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5 Reasons Why I Hate Sampling

  1. Fade

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    Sampling is dope. In all of the years that I've been making beats, sampling is one of those things that just makes my beats sound great and unique. However, there are times when sampling can be a real pain, but it's still something I continue do. I guess it's some sort of love/hate relationship, but here's 5 reasons why I hate sampling.

    1. It's Hard

    Many times I've seen beat making rookies ask for advice on how to sample, what to sample, and how to put it all together. At first I would think to myself, "sampling is not that hard, what's their problem?", but then I realized that sampling is actually pretty hard, and for a person just starting out, it can be very frustrating.

    When I sit down in the lab and look for samples, it's something I enjoy doing but it's also difficult because there are just tons of really wack music out there. Most of my time is spent sifting through music that is just not possible for me to sample because it either doesn't fit with the style that I'm producing, or there's nothing worthwhile at all.

    2. It's Time Consuming

    What I enjoy most about making beats is just that - making beats! That's why sampling sucks because it takes a lot of time to find something that sounds good. If I could just load up Maschine and have a bunch of samples just sitting there, that would be great because then I could just hit the pads and create something dope.

    The problem is that before I can get to that part, I have to first find a sample that I can use. I browse my folders or go through my vinyl but I'm mainly just wasting time. Time I could be spending having fun making beats.

    3. It Sounds Bad

    For some, sampling is not something they like doing because they want to have the cleanest possible sounds in their beat, and I completely understand that. However, for me, I prefer to have dirty sounds in my beats, but the problem is when the samples are just TOO dirty and I end up with lots of clicks and pops.

    For instance, when I would make all of my beats strictly on my computer, I would chop up a sample in Cool Edit Pro (yes, that's old), and then apply a filter to remove clicks, pops, and hiss. It did a pretty good job, but I was left with a really muffled sound, and a lot of times it didn't even get rid of the dirt, so I was left with no choice but to scrap the sample and find something else.

    4. It's Hard To Fine-Tune

    Just the other night I was making a beat and I found a few dope samples. One was piano and the other was bass. I chopped them both up and was ready to go, but when I played both the piano and bass together, it sounded like shit. That's because they were completely out of tune. I know there's tools to help fix that, but with samples it's a bit more difficult.

    I mainly like to keep things simple, so I try to stay away from lots of plug-ins, and instead focus on just the samples I have in front of me. They were both dope but I had to let go of one of them, which really sucked because they were both great on their own.

    5. It's Been Sampled Before

    One of the most frustrating parts about sampling is that a lot of music has already been sampled. Take for example, "Tidal Wave" by Ronnie Laws. I was busy doing something the other day and this track came on, and I thought to myself, "Yo, I should sample this, this shit is dope", not realizing what song it was. As the song continued I then remembered that sample, which was of course used by Black Moon on "Who Got Da Props".

    That is why it's hard to find good samples because a lot have been taken already whether you realize it or not. I've heard many stories of beat makers finding a dope sample, flipping it and making it sound dope, only to find out later on that it was used by a famous producer.

    Add to the fact that it's not just the Hip Hop genre that is using a lot of samples, and you have a big issue to deal with when you go digging either for vinyl, or online via YouTube.

    Conclusion

    Even though these points explain some of the reasons why I hate sampling, I also love it. It's like anything that you love, I guess. With every positive, there's a negative. I think that's something Einstein said. Long live sampling!

    Further Reading Related to Sampling
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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  3. Pug

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    Yep, totally true. Especially drums, sampling and cutting up drums is time consuming.
     
  4. EsquireMusic111

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    With me still somewhat being a rookie to sampling, although I have been producing now for 10 years, I am in that frustration gap of this area lol. I do admit that since I have started taking on this part of music, it has been an up and down Rollercoaster in sitting and trying to really figure and piece things together in developing the sound of a flip in my head. I will say that I do respect those that can seriously just sit down with a sample in mind and create a masterpiece.
     
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  5. spaceNTime

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    Sampling is another way to create art. It is time consuming but you gotta understand alot of people dont have the level of inspiration to create their own melodies or talent to do so. Then again alot of people say creating your own melodies will never catch the listeners on an emotional level like sampling does. To me I love original tracks that are not sampled.

