Many think that the key to a hip hop hit is creating a unique sound that can stand the test of time. But more often than not, the most popular hip hop songs today have samples. It’s not necessary to create something unique when instead you can create something familiar to the ear. This familiarity rings well with the listeners who love modern remakes of oldies. This may be subjective but it is fact that lots of trending songs have samples inside of them. It might be in your best interest to download and edit your own hip hop samples!
How Do Samples Save You Time?
Imagine you’re a producer with lots of deadlines, or a beginner producer who doesn’t know how to make melodies. How much time does it take you to come up with a dope intro, or some nice sounding melodies? It’s likely that it takes a considerable amount of time. Now imagine if you listened through a library of prerecorded melodies or unique samples in a specific key. This can save lots of time as you simply tweak the samples and apply it to your project.
Using samples can actually take up more time if you decide to heavily edit the sample. But most of the time, producers use samples to fill up space or to create an intro that dances in your head. You’d be surprised that many of your favorite hits is actually using some old school samples or melodies made famous by earlier rappers.
Can You Use Samples From Anywhere?
While you can technically download anything and use it as a sample, sometimes certain sounds can be copyrighted. For example, using some dialogue from a movie, a melody from a popular song, or a drum hit from your favorite track. It is always important to make sure you contact the creators before you rip a sample off of them. Some try to avoid this all together by heavily distorting the sample so it sounds nothing like the original.
Where Should I Download Samples?
There are plenty of free and subscription services for high quality samples, melodies, and more! One of the most popular sample library is Splice. Splice offers access to millions of royalty-free samples and loops. Splice even offers presets and options to rent popular plugins and DAWs. Another unique sample service is Arcade by Output. This is a $10 / month subscription that allows you to download high quality MIDI, samples and even instruments. The cool thing about Arcade is that the sound can actually be set to match your tempo AND key. This can be very beneficial for serious producers who need to find a variety of instruments at the right key. Check out some free sample packs here.
Samples is a tricky subject since lots of producers condemn it and other producers love it! The idea is simple, use an existing sample and edit it to fit your own project. Many producers use samples and still make tremendously popular songs. Hip hop samples are used all the time including melodies. You can save time today by incorporating samples that bring a whole vibe to your music. Sometimes Samples can take even longer to edit and fit but it might alleviate your creative stress.