Whether you’re new to working with samples or are a seasoned sample pro, we think you’ll find something to inspire your writing or increase the efficiency of your production with these 5 tips for working with samples in your projects. And if you don’t have a go-to source for samples, browse Splice Sounds with a 14 day free trial.
1) Create Custom Drum & Percussion Kits
Inspiration can happen quickly when you create custom drum kits from audio samples in software plugins like Ultrabeat (Logic) or racks (in Ableton Live). Many software samplers also give you the option to layer sounds, so you may want to experiment with creating non-traditional kits by subtly layering FX like sirens or vocals with your primary drum sounds. You can also try layering multiple drums like a “boomy” kick and a “punchy” kick to really sculpt the sound you’re looking for.
2) Add Reverse Reverb to Vocal Samples
Adding reverse reverb to any sample can give it a haunting quality, and it works especially well on vocals. Easily create a reverse reverb effect by downloading a sample then reversing it. Once you’ve done this (and the process is different depending on DAW), add a reverb with a long tail. Next, bounce the audio file to disk and reverse it again. Now, the sample will be playing forwards as it was intended, but the huge reverb tail will platy in reverse, creating a swooping lead into the sample. For an in depth look at creating reverse reverb effects in FL Studio, check out HTMEM’s tutorial here.
3) Use the Splice Beat Maker
Another great tool to use is the Splice Beat Maker as a starting point for creating your beat. Simply drag and drop samples from Splice Sounds and create up to 8 layers and 32 steps worth of rhythm. Once you’re satisfied with the beat, you can export the samples as well as the midi information and take it further in your own respective DAWs.
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Resampling is a powerful sound design technique you can easily accomplish in your DAW to create interesting variations. Once you have a basic arrangement, try sampling the master output on another track. From there you can add pitch shifting effects, different reverbs and layers to create even more unique sounds. Watch this quick overview to understand approaches resampling in Ableton Live:
5) Use Splice Sounds In Your Favorite Wavetable Synth
Certain soft-synth plugins like Xfer Records’ Serum or Omnisphere 2 allow you to import your own audio samples to create custom synth patches. With Splice Sounds, you have a huge library and a variety of sample content to use as a starting point to dive in deep and make your own unique presets. Try experimenting with long, drawn out sawtooth wave samples as well as airy pad samples and listen to how the sound changes when you use these different sample types as a modifying sound source.