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Overcoming the fear of...SAMPLING!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Overcoming the fear of...SAMPLING!
DT
Good evening folks,
let me say the title is meant to be a bit funny but I really have a problem with sampling sometimes.

I do have a moniker where it's all about sampling but the 'style' of music I released thru this project is not really my thing at the end of the day.
It was meant exactly to approach sampling but at the same time being "masked" behind an anonymous identity.

I don't know how you feel about sampling, if you use samples from other people's music and how you use them.
I sometime sample myself, from old tunes but I really CAN'T think of releasing a track where I sampled someone else's work.
I know it's a mental block and / or limit , whatever.

Is there anybody here who has or had in the past the same problem?
I think if I would start sampling, my music could become more diverse and, maybe, even more "musical" and interesting.

Hopefully this thread doesn't sound too fucked up / stupid

Cheers guys!
CJ Miller
I have always had a difficult relationship with sampling. The main way that I have been able to use it is as combination of found sound ambiance and wavetable like textures. Small bits of sound as just waveform data, and longer pieces as soundscape. I can't find any context for sampled instruments.

An exception to this is when I get far too hung up on programming and sound design. Then I sometimes will force myself to just pick *A* sound as a placeholder so I can move on.

Since I love words and voice, sometimes I might include some speech to a track which for me is relevant to the themes. But I need to be judicious about this, to avoid being the 10,000th person to add "character" by using samples from Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction, etc.

On the back burner right now are a few projects by which I am hoping to design my own kind of sampler, to better suit the way I work.
phase ghost
Depends how you utilize the sample. I enjoy and buy quite a bit of sample heavy music (mostly house). However, it's not my cup of tea in the studio, aside from cutting out some drum elements here and there.

I like to use samples in ways that mangle it until the original source is unknown. Slow it way down, resample, loop small parts, send through reverb, do more shit to it. Rinse and repeat.

Not really a sampler, but my field recorder is probably the last thing I'd sell out of all my gear. So much shit out there to record and re-purpose. Just last night I was cooking and some water spilled over onto the burner. Thought it sounded cool and got the recorder out. Chopped it up into some pretty sweet sounding hi-hats.
DT
Nice one guys thanks.

I'm using the field recorder myself too and find it very useful when it comes to record 'real' sounds and transforming them into something more detailed or musical.

But my question was more about sampling old records.

I think about Flying Lotus, Four Tet or Burial.
The way they sample is free and limitless.
If I would do that I would feel a bit guilty maybe?
Fu**, don't know why.

It's a kind of mental blockage which I want to overcome but honestly don't know how.
Ideas?
en.
interesting thread
personally i started with heavy sampled music (hip hop) where we used to sample every single bit of our instrumentals, even the single hi-hat from a breakbeat (at that time with an Amiga and a diy sampler) it was fun.
then we "discovered" drum machines, grooveboxes and also acoustic instruments, with which we could create our own melodies and have a more range of tweakable sounds, it was fun.
then "discovered" the beauty of synthesis and the art of creating all our timbres starting from scratch, i can't even use a preprogrammed drum machine (see TR- etc...) and even less any preset sound without itching... that's why i'm here and still having a lot of fun. smile

this is just my personal path... i still find some sampled music VERY interesting and stimulating — especially when it sounds better (subjctv) than the original! Rockin' Banana!
tIB
Im crap with sampling, I tend to use them only for live sample manipulation of what Im working with. I've tried going at things in different directions but never really manage it, once again Im toying with selling my octatrack since I rarely use it for anything other than grabbing what Im working with and spitting it back in a different way. Thing is I always intend to do something with accoustic drum hits but never seem to get around to putting the leg work in.
jmcecil
I really like additive, wavetable scrolling and granular synthesis. So, when I sample, I like to get real world sounds ... bells, wind chimes, murmuring from a coffee shop, traffic etc... the typical stuff. But, then instead of using the sounds hole sale, use them as the Oscillator. But, go back and forth between pitched and unpitched usage. for example, you can take that coffee shop babbling and granularize it into a pitched keyboard sound, then hold a note and let it slow down into the actual sound.

but, I rarely like stuff that is really stolen riff oriented. I detest pretty much every "remix" I've ever heard. So, sampling to me is about sound creation, not a song basis.
AsylumSeaker
I find there's a big difference in creative feel between using a pre-prepared sample from a sample pack versus hearing something interesting somewhere and cutting it out and processing it myself.
stk
Personally I don't really go for sampling in my own music (sampling music, that is, found sounds are welcome). Only cos it's nothing I've ever really gotten into from a compositional perspective.

That said, I dig a lot of sample-based music. You mention flying lotus & burial - with roots in hip hop neither would have the slightest guilt in sampling riffs and motifs from others (nor should they, imo).

I reckon the the test of worth for sample based music is "is it at least as good, if not better than the original"? By all means, sample Miles, but you better be able to back that shit up with some serious skill.
polyroy
I mainly use sampling for drums, cutting up breaks or just using individual hits from bits and bobs. Rarely from actual tunes though, mostly sample packs etc but hacked up into many pieces. I don't have any interest in using loops.

