How to Avoid Sounding Like Everyone Else While Still Making Creative Use of Sample Packs

How to Avoid Sounding Like Everyone Else While Still Making Creative Use of Sample Packs

A word of warning: to say that the world of sample packs is large would be an understatement... You may get virtually any sound you can think of by downloading one of the many free sample packs that are accessible online.

Create the next big hit with our library that has over two million exclusive and royalty-free hooks, loops, FX, voices, rhythms, and more to choose from.

Samples have also become an essential component of music creation as the number of individuals creating music digitally has increased. Unfortunately, Samples continue to have a poor name in the industry...

Some producers are of the opinion that you should only be able to work with sounds that were recorded from physical instruments. Which is not at all a problem! An amazing and satisfying experience is obtained via the process of recording one's own audio using one's own recording equipment.

However, doing so eliminates an infinite number of opportunities for creative expression. Sampling is helpful to all producers, regardless of the musical genre in which they are working.

In this post, I will demonstrate how sampling may include much more than simply dragging and dropping sounds into a track, as well as how to create your own samples using approaches that are straightforward yet highly effective.

The following is a list of creative methods that will assist you in getting the most out of your sample packs and making your sound distinctive regardless of where the source material originated from.

Sampling is helpful to all producers, regardless of the musical genre in which they are working.

1. Apply various effects to your samples through manipulation

Using various audio effects to mold samples is the most straightforward and easiest method of creatively utilizing samples. Even the most basic effects, like as reverb, delay, or tremolo, may help open up your samples and give them a sound that is more similar to your own.

Since there are an infinite number of permutations for applying effects to samples, I won't go into too much detail here.

However, loading your samples (particularly loops and beats) into your digital audio workstation (DAW), constructing a straightforward effects chain using your preferred virtual studio technology (VST), and adjusting to taste will encourage you to explore some exciting new ways with the rest of your samples and tracks.

You may also make your samples sound more integrated into the music you've already begun by adding effects. Conflicting characteristics in individual samples can frequently lead them to stand out in a mix.

If you are utilizing samples to help fill out some of your other recordings, employing comparable effects while mixing with samples will help you glue everything together and make it seem more cohesive.

2. Play Your Samples Through Various Virtual Studio Technology Samplers

There is a good reason why samplers continue to be the go-to hardware instruments at the center of the majority of recording studios: they enable you to take samples and simply sequence them into loops, apply your own audio effects chains, time stretch, chop, and do everything else that makes samplers exciting.

On the other hand, certain sampler plugins can provide you with all of the same sampling options in your DAW at a price that is far more affordable than that of traditional hardware samplers.

The majority of digital audio workstations come pre-packaged with their very own sampler modules. However, if you are looking for the optimal sampling process, working with sampler VSTs is one way that you should consider taking.

Working with a separate sampler VST has several advantages, like the simplification of the process of tuning ADSR envelopes, faster filtering, pitching, and MIDI controller mapping, to mention a few.

3. Combine your samples with different bespoke kits.

Your samples don't have to fend for themselves all the time. Make something completely original with them by utilizing them as construction components.

What does it sound like when a synth one hit blast is overlaid with a bass? Or a drum that has a FX effect stacked on top of it?

Changing the personality of your samples and locating the ideal sound may be accomplished in the quickest and most efficient manner by layering them. There are occasions when samples are almost exactly what you want but not quite. The use of layers is helpful in getting there.

You may effortlessly layer samples with plugins like Ableton's Impulse and NI Battery, and you can fast construct melodic and percussive patterns using these plugins.

Layering many kicks on top of one another to produce a sound that is both deeper and fuller is a frequent way to employ bespoke drum kits. Find a sample that has some punch, one that has some body, and one that has some powerful low-end, and then see how they interact with one another.

Layering is a fantastic technique that can be utilized in a variety of different ways to add some depth to your sound and transform a "ok" sample into the ideal sound for your mix.

4. Cut your loops and single strikes into smaller pieces.

Along with one shots and single hits, the very greatest sample packs always include loops in their contents.

Synth and bass loops are often the most frequently used loops. They need to come with a key to work with and a BPM to adjust, which will make them wonderful beginning places for tunes that you create.

However, just because there is a loop included in your sample pack does not imply that you are required to utilize it in its original form.

You may try slicing and rearranging your loops to create something new by using the editing tools in your DAW, the sampler plugins, or the sampling hardware. Alternatively, you can use sounds from numerous loops that have the same key or BPM to build your own unique sequences.

Consider your loops to be a beginning point rather than an end result when writing code for them. Construct your own original loops and come up with something more original rather than using the same sample as everyone else.

5. Resample the Loops

Resampling is a simple method that may be used to give your samples a more personal touch.

Resampling may be accomplished in a variety of ways, but one of the simplest is to change the input setting on a new audio track to Resampling.

Put a MIDI track and an audio track next to each other in your digital audio workstation.
Make sure that 'Resampling' is selected as the input type for your audio track. Start recording on the MIDI Track as well as the Audio Track (holding command or control allows you to start recording on several tracks at once).

The audio that is being played back on your device, along with any effects that you decide to add to it during resampling, will be recorded to the new audio channel that you have created. Utilizing various editing tools and audio effects, you are free to manipulate the newly recorded audio anyway you see fit.

