Introduction to Music Production 9 – Sampling Audio
Sampling audio has been a touchy subject in the music production industry, but without it we wouldn’t have hip hop, electronic music, and much more. Sampling gets a bad reputation because the process is using either packs of samples or recordings of music samples in place of creating and recording pieces for production.
In reading that statement, it may sound like sampling isn’t an original way to produce, but it’s quite the contrary. In my own opinion, it’s a re-imagination of the sounds. Now, I wouldn’t recommend going out, buying a sample pack, making a song and calling it your own, but using samples can really add positive elements to your music!
Going back to hip hop, the process of sampling helped create the genre. The samples were taken from funk records. Initially, the DJs would play the breaks of the funk records back to back, and MCs would hype up the crowd (which became free-styling) over it.
If you’re more interested in the emergence of hip hop, check out Hip-Hop Evolution.
Let’s talk about ways to find and procure samples, and what we can do with them.
You can record, download, and create your own samples.
Recording samples can include, but is not limited to, field recording (recording audio outside), recording records, and synthesizing sounds to resample to audio.
You can find free samples for download on FreeSound, though you may find sample packs for purchase on various websites.
With those samples, you can chop them up and sequence them to create beats, melodies, and other musical elements. You can change the pitches, add effects, and use more complex samplers to change the samples from their original forms. You can even sample a sound and oscillate it to create a new synthesized sound.
Sampling certainly has its place in music production, even if it does get some bad comments sometimes.