Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

There are many sample CDs available today full of samples and while lots of them contain some excellent sounds and loops, I believe that you should learn to stay clear of them as much as possible when selecting samples for your music. This article explains why I think that way.

Sample CDs can cost a lot of money, mainly because what you are buying is a license to use the sounds in your productions legally and not just to listen to like a standard CD. I don’t want to make out all Sample CDs to be evil because some of them are great and can come in very handy when looking for that certain orchestral instrument sound for example which you can’t get hold of or create yourself. But there are many Sample CDs out there containing nothing but sounds and loops which I believe can slow down creativity, the learning process (especially for beginners) as well as make musicians lazy.

Sample CDs slow down creativity because they stop people from creating and developing their own sounds, if everyone sticks to the same old sample CDs (especially genre based ones) then music starts sounding too familiar and they aren’t going to be creating their own unique sound or take on a certain genre.

CD Cases - Image from Stock Xchng (www.sxc.hu) User:Meow A musicians learning process can also be slowed down because many of the samples have had effects and processing galore put on them to make you go "WOW! Now that sounds good". While this sounds amazing for the individual sounds when listening to the sample, when all these sounds get put together into a track they end up sounding mushy as they are all fighting for that same space in the mix. Beginners then go on to learn from tutorials and books that they then need to add more effects and then mix down their tracks only to find they can’t get the sound they want as they have nothing to work with. This stops and hinders them from learning about sound creation, how to add effects and mix sounds together properly leading to “why doesn’t my track sound professional” questions that you often see on message boards.

The truth is that you can easily find alternatives which are a lot of the time a much better choice. I would advise anyone before buying a sample CD to ask themselves these questions...
  • Can I record these sounds myself with a microphone?
  • Can I use a synthesizer to create those sounds from scratch myself?
  • Is it possible that I can recreate a similar drum loop using my own samples?
  • Can I be limited only by my own creative abilities and not what some sound engineer decides is a good collection of sounds".
By creating your own sounds instead of using sample CDs you open up the possibilities in your music and you gain so much more control over the final sound of your tracks. I also know that as a musician and starting to use your own sounds in your creations that you will start to look upon your own music with a lot more pride. You may even find yourself creating a new unique and personal sound in your music and surely that can only be a good thing.

Article written by Edward Cufaude for Rhythm Creation.

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