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Sampling etiquette and “rules”


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On 2/6/2022 at 12:21 AM, ascdi said:

Great idea for a thread! Here are some random thoughts (just my opinion)

1. don’t sample artists in your same genre (agreed)

2. don’t sample things that are already sampled

3. don’t sample lossy sources

4. don’t sample SEX SOUNDS. Way worse than blade runner samples, y’all. SO MANY electronic tracks ruined by sexy lady sounds. Ugh

5. don’t sample rappers rapping more than a few words

6. don’t sample other people’s versions of breaks

7. don’t sample other people’s 303 linez

8. DO sample the 808 state loon sound

9. DO sample the hoover bass sound

10. DON’T sample reggae (hot take here)

11. DON’T sample the door opening sound from Doom (distracting, makes me think I am playing Doom)

12. DON’T sample Autechre or Boards of Canada. Just don’t do it

13. DON’T put an annoying sample in your tracks just so people know it’s you (looking at you Terror Danjah)

14. DON’T sample video games (looking at you Burial)

 

EDIT: oh yeah 15. DON’T SAMPLE VINYL CRACKLE. WE GET IT

Not gonna lie, I have a feeling that I should be doing exactly the opposite of what this list tells and I might end up with something really cool.

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On 2/5/2022 at 5:21 PM, ascdi said:

Great idea for a thread! Here are some random thoughts (just my opinion)

1. don’t sample artists in your same genre (agreed)

2. don’t sample things that are already sampled

3. don’t sample lossy sources

4. don’t sample SEX SOUNDS. Way worse than blade runner samples, y’all. SO MANY electronic tracks ruined by sexy lady sounds. Ugh

5. don’t sample rappers rapping more than a few words

6. don’t sample other people’s versions of breaks

7. don’t sample other people’s 303 linez

8. DO sample the 808 state loon sound

9. DO sample the hoover bass sound

10. DON’T sample reggae (hot take here)

11. DON’T sample the door opening sound from Doom (distracting, makes me think I am playing Doom)

12. DON’T sample Autechre or Boards of Canada. Just don’t do it

13. DON’T put an annoying sample in your tracks just so people know it’s you (looking at you Terror Danjah)

14. DON’T sample video games (looking at you Burial)

 

EDIT: oh yeah 15. DON’T SAMPLE VINYL CRACKLE. WE GET IT

with a few exceptions - I think it still depends

it's not so much what you sample or even how you sample but what you do with it and why you decided to sample in the first place, context and execution is everything. there are breakbeats I've heard 1000x over that still catch me off guard if flipped the right way, there's eccojam style and chopped n screwed tracks I've heard that are technically simple AF yet still more engrossing than some technically very complex well-made non-sampled music.

I have no personal insight in this on the other side, just as a listener, but I would say it really gets down to whether I think the artist met enough criteria for me to respect and appreciate the decision to use a sample 

that might seem arbitrary AF but it's all subjective, if a track doesn't work without a sample that could be legally and/or ethnically a headache you might want to re-evaluate it, likewise if a strong track is enhanced by a fairly safe sample it wouldn't hurt to sprinkle it in

whatever you do don't feel obligated one way or the other, make sure YOU want to use it

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Didn't AFX like to sample entire songs and just speed them up so much he could use them as drum sounds? I.E. a snare sound could be an entire Beatles song or something like that.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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On 2/8/2022 at 9:46 AM, joshuatxuk said:

with a few exceptions - I think it still depends

it's not so much what you sample or even how you sample but what you do with it and why you decided to sample in the first place, context and execution is everything. there are breakbeats I've heard 1000x over that still catch me off guard if flipped the right way, there's eccojam style and chopped n screwed tracks I've heard that are technically simple AF yet still more engrossing than some technically very complex well-made non-sampled music.

I have no personal insight in this on the other side, just as a listener, but I would say it really gets down to whether I think the artist met enough criteria for me to respect and appreciate the decision to use a sample 

that might seem arbitrary AF but it's all subjective, if a track doesn't work without a sample that could be legally and/or ethnically a headache you might want to re-evaluate it, likewise if a strong track is enhanced by a fairly safe sample it wouldn't hurt to sprinkle it in

whatever you do don't feel obligated one way or the other, make sure YOU want to use it

Oh, completely agreed, my list was just having some fun. LOL how did I become the bad guy in this thread, hahaha

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5 hours ago, TubularCorporation said:

 

I read somewhere that one of the jingle cats tried suing for using it's voice on this album.

