You probably already know that one can never have enough audio samples and loops as a music producer.
You're more likely to find the exact sound you want for your track when you have a big selection of quality samples in your library.
Dance music production styles such as hip-hop, house, trance, drum & bass, dubstep, pop, electro and the hundreds of other dance genres rely heavily on the use of loops and single shot samples.
Find out below how to stock your personal sample library well so you'll have the sounds you need to complete your productions with ease.
Now, the thing to remember with samples is that there are samples and then there are samples. More about this further below.
But first, let's clear up a contentious topic...
"Whoa! Hold up! Isn't Using Samples and Loops Cheating?"
Short answer: Using samples and loops as a music producer isn't cheating. In fact, it's common practice among most producers. Which samples and loops you use and how you use them is however important to consider.
This is understandably a question that newer producers may have at some stage in their music producer journey.
not uncommon to start your first productions only with loops because
it's one of the easiest ways to get a track going when you don't know
much about MIDI, synth programming and sound design yet. Working with loops is a simple drag and drop operation.
It's not only newer producers who use loops and samples for music production...
"Do Most Producers Use Samples and Loops?"
Short answer: Mostly yes. Some people are however puritans and may frown upon the use of samples and loops in music production. It's a personal and artistic choice but using samples and loops is pretty much standard-practice, especially in dance music, hip-hop, EDM and other electronic music genres.
So, yes, many, if not most, top professionals use them although they may use it differently than a beginner would.
Rather than just throwing in a loop as is, for example, they may use a loop as a kind of template to build a groove around. This is done by writing parts under the loop or extracting the groove from the loop to MIDI. They may even remove the original loop from the track completely at some stage.
Alternatively, they may take a loop and chop it or mangle it with processing to a point where it's almost unrecognizable from it's own original state. This is more like a process of sound design where loops and samples can be used as sources to create totally new sounds and effects.
Layering samples under real instruments has also pretty much become a standard practice in pop and rock music production.
So, no, using samples and loops isn't cheating. Pretty much everyone does it, including the pros!
OK, with that out of the way, let's look at 3 ways you can grow your own collection of samples and loops...
Where Can I Get Samples and Loops?
There are 3 main ways you can get new samples and loops into your library:
- Make your own samples and loops
- Purchase high quality samples from a retailer
- Grab free samples online
Below you'll discover the main advantages and drawbacks of each method.