How to Hide Your Music Samples in Plain Sight

  1. Fade

    Fade

    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    Administrator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Posts:
    14,168
    thief2.jpg

    The Hip Hop beats that we all hear today are nowhere near as influential as the beats of yesteryear, and for one good reason - the music industry's greed. I could go on about the industry and how producers and musicians are not able to express themselves freely as they once did.


    For Hip Hop producers, this is especially true because the main thing that makes up a Hip Hop track is sampling. Now we have legal teams and laws that are constantly cracking down on music that is created with samples that are not legally "cleared".

    On one hand I completely understand. If someone were to sample one of my songs without seeking permission or even paying me, I would not be happy. On the other hand, where do you draw the line? I wrote an article a few years ago about how it seems that certain samples are off limits and others not, why?

    For example, I have tons of drum kits and drum breaks in my collection that I regularly use when I'm making beats. A lot of them are from the same tracks but have been tweaked to sound a bit different, and some are just straight up samples. But here's the issue - how come I can sample the snare from Audio Two's "Top Billin'" (which everyone knows) and yet there are no repercussions? However, if I were to sample a line from the vocals, I could possibly have lawyers knocking on my door.



    This is why it's important to hide your music samples, and you can even do so in plain sight. Here's how.

    Hide Your Music Samples

    I know of a lot of producers and beatmakers that sample a song and chop up the sample then replay it to fit their beat. That's great but you don't need to recreate the original composition. Instead, why not just use a few notes from the sample? Obviously this doesn't work with all samples because some are easily recognizable and others not so much. If you have a piano loop that you want to use, that's even easier because all you have to do is break up the piano into individual notes and use them as needed.

    You can use the samples in their original form or mess with them just a bit like pitching them up or down, applying a bit of EQ, or running them through some sort of effects filter. But for whichever method you choose, the best way is to just use a few of the notes and blend them in with the rest of your beat.

    Just yesterday I made a beat that was made up of:
    • Drums
    • Bass
    • Rhodes
    • Piano
    The drums are from a drum kit, the bass is a sub bass from my collection, the rhodes are from another kit, and the piano as well. But here's how I did it:



    Drums: This is straightforward; I just created a loop.
    Bass: Same as drums.
    Rhodes: This is a bit different. What I had was a Rhodes loop but I only took one tiny part of it and pitched it down, then I played a melody with it. It might be recognizable, but there's no way anyone can tell the original source. Even then, it's a Rhodes and it's only a small note. I could argue that I got it from a real Rhodes keyboard.
    Piano: I love how this one turned out. It's a loop but I chopped it into four parts and I simply played each part very softly in the background to blend in with the rest of the beat. They're not individual piano notes but almost. Again, I could argue that I played the melody from a real piano.

    The main thing to take away from this, is that when sampling, it's best to cut up your samples into individual notes. Too many producers will take the sample as is and just loop it. Those beats sound great of course, but they're too easy to recognize, and that's what you're trying to avoid.

    I would like to know what you do when you sample and how you try to hide samples. What is your best technique? Leave your comments below.

    Related Links
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  2. KDVS

    KDVS

    ILLIEN
    Battle Points:
    85
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Posts:
    231
    First, I'm diggin that "Chill Nod" tune, would like to hear more... I rearly sample anymore, but when i do i try to mix it up as much as possible, i try to play the chops "crazy" from what it was, but still try to not get to big of a difference in the sounds (chords). It depends off course what i want, haha, but yeah. Sampling is hard as fu#$.
     
  3. Pug

    Pug

    IllMuzik Mortician
    Moderator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Posts:
    1,692
    I rarely hide my samples. I cut them sometimes, pitch them, EQ, whatever, but I never go out of the way to hide them. If I can't make the sample sound better than the original, I usually leave it as close to the original as possible. It's just my way of doing things, but I know that if I was selling records, then that would probably change, or just have to dig deeper for more obscure shit.
     
