Monday, September 19, 2016


Today I wanted to talk about buying sample libraries or creating your own. When it comes to music production they can become very different worlds. This article is purely my opinion and I do not claim to have the ultimate truth about it. Everyone is entitled to have their opinion and that is why I wanted to talk about this, to start a discussion and see what people has to say about the topic.

There is a wide universe when it comes to Sample Libraries or VST's. Some of them are made by incredibly dedicated creatives, taking for them a deep understanding of sound engineering and microphone placement. We can find libraries for Electronic and Organic type of sounds, being each of them a different creation process. 

There are libraries made by LFO's (Synths) and libraries that come from recordings (Violins). There are great libraries such as CineSamples, Native Instruments Libraries or Independent ones that can provide us with the sonic tools that we need to achieve our goal. 

On the other hand we have DIY samples that can be made entirely from scratch. Though this process shares the same principles as the ones you can buy, we have to take into account that: a lot of this libraries are made in professional studios with HQ professional equipment, to which not all of us have easy access or even access at all. So we have to be creative in order to choose: a)what are we recording, b) where are we recording it, c) for what we are recording it. The equipment does not necessarily has to be the top of the top. I have had made samples from recordings on my phone but usually I tend to use a MXL condenser microphone. The difference would be in the amount of processing you will have to make after recording in order to take out the best frequencies of that sound.

Now, what is the difference in between Buying or Creating samples FOR ME. I believe the usage of both is a great combination to achieve big professional sounding and uniqueness to the project. 

Music now days is changing faster than ever and the possibilities of sound, textures, colours, rhythms is wider than ever and keeps expanding just like the universe. When buying samples we get access to the patches other people have, though we can edit them and change here or there the source keeps being the same. On the other hand when you create a sample from a recording YOU did, the sound is unique. Yes... the pan hit might sound like a Closed HH you can get from an 808 drum kit or whatever. But the source is not the 808 drum kit, is something that you had access to directly and not everybody has. By experimenting with it, we can achieve interesting sounds that when combining them... sometimes great results can come. 

It can be very tedious every now and then because after trying with many recordings no good sound can come out from them but, the satisfaction you get when something is working out and sounds rad... is priceless and guess what?... Only you have it. You can mimic Hanz Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Olafur Arnalds, Blink 182 etc but influencing people enough that your sound becomes a trend or with its unique stamp is something completely different... I believe.

In conclusion both roads are OK to follow but one adds something that the other doesn't. Give it a try to experiment with rare sounds and maybe you will find something interesting enough to include on  your projects.

Thanks for reading.

M. Pelayo

No comments:

Post a Comment