Using/Making Samples

When I started of producing music, I looked at samples as if it was cheating. It felt like assembling prefabricated components that other people provided the talent for and that I was just the guy glueing it all together. As I put more and more hours into producing, I realised how invaluable a tool samples are. I also realised that it wasn't just all about putting someone's vocals on another person's guitar all over a drum loop, where my only input would be mixing and mastering, no, it is truly an art, here is a video that will prove it:


If you even watch the first few minutes of this video, you will see how The Prodigy took samples and tweaked, changed and truly recreated each one to make one of their greatest songs of all time, "Voodoo People".

These are the videos that are truly inspiring, don't watch a Martin Garrix video where it was all presets and easy Bigroom House, watch the industry geniuses at work. I have learned so much from even just this video alone and am glad to pass it on to anyone that cares, all credit of course goes to the video maker and The Prodigy but I hope it is informative and inspiring.

Now, how to make samples.

Like presets, the samples you use can define you, I'm not talking about the "drop samples" used before a big drop as these are overused movie samples or the Pryda Snare (check the link out if this is unfamiliar), I'm talking about the basis of the song. An example is the kick drum. You can synthesize your kick, you can use a drum machine or, you can sample it. I recommend knowing how to do all three (my test of a VST synth is how easy it is to make a rough kick drum sound). Most people will start of using VST drum machines/synths that require little tweaking and editing. Others will go straight to lifting kicks they like and either works well when done correct.

There are many free (and costly) sample packs online but why always go for them? There are samples all around you...for FREE!!!

The best example is the other day, I sneezed in my brother's bedroom and as it is quite a bare room, it had a bizarre reverb which I really liked. This prompted me to record myself clapping and the resulting reverb tail. As I edited out the clap, leaving the reverb tail, I managed to get a really cool sound and with some editing and a sampler, made a really cool instrument. This prompted me to write this post.

If you make a cool synth preset, try rendering a few of the notes it makes, or maybe even a phrase. Now you have a sample that's tranferrable to any song you do and if you don't share it, unique to you.

Every sound is a sample and the best (AKA my favourite) example of that is here below:



We are done making our samples, where can we find free ones?

This is probably the best place to start, get a hard drive and download any one of these 148 sample collections to start off your sample library

ONE MORE ESSENTIAL TIP

MAKE SURE ALL YOUR SAMPLES GET SAVED INTO A LOCATION YOU ARE HAPPY WITH, IF YOU CHANGE THE LOCATION AFTER USING THE SAMPLES IN A PROJECT, YOUR DAW MAY NOT BE ABLE TO LOCATE THEM AGAIN!!!