Advancements in music technology throughout the years have grafted powerful tools into the hands of musicians, producers, engineers and songwriters across the globe. Of those tools available to us, one is a plethora of samples, loops, textures and sounds, giving us the ability to draw inspiration, create, write and even piece together entire musical experiences. Yet, if everyone is using the same loops and samples, we will all just end up sounding the same! In this blog I’d like to suggest some creative approaches to using loops and sample packs.
Loops can be a fantastic place to start a song, some like to start from the rhythm, others like to build on a chord progression – whatever way you like to work, it is important to find a create flow in the way that best suits you. Loops and samples can also be fantastic tools to add those extra textures that you’ve been searching for.
A mix engineer friend of mine once told me; if you have a great library of samples, take them all and reverse them, you have then effectively doubled your sample library within a few clicks and created a new bank of sounds that could be implemented into your songs.
Let’s use an example of a song that has taken over the charts worldwide, and is still a top 10 tune today, after its release in July 2011. I am of course referring to ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye, featuring Kimbra.
Gotye is an artist who builds much of his sound through recording live textures, and using existing music to chop together samples that can be employed into his track, sound familiar? When you break it down, his track “Somebody” is built around very few well selected and arranged parts, opening with a nylon acoustic guitar sample, taken from Luiz Bonfa, that progresses until the completion of the track, and if you have not already recognized it; the melody from the children’s nursery rhyme ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’…
What I want to draw from this example is; to approach the loops and samples that you use in a creative way: edit, chop, filter, pitch shift, bit crush, reverse, trigger, re amp, compress, delay and even create melodies that don’t already exist in the initial sample – these are only a few approaches you can take to help aid you in your music production endeavors through the use of loops and samples!
Categories: Working with Samples