  4. Fade

    Fade

    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    Administrator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Posts:
    14,168
    Thanks! Appreciate it.
    Yes, I noticed that but if it sounds good then go with it.
     
    wizard and A.R. DASUPASTAR like this.
  5. River Cruz

    River Cruz

    Member
    Battle Points:
    6
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Posts:
    39
    What up Fade,

    First off, loving the vibe on the track, super laid back...The way I use the sample depends on what exactly I'm sampling. With piano samples, unless it sounds crazyyyy by itself (rare) i chop them into individual notes and play around to get the vibe that I'm going for. with horns i chop up specific half a second progressions and mess around with them and with loops that I'm digging a lot i chop wherever it sounds dope and play to get something that sounds dope but has that sampled feel, then once i have that i add effect on certain chops or the whole group itself. then i continue to chop other records and add those chops here and there until I can honestly say "yea that's sounds perfect" which sometimes takes awhile lmao of course other times its a matter of 30 minutes lol
     
    A.R. DASUPASTAR and wizard like this.
  6. Beautiful Noise

    Beautiful Noise

    No Song is Safe.
    Battle Points:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Posts:
    267
    Fade, thanks for this article. The biggest challenge with sample based beat making is how to flip a sample to be dope and hard to recognize. I remember when I sent you this beat for ATB, and you said it was a little annoying:



    Believe it or not, it's from the soundtrack of a very popular movie. I remember hearing the original piece, and when I was in the mood to flip it, I came up with this beat. Yeah, it may be annoying to listen to because of the way I arranged the sample, but I guarantee that by the time the "sample police" figured out where I got it, I will have already made a transaction with an artist who likes it or it may just circulate as a compilation beat.

    Sampling isn't as tough as some beat makers say it is...what's tough is flipping a sample to be unrecognizable. Believe me, I have samples in my arsenal that I could loop all day and be on every radar from here to Russia. My challenge in this season is flipping those samples right and not losing my Beautiful Noise sound. PEACE!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
    A.R. DASUPASTAR, wizard and Fade like this.
  7. Fade

    Fade

    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    Administrator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Posts:
    14,168
    That's the hard part though, to make it sounds nice as well. It's great though that you were able to hide the piano. I sort of relate it to the way some deejays will mix an acapella with some instrumental. Even though they match up perfectly, it doesn't mean it sounds good.
     
    wizard likes this.
  8. Part2

    Part2

    Boom Bap Beatsmith
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Posts:
    6
    When I'm sampling (which is 99 percent of the time), I normally go for obscure samples that have different sounds in them. Anything from a Harpsichord to a saxophone...and when I find my sounds, I normally arrange them in a way where you would think it was a one-shot or snippets taken from different records. If I'm sampling, lets say, a piano or organ, I'll snatch a loop out of the sample and chop it up into as many parts as possible that my ear catches, and just re-arrange it so that it not only sounds good, but almost as if it was played like that in the original. I think a lot of it also has to do with the samples you choose too. A dope sample selection is key!!!
     
    A.R. DASUPASTAR, wizard and Fade like this.
  9. King Drew Xlll

    King Drew Xlll

    Member
    Battle Points:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Posts:
    67
    I rarely sample anymore due to all the reasons you mentioned lol, unless I come across a sample I cant live without but then I do my best to chop it down to individual notes so I can rearrange them how I like and play whichever piece out specially I want. Dope article @Fade
     
    wizard likes this.
  10. Fade

    Fade

    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    Administrator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Posts:
    14,168
    That's the thing I find too. I love sampling but if I'm making something without samples then I know no matter what that I don't have to worry.
     
    wizard likes this.
  11. A.R. DASUPASTAR

    A.R. DASUPASTAR

    Member
    Battle Points:
    22
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Posts:
    76
    When sampling, I like to create individual chops and create my own melody. I take each note and I EQ it for mixing purposes and I raise or lower the pitch depending on the sound.
     
    wizard and Fade like this.
  12. wizard

    wizard

    VIP Member
    ILLIEN
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    43
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Posts:
    741
    that track is my jam!! we use to rock that b-ball games! lol
    Great advice and tips. I do pretty much the same chop it up sometime depending on the artist ill grab a loop of the song.
    If the sample has drums in it i chop it based on the drums, like kick snare and ect or if they are really heavy i will filter them out.

    Thank you!

    Yeah I started composing more myself barely sample but, some artist come to me with some samples and i never pass it down!

    @Fade THAT BEAT WAS DOPE BRUH!!

