Digging Digging/Sampling Tips/Techniques

5th Sequence

Hip Hop Head, Certified
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 178
Fellow wax enthusiasts, share your tips, tricks, techniques and methodology to digging!!!

I'll start it off. Keep in mind, a lot of the stuff seems basic but it may help someone else out who would otherwise not know much about this art.

When Digging

- Leave no record unturned! The one you skip could easily have been that one jem you found last week.

- Inspect the unique looking covers for a unique sound. I love buying records that i don't think anyone else would fuck with. It's also good to have unique sounds in general (i'll get more into it later). I also buy records with hot or naked women on them whenever i randomly come across them (if she's compelling enough lol). Yeah, i dont know why aha, I've yet to make a hit from this. If you don't have a dozen hawaiian chicks in your sample library yet, shame brotha, shame.


- Inspect the year - As any experienced digger knows, a lot of 80's stuff has a stiffer processed sound then the soul of the 70's era records do. Check out a record by its cover, then check the year and see if it still seems like something you want to cop.

- Check the instruments!! Look on the back and see if it gives any details about musicians and what instruments are played on the track. You can peice together a very vague idea of what you'll be dealing with before you buy it. If you see banjo, put the record back.

- Check the instruments part II!! Look at the instruments and then think in terms of what you have, don't have, and what you want more of in your sample library. (I'll touch more on this later).
- Cop some solo instruments. anytime you see "Concerta" I think? someone correct me if i'm wrong but i think thats the term for solo that is used a lot. Either way, look for solo's of whatever you can.

- Do multiple record shops. If you can, hit multiple locations (till you get a feel for who gets new stuff, and the quality of it). This is somethin i personally need to change cuz my lazy ass goes to the same place and it's not even that good lol. You also gotta keep in mind quality vs quantity. Right now i'm going for quantity so i'm getting ALL my shit out of .25 and .50 cent record bins. Sometimes i splurge and blow my money in the jazz section. :D

When listening to samples

-start with the hawaiian chicks. Don't lie!! You know you buy those records everytime!! (LOL.. na.. we figure out it's the same sound after around the 8th record lol)

-As far as listening to your newly purchased wax treasury, think about building your sample library with as many sounds as you can. When I say sample library, I mean an actual folder on your computer, extra zip disks or whatever to just store sounds that you sample. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to store sounds on zip disks, but try to keep it organized. I have folders for every instrument i can think of inside my main "Vinyl Samples" folder.

I break it down to the obvious orchestra, keys, bass, brass, guitar, pads, synth, drums (nside drums i have kick, snare, hihat, rolls, breaks, misc), full samples and unique. I may have missed one, but you get the idea. What I personally do when I listen to my vinyl is i'll record anythingthat I think could be remotely useable and store it into one of those subfolders.

As soon as i put the needle on the wax, i'm listening analytically for what I can record. Fuck I even record the different "vinyl crackle" at the beginning of songs from different records (they do sound different you know). This is great for adding more vinyl texture to a sound that needs to be dirty'd up. Great for drum work right there.

As your listening to the record.... listen for the intro. The intro may be a build up of instruments that gets into the body of the beat. This is great for getting usable material to sample and manipulate because the drums and rest of the song arent fully into their thing yet.

Or.. you may be lucky enough to have a drum fill intro in whichcase you sample the drums and then add it to your drum folder. This is KEY, you will have so many raw drum samples that you're stuff will never sound the same.

Keep listening.. as the song is going on.. listen to anyspots where the bassline sounds prominent or any spot where a low pass filter will give you a gritty textured bassline. All you need really is one good note, two if possible and you're set. I find that 70's jazz records are great for basslines if you can scoop one out.

If you do this to every single song you should be on your way to buliding a massive sound library of random sounds, textures and vibes. The advantage of this is that you may be stuck somewhere on a beat and then you can browse through your other sampled material and find inspiration or samples that fit the track perfectly. it's about having a large soundbank to go through to find that special something your track needs.

