Getting Creative With Sample Packs
est read time 4 min ⏱️
So, whether you’ve just downloaded your first sample pack, or you feel like you could get some more mileage from your collection – we’re here to help!
Sample packs are like a secret weapon for music producers, giving you access to a vast array of incredible sounds. That being said, if we just drag and drop them into a DAW they can get a little stale. That’s where we come in.
We’ve collated 5 of our favourite techniques to allow you to get more from those epic samples. Here’s what’s coming up.
Why do we love sample packs!?
Not sure if sample packs are for you? Let me explain..
For us, sample packs are like treasure chests filled with audio gold, offering you loads of benefits. These are our favourites:
- Time-Saving: Not everyone can afford or justify booking a studio. We’ve sourced the finest musicians to give you instant access to finished sounds!
- Inspirational: Trying out new samples can ignite fresh ideas and kick creative blocks to the curb.
- Session Standard Quality: We dig deep to ensure each pack is of the highest possible quality. Think incredible gear, session musicians and pin-drop accurate recording setups!
- Versatility: As you’ll find out, there’s more that can be done than just dropping a loop into your DAW.
- Royalty Free: All of our sample packs are 100% royalty free meaning you can use the sounds without needing to ask for permission, irrelevant of the usage.👌
Adding loops to your DAW
Got your sample pack? Great! Now let’s get it working in your DAW. For this example, we’ll be using Ableton Live. There are a few ways to add your sounds but these are our go-to’s.
- Like most DAWs, Ableton has a browser section where we can navigate to our samples and plugins.
- The image below shows the browser that we’ll be using. You can add samples to this section in 2 easy ways.
- Drag & Drop: If you drag the sample folder from your desktop to this area it will automatically add the folder to your library.
- ‘Add Folder’ – Clicking this button will start to browse your computer’s hard drive. From here we can navigate to the pack and add it to your library.
Tip: ‘Try creating a dedicated folder of sample packs somewhere on your computer. That way you won’t lose anything and all your packs will stay organised.’
Creative Sample Manipulation Techniques
Here are a few of our favourite go-to techniques for getting some more life from those samples.
- Chopping: Slice a sample into smaller pieces and rearrange them to create something totally fresh. Something as easy as changing the order of your chords can make a world of difference.
- Samplers: Drag your samples into your favourite sampler and use them as the foundation for an amazing pad. This simple chain that utilises a chord loop from our Vintage Keys & Strings (link) pack sounds incredible! You can download the FX chain below as well as grab the sample used HERE (S3 link)
Drag your sample onto Ableton’s Samplr.
(Using Ableton’s loop and cross-fade options, we can play the sample but loop the end giving you access to an amazing, never-ending evolving pad)
Add Your Favourite FX & Modulate
(FX Chain includes an LFO slowly manipulating the chorus’ rate dial)
Wash Out With Lush Reverb
- Pitch Play: Play with the sample’s pitch to make it match your song’s key or invent a wild new effect.
Tip: Drum samples also sound amazing when pitched down! Enjoy that extra grit and weight!
- Time Warp: Most DAWs offer the ability to stretch and squash your samples. Extending them can reveal some amazing artefacts that were previously hidden!
- Reversed: Why not build an awesome, tonal riser by reversing a long piano chord!
Tapping into the power of sample packs can revolutionise your music production, helping you craft standout tracks with ease. By hunting down the best packs, getting creative with sample manipulation, and experimenting, you’ll be well on your way to musical greatness.
So go on, get wild, and have a blast!
What are sample packs?
Sample packs are collections of audio clips that can be used in music production, providing a vast array of sounds for you to work with. They can include drum loops, synth stabs, vocal samples, and more.
Why should I use sample packs in my music production?
Sample packs offer numerous benefits, such as saving time, providing inspiration, ensuring professional quality, offering versatility, and providing hassle-free sampling (royalty free).
How can I choose the right sample pack for my project?
Define your goals, research different sample pack providers, choose packs that are compatible with your preferred genre, consider your budget, and opt for royalty-free sample packs to avoid potential legal issues and licensing fees.