I avoid sampling pieces from tracks to use as a basis for an entire track. I don't have any kind of problem with it and I've got a lot of respect for what people can do with making tunes just from samples, but I just prefer to make all my sounds from scratch with synths. I think a lot of sampling (especially in the hip hop world) comes from crate digging etc and I'm not a DJ in the slightest.

I'll also use samples for soundscapes, but the source material is usually unrecognizable once I've finished with it. I should experiment more with recording stuff and fucking about with it, but I need to pick up a cheap mic first.
Smokey
I use extensive use of sampling in my music. Every composition uses samples. My two main sample sources are vinyl and myself.

I’ve been collecting vinyl for about 15 years or so, particularly interested in private press, educational/informational, library, exotica, childrens, novelty, non-western music, ect… about 80% of those records are dollar bin finds.

I would feel “guilty” about using someone else’s music for my sampling if I were to lift hooks, beat loops, vox, ect… without modifying them at all. Part of my fun is turning the source material into something unrecognizable. I believe Flying Lotus and Four Tet, who you mention, work with samples in a similar fashion. Give me a stack of vinyl, my Octatrack, and a month and I will make an album out of it. It’s a bit of a game for me.

But then again, I came from a punk rock background that was all about using shit that others were throwing away.

Take my words with a grain of salt though… I’ve never “professionally” released anything so my sampling hasn’t been scrutinized too much.

I wouldn’t worry about it too much during the music making process. You can always replace the samples that appear to be too obvious.
en c rmato
I had the same problem for years(feeling guilty with sampling) but one day i realized that music from some of my favorite artists was sample based,i changed my mind...Now i tend to use 20% samples(other artists,field recordings,some hits like snares...)20% of ableton's instruments and 60% of hardwear recordings....Sampling is a great tool!!
AsylumSeaker
Hip hop obviously kicked off the modern trend of sampling pieces of recordings, but in a sense it goes back further than that in the 'sampling' of melodies and progressions and motifs and such. Mikhail Glinka, for example, made extensive use of bits and pieces he knew from Russian folk music, and this set a trend in the Russian tradition, and similar things happened elsewhere as well with the appropriation of things from one genre to another. I'll often hear a combination of notes somewhere and replicate it using a different instrument to fit it into something of my own and I think of this as basically a kind of sampling.
beyourdog
DT wrote:
Good evening folks,
let me say the title is meant to be a bit funny but I really have a problem with sampling sometimes.

I do have a moniker where it's all about sampling but the 'style' of music I released thru this project is not really my thing at the end of the day.
It was meant exactly to approach sampling but at the same time being "masked" behind an anonymous identity.

I don't know how you feel about sampling, if you use samples from other people's music and how you use them.
I sometime sample myself, from old tunes but I really CAN'T think of releasing a track where I sampled someone else's work.
I know it's a mental block and / or limit , whatever.

Is there anybody here who has or had in the past the same problem?
I think if I would start sampling, my music could become more diverse and, maybe, even more "musical" and interesting.

Hopefully this thread doesn't sound too fucked up / stupid

Cheers guys!


I dont't think there is any worries with sampling anybody's stuff as long as you mention the sources when you push up a musical release...

Makes me think of this documentary form the 80s where the guys samples everything and their music is only samples from day to day life...
adamon
Just starting to dabble in the world of sampling here, but I too have had a bit of an aversion to the idea of sampling others work.

I definitely don't have anything against it; if anything it's a fear that I could never do the original artists intent justice.

With that said, I ultimately just have more motivation for exploring sounds of my own creation and experiences. I'm definitely on a fling for more experimental stuff at this point, but I've already been amazed at just how cool some natural, unprocessed sounds can be and believe that "less is more" certainly can apply to sampling!
skery
I had the same thought recently, I had an emu sampler years ago and never really used it, I had come across the short documentary in the amen break and decided to do a sample based track for the first time. I had a ton of fun, cutting up the amen break, throwing in some sample from a nick cave song, Kraftwerk and the aira teaser where the say electronic music and dance did not exist. Very satisfying as an experiment, and I do like lots of sample based music, but ultimately, not what I want to do. It was a great exercise though and I learned some thing's about logic that will help in cutting up the modular wiggles into something more coherent.

