Rhythm Creation - Music Production and Sound Reocording

One thing that every electronic musician should have is a big collection of samples which they can go to when composing so they can quickly select the one needed to experiment with. These are my tips on sound sample collecting which can help you expand your collection, keep organized and therfore end up create some interesting results in your tracks.
  • With samples one of the most important things to do is to stay legal and organized. A simple way to do this is to sort your samples into different folders on your hard drive by license type (for example folders called Royalty Free, Free To Use Non Commercially etc). Then within those folders put the samples into more folders entitled by the source you found them. Using this method you can easily see the license and source of sample when choosing a sample.
  • Some days when you aren’t feeling musically creative it is much better to have a day of creating samples instead. I’ve had many a day when I’ve either sat in front of a synth experimenting making patches or in front of a microphone recording sounds. Splitting the making samples process from the writing music process can really benefit both areas.
  • Experiment as much as possible with different sounds in front of a microphone. You can get some great sounds from simple household objects. One of my favourites is pots and pans, which sounds made but I’ve ended up layering some of these sounds together with other drum sounds to create whole new sounds. Try reversing them too and you get these metallic sounding whooshes that I hear them in films all the time. Sounds like you banging on cardboard boxes or slamming doors layered with kick drums can create whole new sounding kicks. Go round your house finding different things to hit with different things. The options is endless, your family will think you’ve gone mad but the results can be interesting and really add something different to your music. That band called Stomp with the metal bins comes to mind.
  • A Microphone - Image from Stock Xchng (www.sxc.hu) User:Wazina
  • Lots of sounds can be made with the mouth too, check out HumanBeatbox.com. Now you might be thinking but I can’t beatbox like that Gavin TyTe (The guy in the vids). No maybe not, but on that site there are some excellent tutorials on how to replicate kicks, snares and hats with your mouth which can on their own be done quite easily and quickly (the hard part is putting it all together). Then create your own personal HumanBeatBox drum kit in your favourite drum machine software. The results can be very good especially with some reverb, delay and chorus effects on.
  • Keep a look out on eBay and in your charity shops, I’ve managed to buy some shakers, tambourines for next to nothing and then sampled them.
  • Make shakers out of containers and those dried peas and rice you can get from the supermarket. Sometimes they might not sound like the real thing but with a little bit of reverb on they can sound alright. Plastic drinks bottles or those plastic yoghurt drink bottles work really well for this. Small gravel from the garden is good too.
  • If you have friends who are musicians and create their own samples then maybe you can swap ones you’ve made with ones they’ve made, this can increase both your collections very quickly.
  • Borrow instruments off of friends or relatives, sample them and then give them back. Ask to go round and sample their piano, guitar or violin. Maybe you have a wannabe singer in the family, ask them to do some vocal singing phrases for you.
  • There are some music making magazines which regularly have CDs full of samples on (make sure you check the licensing though and put them in your appropriate folder (see tip #1). Libraries may also have them if they stock the magazines.
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed or bookmark this site in your favourites as we are going to release some sample packs over the coming months which are free to use as well as link to other sites which have free samples.
Hopefully from this list of tips and ideas for samples you can go away and maybe introduce something new into your music by creating some personalised sound samples. I shall release a few of my own samples which use some of the ideas in this article over the next couple of months so look out for them.

Article written by Edward Cufaude for Rhythm Creation.

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