Understand this shit is hella time consuming too.. believe me, You'll be into it for about a 20 minutes or so and then you'll just say fuck it and start making beats out of eagerness from your new samples and ideas.

Recording/Flipping Tips

- Unfortunately for you digital diggers, you can't really benefit from this. For the vinyl guys though, sample your records at 45rpm to save time (for your samplers limited time sake) and to get a richer sounding sample. Once you've recorded your sample, pitch it down the correct number of semitones so it sounds normal and you should have an added texture to your sample.

-Make sure you aren't clipping anywhere in the recording process. Make sure your dj mixer isn't clipping or any other source in your recording line. It's easy to overlook, I do it everyonce in a while.

- Record different versions of the sample when you want to mess with the EQ, pitch or time stretch. It's easy to add EQ to a sample, record it.. then later wish you hadn't added all of that Treble, but can't find the record you used.

- If you have a tube preamp.... try running your turntable into the preamp and then the preamp into whatever recording device you have. Tube saturation can sound great on certain samples. Record 2 versions if you like, one with or without.

- Try and mark your records if you record something off of it. I use to mark all of my records with mini post it notes. I'd write the filename down on it. After i moved into my apartment (and moved all 900 records in as well), i lost a grip of those things an kinda lost all motivation to keep doing it lol.

- While making a beat using samples, don't be affraid to experiment. There is so much that can be done to a sample to flip it so it is unique to your vibe. Lowpass or hipass filter, modulation, delay, wah, tremelo, pitch up, pitch down, etc. Endless possibilties and comboniations to texture your sound into something that nobody has.

For example, I may take jazz sample, filter out the hi's AND the deeper part of the lows leaving just the lower mids (400-800hz) so it's a mellow sound. Then i'll add modulation so it sounds smooth and in stereo. If all I have is a hit of this "smoothness", i'll extend it by adding a delay in sync with the tempo of the beat so it's like a mellow pad. Listening to whatever arrangement I have, i may find i want some strings....

I browse through my orchestra samples and load up a few files in FL that I think compliment the track. I may filter out everything but the hi's so i have a very airy feel to this strings and then make something that fits the vibe of what i already had.

Now I may go through my drum section and load up 7 or 8 different drum sounds. 2-3 kicks, snares and hi's that I think fit the sample i'm working with. With this, i'll layer compress and EQ to taste unitl i get something thats bumping (drums HAVE to be bumpin, theres no slacking on this). Endless possibilties with layering, compression and EQ.

Now I'm looking for that bassline, so i'll take my jazz bass sample that I found, apply a lowpass filter so it's just the bass, then compress it so I can pitch shift it and have it hit relatively in the same decible range.

That's just a lil example of some typical beat process i'll do using all samples. If i'm stuck at a part, i'll go through and listen to what else i have. different sounds may inspire the direction of the beat entirely. Sometimes i'll be so inspired that i'll save my project, then save a new version of the project and go off in a completely different direction then where i was just headed. When creativity shows, I goes with the flows!! It's also great to have vst's or hardware synths that have a good palette of quality sounds that you can use to add to your beats. Quality sounds, dope arrangements and tight mixes are a powerful arsenal to have at your disposal.

Aight so i hope this inspired some people, and i hope to hear some personal digging/sample techniques from the other heads around here. Contribute!!

RECORD DIGGING FOREVER.

LOL.

Peace

-5th Sequence
 
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trez260

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
only thing i can advise is...
dig with an open mind
listen...listen...listen.....
familiarize yourself with labels, musicians,producers,writers. names may reoccur, if you've had a good forturne with a certain artist and see his name on another record, it maybe worth a listen.
don't expect it to be easy, you may go long periods of time without finding anything dope....keep diggin
 

adomav17

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
Unfortunately for you digital diggers, you can't really benefit from this. For the vinyl guys though, sample your records at 45rpm to save time (for your samplers limited time sake) and to get a richer sounding sample. Once you've recorded your sample, pitch it down the correct number of semitones so it sounds normal and you should have an added texture to your sample.