Edited by yekker
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47 minutes ago, yekker said:

I read somewhere that one of the jingle cats tried suing for using it's voice on this album.

Kind of ironic when the entire hook is lifted straight from that MOD that won Kr1ngle Krew second place at Assembly '97.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/6/2022 at 12:21 AM, ascdi said:

Great idea for a thread! Here are some random thoughts (just my opinion)

1. don’t sample artists in your same genre (agreed)

2. don’t sample things that are already sampled

3. don’t sample lossy sources

4. don’t sample SEX SOUNDS. Way worse than blade runner samples, y’all. SO MANY electronic tracks ruined by sexy lady sounds. Ugh

5. don’t sample rappers rapping more than a few words

6. don’t sample other people’s versions of breaks

7. don’t sample other people’s 303 linez

8. DO sample the 808 state loon sound

9. DO sample the hoover bass sound

10. DON’T sample reggae (hot take here)

11. DON’T sample the door opening sound from Doom (distracting, makes me think I am playing Doom)

12. DON’T sample Autechre or Boards of Canada. Just don’t do it

13. DON’T put an annoying sample in your tracks just so people know it’s you (looking at you Terror Danjah)

14. DON’T sample video games (looking at you Burial)

 

EDIT: oh yeah 15. DON’T SAMPLE VINYL CRACKLE. WE GET IT

I feel like Luke Vibert probably broke all these rules maybe excepting 12

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On 1/28/2022 at 4:06 PM, milkface said:

The amount of times I've heard the tears in rain monologue from Blade Runner sampled in songs is insane.

uh oh

(deletes tears in rain sample)

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On 2/8/2022 at 12:21 PM, TubularCorporation said:

Didn't AFX like to sample entire songs and just speed them up so much he could use them as drum sounds? I.E. a snare sound could be an entire Beatles song or something like that.

That's an interesting idea. When I first read this, I thought it would be very difficult to recognize the original track.

I tried it out just now and ended up with a sample which I could imagine being a drum in an AFX track. I was curious how recognizable if would be if you slowed it down again after saving the end result. You get a good portion of the low end, which might be enough to recognize a track. Of course, if it was further processed and then put into a mix, it may be totally impossible to figure out where it came from.

This is what was left after speeding "Pollution" by Ceephax up to 10s, then bringing it back down to the approximate original length. It was from a 44.1kHz mp3.

image.png.d2d3706a103a3aa3d69cb2433b05b77d.png

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Whoever I heard that from years ago said it was "folk music" but wasn't any mroe specific.  Also I'm pretty sure it was the drummer in my band at the time, so that may or may not change your opinion of how credible it is.

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:53 AM, TubularCorporation said:

That's my first impu;lse whenever I see a list of rules for art.

If art had rules, then why bother

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47 minutes ago, Rubin Farr said:

If art had rules, then why bother

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." -- Pablo Picasso.

To me, this has always meant that you need to know how to do things properly, with proper technique, so that when you do things that are considered to be novel and/or interesting, it's not an accident. There are always established ways of doing things that applies to most everything, and to me, knowing them allows me to break them in a way that shows that I know them instead of being ignorant. YMMV.

 

Edited by dcom
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  • 4 weeks later...

What about someone like Frank Zappa who worked all sorts of candid recordings of his band members into albums and live sets without their consent (and creating a surveillance culture where band members sometimes secretly taped each other and those tapes sometimes worked their way into his music)?

 

What about the Deep Forest problem?

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On 5/5/2022 at 2:04 AM, ZoeB said:

For anyone curious, here's a pair of articles from 1992 that interviews people like Ed Stratton (Man Machine; Zero-G) and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) about samples:

Excellent reads, I feel like there's such a gap and absence in the discussion of sampling regarding this aspect of sample volumes, comps. sample packs, etc. It was such a bedrock in the music both in mainstream and more leftfield and underground music but thinkpieces and video essays rarely seem to touch on it.

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