How to Master the Art of Sampling

Are you into music? Do you produce music or make recordings for musicians and other artists? If so, then you understand what sampling is. For those with a different meaning, the sampling we are discussing here is an art. Steve Howell from Sound On Sound often says that the art of sampling is a way to exploit the original version of music or beats to develop a new record or composition. By sampling, you can come up with something new, or similar to the original version. Sometimes, you may be required to pay a homage fee to the original artist.

Most recordings and compositions you hear have been sampled since most musicians and artists have no time and funds to come up with their beats. The costs of coming up with a new beat are higher compared to sampling, and sometimes competition does not allow such investments. But if you are right in coming up with your content, it is well and good. In the current world, only a small percentage, if any, is original. When sampling, always ensure you have the permission or license from the original composers or creators of the item you need to sample. To master the art of sampling, below are some main techniques you can put into consideration.

1.     Chopping

Chopping method was mostly used in the ’90s to sample hip-hop hits. You need to be a bit knowledgeable about it before use. It involves taking audio and dividing it into smaller parts that can be played in intervals. After this segmentation, you then reconfigure them in a different sequence to come up with a new beat. With chopping, you can completely alter original audio to come up with a completely new version. There are different software and music composition units that can help you come up with good chops to guarantee a total overhaul of original content.

2.     Looping

Looping has been used majorly to sample music and come up with new content. Looping involves taking an audio piece and creates its loop consistently in a rhythmic pattern. Music enthusiasts from always insist that you check for customized loops, samples, one shot, and other high-quality sound packs. With all this, it’s much easier to loop some beats. Looping is still in use nowadays, especially with big recording studios producing mega-hits. They specialize in looping several sections to create a new recording.

3.     Interpolation

Interpolation refers to taking an individual’s audio, then using it to create your music. Sometimes this method does not fit to term as sampling since it does not take the original sound. It is mostly used by singers and hip-hop artists who borrow lines from their fellow musicians for their use in new projects. It can also be used to replay someone’s section and add it to the original composition.

4.     Use of effects

You can use a combination or just one effect to come up with a unique version, utterly different from the original. Using a different combination of effects can give a new meaning to any sample. You only need to master its use. Some of the most common effects in use include delays, distortions, chorus, flanger, and equalizers. You can also apply filters like wide room reverb, tape delay, and high-pass to come up with something better and unique. In fact, you can even interchange instruments. For example, you can use a piano instead of a guitar to come up with fresh, new content.

5.     Time stretching samples

With this trick, you can lower or increase the original version’s speed to come up with a unique recording. You can confuse someone listening to the recording and fail to connect it with the original version. You can also use the double-timing technique, which completely alters the beats and makes the audio sound different from the original.

6.     Reversing the original sample

This technique completely alters the original version. By playing the original version backward, you can come up with a new record that might be difficult for anyone to guess if it’s sampled. Reversing completely changes the melodies and rhythms, and it does not require much expertise. According to Rebecca from ReverbNation, you can start with a piano cord, modify it, and then come up with something different. By so doing, you come up with something new that can’t get you sued.

This article has combined some of the tips you can use to master the art of sampling. You can also check out others, including playing with pitch, use of layering, and even the mix and match methods.  You can use the above to come up with unique, new music or beats. You don’t need to sit and wait to sample something out of nowhere, put this into consideration, and you will be amazed by your level of sampling.

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