and I thought the sound for the correct answer would sound good on the track. Usually I just scan through sample packs and try things that grab my attention.

i was gonna reply “your mom moaning” but reaized that it sucked even more than i do… so… :confused:

yeah we have a department in our medical team dedicated to audio samples

I’ve made Hip Hop for a decade, so it’s usually $1 records from the second-hand shops. I’m lazy, so instead of listening to the whole record to find a sound I want, I just record the entire thing into my computer and go through in a WAV editor. Plus, it helps for future sampling, too.

For synth sounds, I almost entirely use Jeskola Buzz synths resampled. I am most comfortable with making sounds on them, know many of them well and have never liked the crazy GUIs I have to deal with when trying to make sounds on VSTIs.

and an XLR cable long enough to reach the kitchen