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Music Production

Sampling

Every time I hear somebody say “It’s shit, they’ve just stolen somebodies work. They have no talent” – I laugh to myself! You try layering two or three sampled loops over each other.

Sampling or rather the artform of Sampling is the reuse of a portion (sample) of an audio recording in another track.

The term ‘sampling’ as we use it today was first used in the late 70’s by the creators of the Fairlight CMI synthesizer which was the first with sampling features.

Early samplers were too expensive for most musicians and were only owned by the top studios. Due to very low memory by todays standards they could only play back short sounds of 1 or 2 seconds.

As with all technology standards rapidly improved and samplers soon became cheaper with more memory and longer sampling times. With the launch of models such as the E-mu Emulator, Akai S950 and Akai MPC they became more affordable.

Sampling – The backbone of Dance Music

With the rise of Hip Hop in the 1980’s, producers started sampling¬†Funk, Disco, Soul and Orchestra records. The backbone of Hip Hop/Rap was the sampled drum breaks.

The Funky Drummer by James Brown drum beat(Amen Break) has been sampled 1000s of times and during the last 40 years sampling has influenced all genres of Electronic Dance Music.

Since a court case in 1991, the game of sampling has changed big time. These days you must get ‘clearance’ if you choose to sample somebodies music as the 1991 court ruling declared that unlicensed sampling constitutes copyright infringement.

Due to clearence of samples being prohibitively expensive and very complex and time consuming, they are used alot less. In my opinion it’s a great shame as the creativity shown by Dance Music producers is amazing.

Example of Sampling

An example of a cut sample looped 8X

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