DAMN! never thought of that one.... its been getting annoying recording those 15-25 minute sides of the vinyl..... like i can record it....and be in the moood to make a banga.... then after i'm done just turn that shit off and save it for later....


how many semit tones is it to pitch it down though?
 

5th Sequence

Hip Hop Head, Certified
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 178
thanks for the feedback guys. All this info is for everyone, if you guys can think of ANYthing, just post it. Doesn't matter if it's big or small, I want this to be one of those resources that people bookmark and refer to lol.

adomav, i think its ughh... shit i dont know. i'll sample something right now and find out.

Yeah I just checked. From sampling at 45 rpms, you need to transpose the pitch down 5 semitones to get the 33rpm original pitch.
 

The Mastermind

This Illuminati Be Illin'
I always pay close attention to the producer, that will often give a good idea of what you are getting. I pick up anything with Tom Moulton production because his tracks always have big long breakdowns where nearly every instrument gets a focus or a solo. There are others who have similar approaches.
 

adomav17

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
thanks for the feedback guys. All this info is for everyone, if you guys can think of ANYthing, just post it. Doesn't matter if it's big or small, I want this to be one of those resources that people bookmark and refer to lol.

adomav, i think its ughh... shit i dont know. i'll sample something right now and find out.

Yeah I just checked. From sampling at 45 rpms, you need to transpose the pitch down 5 semitones to get the 33rpm original pitch.

thanks man that should save me alotttt of time of the sampling tip...... it was a big help
 

5th Sequence

Hip Hop Head, Certified
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 178
bro, modulation is where its at lol.

the idea is to bring the mono sample into stereo. Or if you have a stereo sample, you could make it mono so all of the instruments are dead center (instead of the actual sample having the guitar to the far left for instance, it's in the middle with everything else). THEN apply the modulation so that it's in stereo again, but the guitar will be panned in the center but still comming in stereo.
 

Dysphuncktional

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
great article....

one thing i absolutely dont agree with though, is recording everything at 45 rpm.
it does not mean richer sound for your samples, it means poorer sound.
tape recorders work that way too, you record the tapes faster sound quality goes down, same with records. not only that, but playing your 33 rpm recs at 45 rpms is bad for them. the grooves on 33s and 45s are different, they are more narrow on a 33 so the needle going through it faster is not a good thing.

if its sound quality improvement youre after, you should be sampling your 45's at 33 rpm.

i guess if its grime or time saving youre after recording 33 rpms at 45 would do, but just realize that it is causing stress and extra wear on your record and stylus.

peace
 

5th Sequence

Hip Hop Head, Certified
*** ill o.g. ***
Battle Points: 178
great article....

one thing i absolutely dont agree with though, is recording everything at 45 rpm.
it does not mean richer sound for your samples, it means poorer sound.
tape recorders work that way too, you record the tapes faster sound quality goes down, same with records. not only that, but playing your 33 rpm recs at 45 rpms is bad for them. the grooves on 33s and 45s are different, they are more narrow on a 33 so the needle going through it faster is not a good thing.

if its sound quality improvement youre after, you should be sampling your 45's at 33 rpm.

i guess if its grime or time saving youre after recording 33 rpms at 45 would do, but just realize that it is causing stress and extra wear on your record and stylus.

peace
Cool bro, that makes sense. I just posted what i've read before. It works well for saving time for samplers like i said. I guess I shouldnt use the terminology of a "Richer" sample but rather a "dirtyer" sample if its destructing the quality.

Good looks on the knowledge disphunkt
 

Cheo

Member
*** ill o.g. ***
Nice tip fam...


bro, modulation is where its at lol.

the idea is to bring the mono sample into stereo. Or if you have a stereo sample, you could make it mono so all of the instruments are dead center (instead of the actual sample having the guitar to the far left for instance, it's in the middle with everything else). THEN apply the modulation so that it's in stereo again, but the guitar will be panned in the center but still comming in stereo.
 
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