In Session is an educational platform, community, and label for women, non-binary, and trans music producers of color.
Last September, 300 creators from over 30 countries gathered virtually for In Session’s inaugural camp to find their sound, refine their techniques, and connect with communities across the globe for six days of cost-free music production programming. To celebrate the recent announcement of the second iteration of the camp (taking place April 16th – 18th), New York-based DJ, producer, and In Session instructor Boston Chery sat down with us to share three tips around sampling.
1. Find ways to make sounds your own
Whether it’s via recording your own sounds or getting creative with processing, Chery encourages us to find ways to make sounds our own. “I make my own samples by recording onto my phone or Zoom recorder,” she tells us. “I then drag them to my DAW and add effects and compression to alter the sound. My go-to tools for sampling are Logic X, Serato Sample, Serato Studio, and of course Splice Sounds, along with the Novation Launchkey 37.”
2. Learn from your peers
“Collaboration really opened doors for me in not only expanding my network, but also in helping me learn new tools to create the sounds I want,” Chery reflects. “One of my first collaborations was with my good friend Uki. He has been producing for over ten years, and when I first started producing, he spent a lot of time teaching me his creative process, the art of sampling, and how to create global music. I’m super inspired by his work. I’m also inspired by Melo X, who taught me about the freedom that comes with allowing yourself to create whatever comes to your mind, rather than worrying too much about sticking to one genre.”
If you don’t have other music producers immediately around you, consider diving deep into the catalogs of your favorite artists and seeing what you can learn from them. “There are so many leaders when it comes to sampling—so many people who have inspired my love for sampling,” Chery says. “My favorites are Just Blaze, Timbaland, and Kanye West. There are also some amazing new remix / sample DJ producers such as J.Robb, Sarah, The Illstrumentalist, myself, and so many others.”
3. Be open to exploration
Lastly, Chery challenges us to always keep an open mind when it comes to production. “One sampling tip I would like to give is to open up to different genres of music, and watch YouTube tutorials on sampling,” she tells us. “One of my favorite things to do is watch how producers sampled a song from a completely different genre in a radio hit. It’s always super motivating.”
Level up your own sampling chops with In Session’s upcoming Sample Camp on April 16th – April 18th:
April 2, 2021