    You killed it with that arrangement and the way you chopped it up great example!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2017
    Fade likes this.
  13. A.R. DASUPASTAR

    A.R. DASUPASTAR

    Member
    Battle Points:
    22
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Posts:
    76
    I've been studying Pete Rock for a couple of years now watching interviews & him making beats. I like to chop at least 8 record's of different instruments & change the pitch on certain melodys along with some delay effects in the snare or hats. I eq each track on my mixer. When you play your own melody with the same sounds from the record & change pitches on these tiny chops, you won't recognize 1 chop.
     
    wizard, Fade and Drago Zetić like this.
  14. Fade

    Fade

    VIP Member
    Beat Scientist
    Administrator
    *** ill o.g. ***
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2001
    Posts:
    14,168
    @A.R. DASUPASTAR Exactly. Nowadays we have no choice but to hide the samples so that's when trickery and effects come into play. Done right and it's not even recognizable.
     
    A.R. DASUPASTAR and wizard like this.
  15. odbarq

    odbarq

    superpimp trillionaire
    Battle Points:
    6
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Posts:
    270
    I was fortunate to come to rap before BIz 2live and beasties etc got hit with those suits, so I remember the sound well. I was also very young when producers and beatmakers got the fright and lawyers started influencing our music, so I remember the musicbox piano plinks and other 2nd string beat styles that resulted. they changed our music but I'm still young enough that people like madlib, muggs and RZA were able to influence me with their styles of sampling and now I have my audio collages that are all heavily sample based, but I would bet most of the time unrecognizable even to the original artists...
    my favorite technique is to cut at a "wrong angle", when most would start time at the first kick for example, I start with the second kick, or even the snare... I also like to combine similar sounding pieces from different artists especially if from different eras... the engineers efforts won't be as noticeable that way; ever notice sometimes even the air of a recording can give you a feeling? that's the sound of a mastering engineer coming thru your speakers, that's an instrument to a sampler.. I only know one rule, if I like it it's good. and I don't like it if my work sounds like their work, that's not good. so I focus on counter-melody and most times even create melodies that were not present in the original composition. a bass line can accentuate or obliterate an original groove, so I most often obliterate using a few bass notes to lay a new funky line over a filtered and reversed sample that lays under some haunting strings... etc this is what makes sampling fun to me. I sometimes feel bad that I missed the era of snatch 2 bars and run with a breakbeat, but I feel good where I am. as far as sampling being theft, at the risk of preaching to the choir; catch me if you can.

    can you name the source for 90% of this track? the only things I added were the drums and the effects.
     
  16. odbarq

    odbarq

    superpimp trillionaire
    Battle Points:
    6
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Posts:
    270
    ...also I think the industry is turning to software to catch sample theft and if so, they will always miss the chopped and screwed joints...
     
    A.R. DASUPASTAR likes this.
  17. Gabriel Starkey

    Gabriel Starkey

    Newbie
    Battle Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Posts:
    2
    I personally love sampling in my beats-I think samples is such a good way to give your beats the character, life and most importantly the pure undisputed SOUL which is far more difficult to achieve through midi instrumentation. I think the way that samples are chopped is very important in trying to hide them and I totally agree that if its just a certain sound or instrument then who's to say that it was the sample you took and not use that instrument? For example, I recently sampled a jazz vibraphonist; the sample I used was from a solo performance, so the sample I used was just vibraphone. By the time I'd chopped it, tuned it down rearranged it, added effects and all the standard sampling stuff, it seemed impossible that the chordal sequence I'd created could be linked to what was originally played. I think with sampling the most important things are- keeping your sample choices obscure, rearranging them/shaping them in a unique way and making sure you add other elements to distract from the original sample used. Great post
     
  18. Lance rr poplar

    Lance rr poplar

    Member
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Posts:
    48
    every sample I change some what or a lot I am addicted to changing samples it's not easy for me to make a song having de samples sound how dey first did and with vocals is other way around I mean I can change dem yet dat is de ting about vocals I don't want to change dem to much so usually I slow it down or faster then vocal is still kind of same yet changed and is only small samples not like the full song right dats what is about I know dat when its about the instroments dat as soon as you change de sound no law can say ting about it only if it is large sequence you know with signature if is small den loop it and do more plus blend dem with sample dat are made for people to purchase and use
    plus I play tings backwards a lot and make samples like dat I have change de sound of samples so many times in the last few years dat when you talk about it I am like right there to see what you got to say about it dats my ting seeeen I do it so much dat it is sick crazy
    big up

