Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

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Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by stevejamsecono » Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:22 pm

Hey Gang,

On the verge of grabbing a PO-33 or a 404 after my recent love affair with turn of the 90s Hip Hop and wanted to see what the forum-wide experience with samplers and sampling was. Anyone use 'em? What do you use and how?

My initial idea is breaking up my general "acoustic guitar + singing = song" writing process and also trying to pick up some found-sound/collaging technique to give my productions a bit more depth and layer of interest. Seems like it could get interesting and either of these devices should get me there in a pretty low-cost way.
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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:52 pm

I had an MPC Live, which I sold only because I want to eventually get an MPC One. I liked sampling old music and bits of old documentaries and making sound collages. I also liked being able to sample and turn a drum beat into an entire playable kit. I've heard the 404 is very cool, I'd probably skip the pocket operator for Volca Sample v2 or Electron Model Samples

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Ceylon » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:42 am

I don't know if you've listened to Soul Coughing at all - they seem to be kinda divisive on here - but they do that kind of thing where they include a lot of samples into an otherwise pretty jazz-heavy band.

I got an MPC Touch to start doing that exact thing but the project never took off. It might still I suppose.
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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by stevejamsecono » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:24 am

Ceylon wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:42 am
I don't know if you've listened to Soul Coughing at all - they seem to be kinda divisive on here - but they do that kind of thing where they include a lot of samples into an otherwise pretty jazz-heavy band.

I got an MPC Touch to start doing that exact thing but the project never took off. It might still I suppose.
I'll check 'em out! Admittedly I'm curious to explore music that uses outside of hip hop even though that's the thing that got me going on it. I actually ended up ordering a 404sx this morning, so HERE we go...
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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by charmonder » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:31 am

sample your drummer into your demos they like that!!!

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by MayTheFuzzBeWithYou » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:18 am

From 2008-2011 after my first band split up we continued making music together - the bassist had (and still has) a MPC 3000 and I had a MPD, a Midi Keyboard and Reason/Recycle/Cubase.

We sampled old Vinyl and CDs/Mp3s as well as field recordings (I was able to capture the heaviest summer thunderstorm there was in that year) as well as our own guitar and bass playing. I loved finding new ways of arranging (and pitching) the guitars.
It was Hip Hop/Trip Hop and a little Dub.

Sadly I couldn‘t install reason on my „new“ Laptop when the PC quit its service. And besides some sessions with his MPC I didn‘t use samples anymore. Also I sold/traded my midi-instruments equipment some years ago.

With my other bands I haven‘t used any samples (yet) - maybe for my solo-surf project - once I make it! 😜

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by stevejamsecono » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:42 am

Just a quick update on this --

Ended up hucking my 404 after a month because I found the interface completely unfriendly. On a lark I ended up downloading a cheap app called Koala Sampler and found it infinitely more to my taste. I was sampling stuff around the house with my phone mic and composing little beats in minutes. Highly recommended!
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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by burpgun » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:15 am

I’ve never messed around with hardware samplers. But the last time I worked with other folks, just over a decade ago, I got into jamming with drummers and recording all of it, either on a four track or in a computer. I’d then go back, pluck out loops I liked and use them to build drum performances that lined up with songs I was working on. This was far enough back that Recycle was my main tool for that, and I’d also build MIDI maps for the loops so I could augment the acoustic drum sounds. It was a lot of work and I suspect the tools for this process are better/easier now. The main advantage of this path was that the songs were all written in the recording process, so I had some flexibility to use real drums and not just program everything.

I’d like to give a big thumbs up for Soul Coughing. They were very innovative but the singer really poisoned the well by crapping all over the band once it was over.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Telliot » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:27 am

burpgun wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:15 am
I’d like to give a big thumbs up for Soul Coughing. They were very innovative but the singer really poisoned the well by crapping all over the band once it was over.
I absolutely adored Soul Coughing and still hate M Doughty for the way he shit all over them after they split up. They were fantastic live, too. Sebastian Steinberg remains one of my favorite bassists, and love what he does with Fiona Apple.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by burpgun » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:31 am

Telliot wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:27 am
burpgun wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:15 am
I’d like to give a big thumbs up for Soul Coughing. They were very innovative but the singer really poisoned the well by crapping all over the band once it was over.
I absolutely adored Soul Coughing and still hate M Doughty for the way he shit all over them after they split up. They were fantastic live, too. Sebastian Steinberg remains one of my favorite bassists, and love what he does with Fiona Apple.
Every time I read something with M Doughty it seemed like he was saying "it was all me, I'm the genius in the group and the other guys were just holding me back." Meanwhile, you actually listen to Soul Coughing and it's one of those bands where it's abundantly clear what was special about them was the combination of all of those guys. Plus, the other guys from the band seemed to be just sad about the way Doughty was carrying on and did nothing to deny his contributions. I found Doughty's ego driven rants off putting enough to ignore 100% of his solo output.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Telliot » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:14 am

burpgun wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:31 am
Couldn't agree more. And yeah, his solo output is proof how much his 'genius' was never being held back. I always thought it was the opposite: those guys gave him something groovy and textural to play off of; he needed them to make his songs interesting. Without that, he's just a monotone singer with no real substance (in my opinion).

That said, I'll always love this song.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Telliot » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:23 am

(Sorry for the derail)

Back on topic, I used to use a lot of samples; mostly drum loops, but other things too. At some point I started feeling like they were too restrictive with the music I tend to write, which generally have a lot of chord and section changes (verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, etc). That isn't a knock on using samples, some of my favorite artists are very sample heavy, and have found a way to use them in their music that I could never really crack. When they do it, it's vibey and cool, and when I did it, it always felt repetitive and dated (especially when I listen back to the stuff I was doing back then). That said, I'm not against using them, and I'll slip something in every now and then if it works, but even then, it's usually something I've created and made a sample of, rather than from another source.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by tatotateman » Fri May 14, 2021 5:48 am

I used to just past wave files into my DAW. I could use my interface to record from either a portable tape recorder or tv, (or cut something from another song I recorded), and then trim and process it. It's probably not as user friendly or fun as an actual sampler, but it could be a way to play around and see if you like how it sounds with your songs. I've always been tempted to get a sampler, but I've always been intimidated for some reason.

Soul Coughing was really great, especially live.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Tue May 18, 2021 2:36 pm

I've done non-traditional sampling with eurorack modules Morphagene by Make Noise and Arbhar by Instruo. It's not stuff I'd use to make hip-hop, but it gets pretty wild and beautiful depending on the source. Hand pan or flute with Morph and pedal steel or orchestral stuff with Arbhar is always going to sound amazing.

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Re: Intro to sampling -- Anyone use them regularly in your writing process?

Post by mackerelmint » Wed May 19, 2021 12:40 am

Soul Coughing always had me stoked on the music and wishing the singer was absolutely anyone else, other than the guy from Cake, because you could add their vocal ranges to each other and still come up just shy of one measly note.

Sampling used to be something I'd use, but to be honest, sample libraries made that almost entirely an extraneous exercise since others are far better equipped than I am to borrow the sound of something else. Once in a while, it's useful for extending the useful range of some odd soundmaker, or making that sound polyphonic or making it "easier to play" by just using regular keys. Kalimba samples, man.
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