Sound Loops Again

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a bit about using sound loops as a way to kickstart your music production creativity. Today I have some more information about the sound loop world, as well as a few free sound loops you can download and use in your projects…

Sound Loops – Where do they come from?

A lot (if not all) of early hip-hop was built on loops taken from old records – vocal samples, breaks, beats, drum solos, rhodes hits – you name it, they stole it. It is important to note that the music world was a lot different back then, and legal loop loopholes were everywhere. The law simply didn’t have any provision for the type of musical creativity that was being expressed – for example, classic albums such as DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing were built entirely on samples dug up from ancient audio vaults.

If you are interested in finding out which songs use samples from other people’s work, and what bits they sampled, then you should have a look at The Breaks. There’s a lot of information here about samples and where they came from, and it’s all broken down into genre-based categories.

Staying Safe With Sound Loops

However, things are quite different today, and using uncleared samples is an extremely risky business. In 2003, a sampling law was brought into effect which basically stated that you must pay for any samples used in your music, regardless of how drastically they have been altered, how long they are or how different the song would be without them. Sampling dialogue from a movie is real danger territory, but even taking an incidental foley such as footsteps or a car horn could land you in trouble if the wrong person hears it.

So the best thing is to make sure you only use fully-licensed, royalty-free sound loops and samples in your work. As an example, you can get some free sound loops here and here. I’ll be putting some exclusive loops up on Podcomplex soon, so check back for those…


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