Illustration: Script & Seal
Whether you’re new to working with samples or a seasoned pro, we think you’ll find something to inspire your creativity with these 5 tips for working with samples in your projects.
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1. Create custom drum and percussion kits
Custom drum kits from audio samples using tools like Ultrabeat (Logic) or racks (in Ableton) can be a great source for inspiration. 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 (for example, a boomy kick with 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 this works especially well on vocals. Easily create this effect by downloading and reversing a sample of your choosing. Once you’ve done this (and the process varies depending on your DAW), add a reverb with a long tail. Next, bounce the audio file to disk and reverse it again. The sample will now be playing forwards as it was intended, but the huge reverb tail will play 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.
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3. Use the Splice Beat Maker
Another great tool to use as a starting point for creating your beat is the Splice Beat Maker. Simply drag-and-drop samples from Splice Sounds and create a rhythm with up to 8 layers and 32 steps. 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 DAW.
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 to resampling in Ableton Live:
5. Use samples with your favorite wavetable synth
Certain soft synth plugins like Xfer Records’ Serum and 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 types of samples as a sound source.
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July 27, 2016