I have a phonogene and have used it with drums and spoken word stuff, but for some reason I see that very differently from "sampling" as it's about messing up the sound unrecognizably. I have never used found sound stuff. Need to try that next!
xpando
i think some of you are stereotyping "sampling" as just recording something and using it relatively unchanged in a track.

using samples as source material and then experimenting with editing that sample can be really inspiring. also, processing samples through a modular synth can yield great results.

i dont ever use sample bundles or anyone elses samples. i come from a dj (and MPC beat chopping) background. im a vinyl collector and i prefer to sample from vinyl that i've collected. collecting vinyl is a good way to learn about music and previous generations of music, labels, ect.. plus vinyl has a certain sound when sampled and in this age of pristine digital quality i find the pops and noise associated with a vinyl sample to be great.

for the record im not a fan of ripping samples from youtube or downloading sample packs. i prefer an analog source, in my case, synths and vinyl.

i bet many of the people who are against sampling are actually fans of sample based music they just dont know it because the samples are edited and rearranged to the point of being unrecognizable.
dude
i will sample anything. my only caveat personally is being sure to make it my own somehow. i like to do microediting so that jump to get into what i feel is personal territory can be quick. to each their own. most of my music has no sampling whatsoever but then some of it is completely sample based. i just think whatever works/feels right is best. i have the benefit of being a complete unknown and making no money or threat to those i might sample so that helps me be sure to just do whatever i want. music is fun adventure for me. i don't get into ethics or crazy shit about the state of legality or what have you in the current day/modern technology. just whatever works/is fun. that is sampling for me.
CF3
Sampling is an art form unto itself. With many different sub-genres and techniques. Much like any other discipline it can be over used and misunderstood. Without sampling whole genres of music would not exist. Jungle comes to mind. The whole concept of taking a break down to it's base elements then rearranging it was brilliant. Or tempo syncing loops and playing the sliced division of that loop across a keyboard while pitch bending/time stretching them in realtime (ASR-10)...genius. There really isn't a style of modern music that hasn't used sampling in some sort of way, shape, or form. A whole generation of people were introduced to soul jazz, r&b, rare groove, prog rock, etc, etc, thru sampling. So many creative ways to use samplers and sampling. I mean some of the shit Jeff Mills did with triggering stuff from the 909's external midi tracks on the Purpose Maker label was inspiring. As long as it's being creative with the source material in some way, I don't have a problem with it. Sampling is just manipulating and haven't fun with sound.
Funky40
CF3 wrote:
Sampling is an art form unto itself.
So many creative ways to use samplers and sampling..

dabbling in there myself since two or three years or so.
had so many great AHA moments.

sampled Nina Hagen into my Modcan CV recorder and got her, without any intention, to speak things she never did on a record.
diiiirty, waaaaay diiiiieeeerty lol lol

took, speaks from politicians into my octatrack and turned it into percussive loops.
did nothing else the fisrt month with my octatrack, .......my first "real" "sample" experience btw.


the thing is: you can experiment away for years and years and years.............
thats what i do since i started lol
huge field to get lost in......unfortunately
jackastro
I too have reservations about sampling other artists.

I have a field recorder. And I get a lot of useful samples from the kitchen and the bedroom. I also sample a lot of voice mails and some science websites (NASA, JPL, etc.)

Sometimes I will take a sample and try to build a whole track from it. A short sample, like a spoken sentence, or running water, or a fight scene from a movie. Then find parts or grains that make nice leads/pads/percussion. This has never produced a good track, but it has made me much more comfortable working with samples. And it forces me out of my comfort zone, which has its own rewards.
catchin
I'm all for it. Most if not all of the music that has either influenced what I produce or I listen to uses samples in one form or another. I really don't understand why some of you guys have a repugnance towards using it. I mean, shit, there's a billion dollar industry that has been well established on sampling, and has and will continue to be utilized in healthy quantities.

For most it is a preference. Just like I prefer not to play oboes or trombones, but prefer guitars, synths, or samplers. It's a musical element, that IMO is probably the most intriguing sound source out there.
Mancy bean
It's often the case that a sample, vocal, speech, drums, can be an inspiration for a track but not actually end up in the finished version.
Quite handy to use as a starting point to test out ideas. For example, speech has its own rhythmn and sometimes a phrase can translate into a loop.

The problem is that things like the vengeance sample pack ten to crop up everywhere and are easily recognisable. I actually went right off an artist who built a whole song on an album round a sample from that, just thought it was lazy.

Whereas vocals from 80s soul accapellas crop up regularly in house and techno and are a top weapon in the arsenal, they just fit and you know the producers have done their homework.
Mancy bean
A lot of the time the sample gets cut up, rearranged and, in the context of the track, transformed into something entirely new and valid. Check Global Communication's "The Way" for a great example.

All about the inspiration/perspiration ethic i guess.
molecularlayerinterneuron
Hi I find this thread interesting because my "background" in electronic music is p much sampling (and analog synths)

Back to the original question...To get rid of your "fear" of sampling. Maybe find a melody or a beat that you like, and start messing with it. There are so many softwares that can mangle samples. Chop it up. If you have one of those MPC-like controller things, take a melodic sample, beatmatch it to the tempo of your track, and then chop it up and assign every two notes of the recording to a separate pad. Then just start banging away. One easy way to make samples "not recognizable" if that is where the mental block lies is to pitch shift the entire thing 1 octave down (or up, if that's your style)

someone said in this thread earlier that a good sample shouldn't take much to fit into a track. It's all about finding the right sample for the right mood.
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