For any budding producer there are many elements that need to develop into the roots of your production process, skills that you often understand the principles of, have heard executed with seismic results, but have yet to fully embrace, either through fear of failure or ignorance of its value. Often you’re left wondering why your peers and those you aspire to emulate always seem to have the upper hand creatively, what is it they are doing differently? Could it be a Sample? Chances are the answer is yes, however try not to get fixated on the holy grail of samples, The Vocal Hook from an obscure 70’s 12″ found in your local Oxfam thats crying out for an EDM make over, sampling goes much deeper than this. Take the humble kick drum from your prized 70’s Oxfam bargain, it is has most likely been engineered and mastered by and on equipment that you’ll never gain access to, and as good as your latest tape emulation plug in is, truth is it is no match for the unique sound of those traditional processes. Its subtleties such as these that can bring your music alive, give it character, set it apart from everything you’ve done before and therefore learning How To Sample is a crucial skill to understand and embrace.

How To Sample

The following video’s are a collection of tutorials that we have personally watched and the techniques discussed applied in our own productions. Hopefully you will find the content as creatively inspiring as we did and that the music you visualise writing starts to finally emerge from the shadows of your own frustration.

Video 1 – Sampling from Vinyl via Pointblank Online Music College
In this video Pointblank tutor Ski Oakenful produces a killer loop from vinyl samples only, all of which he rips and manipulates live. Whilst technically this video was recorded to showcase Ableton’s Push 2 controller it is still a must watch for anyone just starting out or in need of sampling inspiration. Skills demonstrated:

    • Where to find samples
    • Creating a Beat & Bassline
    • Creating a Synth line
    • Cropping, Slicing, Time Stretching and manipulating envelopes
    • Applying LFO filter effect + Delay
    • Programming a live sequence

Video 2 – Chopping Samples (Ableton)

Like video one the presenter demonstrates how to chop a beat, however in this example there is a bit more detail in how to warp and chop the beat up. Admittedly on occasion the presenter has a habit of talking utter rubbish, however if you can ignore this you’ll pick up some good tips from this video. Skills Demonstrated:

    •  Cropping, Slicing & Warping a Beat
    • Recording a live beat and using Quantize to correct the timing.
    • How to centre a sampled instrument that was originally panned.

Video 3 – How to sample a whole Loop

Unlike in the previous two videos where the various samples have been chopped into virtually unrecognisable pieces the presenter demonstrates how a couple of classic tracks were created from whole loops. These loops are classic examples of the ‘Holy Grail of Samples’ mentioned in our intro.

These video’s are just a starting point and there are many more like them if you need to delve deeper.

Related Posts

How To – Achieve that award winning Arrangement
How To – SampleCreate the Perfect Kick Drum