The primary benefit of utilizing resampling as opposed to merely adding effects to MIDI is the ability to choose how much of the sample is affected by the effect, as well as the ability to make changes to many tracks simultaneously without affecting the track that was initially recorded.

For instance, if you wanted to modify the resonance of simply the end of a sample, you could do so by resampling a loop and adjusting the resonance towards the conclusion of the clip. Any modifications that you make will be recorded into the audio track that has been armed.

After then, the new recording may be altered or run through even additional effects as you see fit, and none of those processes will have any impact on the original track.

6. Use a filter to remove impurities from samples or to alter their nature

If you begin the process of working with your samples by applying a basic high-pass, low-pass, or band-pass filter, it will be easier for you to clean up your samples and get rid of any excess noise, clicks, or pops.

You may fit your samples within the frequency information that is already there in your track by using quick filtering, which can also aid you.

The overall personality of a sample may be completely transformed with some inventive EQing.

The overall personality of a sample may be completely transformed with some inventive EQing.

Making your loops and shots more distinctive and adaptable may be accomplished by isolating the higher-level information from a sample and then layering it with information from other samples. This approach is extremely useful for adding texture to drum recordings, and it works quite well to do so.

Try using some basic filtering techniques first before getting too detailed with your equalization settings. Allow your filters to unearth sounds and tonalities that you perhaps did not hear in the source sample.

If you have samples that you would want to use but aren't wild about specific frequencies, you may apply a high-pass or low-pass filter to the sample in the appropriate manner to eliminate any undesirable information.

For instance, a sample of a stringed ensemble may provide information in the lower frequencies that you simply do not want because you have already arranged the bassline and kick correctly.

To keep your mix from becoming muddy, you should just filter out the low end.

7. Make use of the ADSR Envelopes.

Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release is an abbreviation for ADSR.

These controls can be found in some built-in plugins in your DAW, as well as in VSTs, hardware synthesizers, and samplers. You may provide a sample or sound with its own distinct personality by modifying them in this way.

The vast majority of digital audio workstations (DAWs) and sampler plugins come equipped with capabilities that allow you to apply ADSR to your samples. For instance, Ableton's simpler gives you the ability to quickly and easily adjust the ADSR envelope of your samples.

Simply drag and drop the sample you want to use into the plug-in, and then make adjustments to the parameters along the bottom of the ADSR envelope to create the sound you want.

Simply altering a couple of the envelope's properties can make your sample match your composition slightly better. This can be accomplished by "tweaking the envelope."

8. EQ The Samples

You may clean up samples that may have clicks or pops at the beginning of the sample, as well as decay tails that are too lengthy, by adjusting the envelope. This is in addition to the fact that adjusting the envelope is an excellent way to change the character of your sound.

9. Transform your audio into MIDI format.

You want to develop something around your samples, but you don't know where to start. To get started, use programs that can convert audio to MIDI to convert your sample into MIDI data.

When working with samples, bouncing audio to MIDI might be helpful since it allows you to go backwards from your samples to arrange other portions of the song.

Melodyne is an excellent program for converting audio to MIDI and vice versa. The notes that are found in the audio are extracted by its algorithm and saved as MIDI files, which you can then quickly load into the MIDI tracks of your digital audio workstation.

In order to obtain more precise results, it even gives you the option to choose the type of audio that your clip contains (percussive, melodic, etc.). That's quite sweet!

For instance, you may use Melodyne to locate the individual notes that are part of a looping tune. The MIDI file should be copied to a new MIDI track, and then a good Bass VST should be assigned to the notes. You should now have a bassline to work with, which has been constructed based on the notes that were present in the first melodic loop.

By bouncing audio to MIDI, you may let your samples direct your workflow and the arrangements you create in a speedy and efficient manner.

If you are using Ableton, there is a function that converts audio to MIDI that is already built in. The results that you get from Melodyne and the algorithm that Ableton uses can be different. After you have bounced your MIDI clips from the audio of your samples, they will always require some cleanup regardless of the program that you use.

By bouncing audio to MIDI, you may let your samples direct your workflow and the arrangements you create in a speedy and efficient manner.

Star Samples offers sounds that are not subject to royalties.

Create the next big hit with a library that has over two million exclusive and royalty-free hooks, loops, FX, voices, rhythms, and more to choose from.

10: Stretch your samples over time

When working with samples, time stretching is a very straightforward strategy to take. The most important thing is to locate a time stretch process that is suitable for your needs and to acquire the appropriate instruments that will enable you to obtain the results you want from extending your samples.

The majority of digital audio workstations contain their very own onboard time stretch tools. Any audio may be instantaneously transformed into a thick and low-tempo version of itself by using the time stretch effect. Alternately, transform a drum break that is languid and loping into one that has an energetic pulse.

The virtual instruments and effects that I discussed earlier are particularly helpful for anybody who is interested in generating trap music or hip-hop, but the qualities that they offer are valuable for composing music in any genre.

Give It a Shot
It is important to keep in mind that utilizing samples does not always mean organizing recorded sounds by just dragging and dropping them into a track.

You can get ideas from the entire universe of incredible, high-quality sounds that are available online without the need to pay royalties, and you may utilize such sounds as starting points rather than your final sound. Check our website!

Have fun making music!

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