We all spend countless hours hunting down the best sounding samples, presets, vst, instruments… It is a time consuming process that every producer has to do at least once a month to stay in the game! Sounds and trends evolve so fast that the beat you were working on last week is outdated…
Besides being time consuming, another big problem is that sample packs and other software can cost a fortune! For example, buying the license for Massive from Native Instruments costs about 150$. Now I need the sounds! So I also buy a 30$ Future Bass Massive Preset pack… and another pack for Tropical House a month later when that becomes trendy! You get the picture…
Of course time is money… and creating sample packs and presets that sound amazing are not free. I totally understand and, by the way, I also sell Sample Packs so I know how long and painful the process is. So getting a 30$ in exchange for countless hours of work is normal.
But for the beginner producer who can’t afford spending that much money on Sample Packs, I will show you a few websites where I downloaded some of my best samples entirely free and legally! (Very important!)
1. The Converse Sample Library
Here is an example of a track I created using a loop from this library (0:04 one synth loop and another at 0:19):
The Converse Sample Library has a huge variety of samples! From percussion one shots to great guitar loops! Entirely free! All samples are recorded from the Converse Rubber Tracks recording studio in Brooklyn, NY. This community-based recording studio is unique! Whoever lives in New York must go check out this studio. Musicians of all genres can apply for free studio time and maintain the rights to their music! Pretty rare for a recording studio! You can apply directly on their website.
For the producers, this library has over 40,000 files to download! Just sign up and start downloading! Unfortunately, you can only download one file at a time… But no worries there is a way around it!
The website allows you to create your own Sample Packs (or Kits)! You can select up to 8 sounds to add to a kit and then download the full kit!
Here is a kit I created with only small vocal chops that I liked.
You can create as many kits as you want! And the fun part is you can play it with your keyboard on the website! Funny but useless… It would be better if you can integrate your kits directly into your DAW… Wait… You can do that too! Sweet!
Max for Live users can download an amazing plug-in called CRT Sampler! You can browse through all of your saved Kits directly in Ableton using the plugin!
Instead of creating kits of 8 samples, you can “like” samples. As you can see in the picture of the plug-in above, you can also browse through all the samples you have liked on the website! And once again all for free!
- Real live recorded samples.
- Ableton Plug-in.
- Keep track of your favorite samples.
- Download only 1 or 8 samples at a time.
- Need internet connection to stream the samples using the plug-in (but come on! I only wrote this one to have an other con…).
2. The Philharmonia Sample library
As the first page of this website mentions: ” Thousands of free, downloadable sound samples specially recorded by Philharmonia Orchestra players. These samples are suitable for creating any kind of music, no matter what style.”
The best part of this website is their way of searching for samples… Instead of browsing through a huge library of mixed up sounds and loops, you search by instrument! Let’s say you are looking for a Flute sound, just select flute in the drop down menu and directly download ALL the flute samples and loops in one zip file!
You can filter by length, pitch and dynamics!
To download the files, you don’t even need to sign up… So no extra spam emails coming to your inbox just for a few shaker samples! Here is an example, I created this track using a one-shot mandolin sample from this library (and some processing!)
- Very easy to use.
- No sign up.
- Huge variety of instruments and percussions.
- Mostly loops, so work in your DAW to make one shots.
- You can’t listen to the sample before download.
- Sound quality a little low.
3. Indaba Music Remix Contests
This is a very common technique to obtain great free samples and loops for future tracks: entering a Remix Contest.
For those of you who don’t know this technique, when you enter a remix contest you are provided the stems or sample pack for the remix in question.
“Stems”: Individual tracks of a song (drum line, lead, bass and vocal)
Remixing is a great practice for every producer! Netsky, Ilenium for example were discovered by their remixes. So try to do one once a week.
Anyway, Indaba Music is one of the best Remix Competition sites! For example, I was able to download for free the stems for an Usher song! and many different styles of remixes, from video game challenge to Hawaiian music! Just sign up to the website and choose a competition!
I use this for drum loops and one shots. I download the stems and chop up the track to obtain a full playable Drum Kit. Here is an example of one of Indaba’s Remix Contest for Jessarmyn Rains (folk singer):
- Great sound quality.
- Great opportunities if you win the contest.
- Limited choice.
There are so many more ways to obtain amazing samples, so if you know more and want to share please feel free to comment below!
Thanks again and be CREATIVE!
Official website: http://www.ericduboisprod.com