    I know Hip hop was CREATED on sampling but the past doesent dictate the future to me. I really love the sound of an original beat that was created from "scratch" so to speak. When I hear sampled stuff it just takes away the enjoyment almost unless its flipped so radically that you will never be able to notice it.
     
  6. OGBama

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    @spaceNTime I also love when tracks are created from scratch because it forces the creator to not take a lazy way out by sampling. Plus when creating from scratch there are no legal worries. I think sampling is an art also but that depends on the skill level of the producer.
     
  7. Kung-Fu Flavor

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    Sampling is tough and time consuming. It’s like digging for gold. How ever there is so much music on vinyl waiting to be discovered. I have to bounce back and forth from my online sound library to refresh myself and lately I have just been mixing the two together. I’ll use a main sample from vinyl and grab the other pieces in so many key variations from my online sound library with both clean and dirty sounds.
     
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  8. Memento Beats

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    This whole sample thing is very messy but intriguing at the same time.

    When it comes to law even if you sample a millisecond of a mastered song and change it in a completely different sound it is still perceived as a theft. I know it's almost impossible to recognize you took that millisecond but according to law it's a theft. Of course if it hasn't been cleared before.

    I have to say my personal approach to sampling had changed as I started trying it myself and discovering music by artists like 9th Wonder, DJ Premier or J Dilla. At first I thought of it as a theft and I was frustrated when I discovered how many of my favourite rap songs especially from the 90's were made on samples. I still think of it is a theft but ONLY IF you do it in a way for example Dr Dre was doing it. I know he's one of the greatest if not the greatest producers of all time but in my opinion the majority of his beats was made by taking a direct sample of multiple elements without even changing it not to mention chopping it. This is not fair in my opinion. I realise in 80's and 90's it was a new phenomena but it is the same thing as if I was a writer and rewrote a book by Stephen King only changing names of characters and adding some elements of mine. Of course I realise I dare to juxtapose two different areas of creative work that are hard to compare but I'm doing it just to give an example. It's not fair because usually musicians whose music is sampled had to spend years of work to take their technique and phrasing to a high level. I know what it's like because I've been playing the guitar for about ten years now and I know what it takes to get good at playing an instrument no matter what instrument you play. Besides, the sad fact about the sampling is that a lot of artists whose music has been sampled never got paid for the use of their music. For example, let's take Funky Drummer. The man behind this famous loop has never been paid even once for use of his work but all we know there is an enormous amount of rap songs in which this motive was sampled. And now imagine such a situation. You practice playing your favourite instrument for years, you improve the tiniest elements of your technique, you learn music theory (I know you don't need it but it's helpful), you write a song in which you incorporate your skill and somebody just takes it from you, adds his small part to it, releases it as his own and earn more money on it than you. To me it's not good at all.

    On the other hand as I mentioned above I changed my mind when I tried to chop a sample for the first time. I tried to sample 'Breaking Bad Main Theme' and make a beat out of it. I found it difficult even with my knowledge about theory of music. It was frustrating for me to actually manipulate the sample and it was taking a lot time to make a sample sound the way I wanted it to sound. I got interested in it because it became a challenge to me. I also started treating it as some kind of a musical jigsaw puzzle. When I started practicing it I realised that it IS a real art. It takes a good musical taste to find a good sounding loop, great amount of creativity to arrange it in your own way and a lot of patience in digging for a proper sample. Secondly, you can greatly improve your knowledge about music by sampling. Sampling is also a good way to learn how to find a 'sweet spots' in music because in most of the cases the loops you choose to chop greatly shape your own taste for choose instruments you use in your original songs. The funny and I think the best thing about sampling is the fact that it multiplies the number of music. Because when you sample something you usually take a small part of a musical piece. By doing so it is possible to make new things over and over again just by the division of the existing music into smaller parts. Also if you look at the world of art there is no such thing like originality. And I would even say there never was such a thing like originality because almost everything that was made had been based on something that had been made before. Basically speaking everything you make is a remix of all the things you heard throughout the entire life. So overall you subconsciously sample music of others. I think it is also worth to mention that music even now when there are lots of different plugins that help creating more and more innovative music (especially electronic music) is a limited art. Why? Because you only have twelve sounds in the octave and it's impossible not to repeat some chord progressions that have been already used.

    Summing up, I think sampling is a very controversial form of art. For me it's a good way to learn and expand musical vocabulary. I know that my comment is very long but I couldn't stop myself from writing it. Peace. :)
     
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