    I mean dats de ting about samples dey is not same as sound packs in de sense dat de reason for sampling dat sample is to express your self with dat sample from dat song dat every one knows dats de point and if de song I make with dem samples becomes large and I make huge sales of of it and law people want to talk to me I will juxt give dem there pay even if it means all my money made from dat song because now I am noticed and liked so dat song can juxt be givin back to who I sampled it from with money I generated of it and dey is cool more so now because people love how I made it new seeeen

    it's only vocals dat you can hang for dat if de vocals are current and or not to far in the past as in dat artist is still making money of dat and owes record companies dues so is about who you sample when is about vocals dey got to be from about de 1970 or earlier and from artist dat is so huge dat dey are far beyond paying record companies you know it's always de stars dat got in credit debt with dem record companies dat sue samplers so juxt sample real stars and keep it short and make it dope and don't do dat when you your self get large yet if you do get large den you can most likely ask dat star for permition at de parties and or club seeeen big up

    or you can be all gangster about it like shoog night where lawyers will be scared for dem life to sue any artist dat has shoog night as dem boss seeeen hahhahaha you need to do some killings and build a rep as person dat orders death first before being same as shoog night you know law court is law yet dey live in general population in de city and dey don't want to get hit so dey search for average fish to fry BLA BLA you juxt have to change de sound of de sample and not sample long parts and not currant and or mass popular like as in song is old yet always played in de club and vocals really you can do with fx and even make your voice sound like dat sample you wanted haha juxt copy it with your own voice and fx den you will no longer be a simple gi joe and you will now be insane in de membrane staring at de red light beeeeeeeem seeeeeeeeeen big up

    yet even though I done said dat I sample vocals because I like dat vocal artist sound and don't want to be de vocals I do want to sample it though

    oh yeah dey can not sue you if you is not making money of it and is not using it to make money you can sample it and give it away for free hmmmmm dat makes me think how can a DJ spin records and get paid for doing so hmmmmmmm
    now dat really makes me wonder

    AND HOW DO A DANCE CLUB USE ARTIST MUSIC AND DANCE CLUB MAKES MONEY DOING SO RIGHT SO HOW DO DEY DO DAT WITH OUT GETTING SUED HMMMMMMM

    hhaahhaha really I don't expect any one to answer to what I just said in caps about dance club hahaha you have to be far gone extreme power full to answer dat one any ways big up respect and we shall rule this world

    and yes sir salut respect up up up to de man who is greater than me him is fade big up no joke I swear on my life

    and yes is true and fact what you done say about yester years being more so awsome dope as in sampling as in hip hop was founded on sampling yet what you did not say is dat there was and still is a small group of people dat use computers and mastering studios and mpc akai ren dat have made almost all of hip hop beats in de far past and do so today and almost half of dem live in New York and other half of dem live in la now west coast has dem in de dirty south dem is de back bone of almost all hip hop and electronic music

    you know dem is also who mpc akai asked to say how should mpc akai build de mpc akai ren and from all dem feed back is why the mpc akai ren is how it is this is a know and documented fact with video by mpc akai for example tribe called quest is one of dem you know how do night clubs play artist music and not get sued then think who owns de night clubs den think who is who now look at dub step and trap music and think why is de sounds so much exstreme new and not same as average hip hop sound maybe dats what happens to sample with loads of fx maybe dats why de music now days sounds like it do as in dub step and trap people just killed de law with fx hahaha big up dey whent fx raw hard strait from das sewer under ground dig It tee dig it add fx re build it law can't touch it das fx diggity with it boom bam filter reverb delay come with de fastest ruff tuff slam slide fade it soft smooth we serve it das fx dey whent fx get it fx it das how do it dig it up make new again fx it vex monsters we make de new music big up law people can't seee we we so fx up dem tink we is scary

    don't connect to de inter net down loads cheaper free samples reconize dey is trick and traps in form of free samples and or huge bundle cheap style samples is like pieces to a puzzle dey slave you to build then you get large and your blood dey spill drinking it up threw your past signed deals terror confusion you sealed your doom with out even knowing internet coding you got coded with out even knowing so trying to explain to de people this is mad headache so just listen up to what fade got to say because him show de way not to become victim him knows about what is learking abound him knows also sound and format internet be good gi joes fade and wizard can show you how to survive de matrix

    as for me I got way to much evil darkness and anger all I am good for is cobra no badge no if no metal no recognition no props even though I just destroyed de enemy for gi joe hahaha yet gi joes are so knowing about half de battle dat never mind big up more murder no limit soldiers be about it

    stand up big up hold up jump step forward left right super man super woman hold it whatch it criptonight out of site
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2017