Many people believe that sample packs are little toys for noob producers who don’t know how to write MIDI or play any instrument, but the sampling industry has evolved and matured into an invaluable source of musical wisdom and learning resources for musicians and producers. From knowledge on musical genres to the acquisition of MIDI editing skills, here’s a list of eight hidden perks associated with the use of sample packs.
KNOWLEDGE ON MUSICAL GENRES AND TRENDS
The first and most obvious benefit you can start reaping from diving into the sampling industry is an immediate insight into last minute musical genres and trends. The moment you enter a large distributor of sample downloads like Producer Loops you get straightaway exposure to the myriad of genres and styles that permeate the electronic music landscape. With a staggering showcase of 16,212 downloads spanning all imaginable genres and styles, Producer Loops offers you unlimited access to the latest and hottest tendencies in modern sound design and music production with the simple click of a play button. Every single Producer Loops download features one or several demo tracks that can be listened to instantly and without restrictions from a directory of 70 different genres including House, Hip Hop, Trap, EDM, Trance and Techno.
INSIGHT INTO THE MUSIC TECH INDUSTRY
Apart from exposure to a huge list of musical genres, you also get access to more than 300 sound design and audio software labels and companies whose work and background can be checked on the spot. This can give you a big insight into this field in case you’re on the lookout for job or business opportunities in this thriving and exciting industry. Pioneering and top selling sample labels like Loopmasters, Producer Loops, Kryptic Samples, and Prime Loops, with catalogs growing beyond the 400 mark, are always on the lookout for fresh talent and deep knowledge on professional fields ranging from sound design, music technology and production, to product design and management, content creation, and marketing.
Another skill that producers of any genre can improve through the use of sample packs is mixing. There are tons of Construction Kits and DAW templates with full audio stems that can be used to hone your mixing skills without having to pay for any recording gear, expensive studio hours or session musicians. Many of these Construction Kits and DAW templates come with professional mixing channel strips, so you don’t have to spend hours online trying to figure out what kind of effects you have to chain up to start mixing; all the boilerplate setup is ready for you to start tweaking and improving your mixing skills.
Apart from stems for mixing, a lot of sample packs include unmastered mixdowns that are perfect to practice mastering without having to produce the mixdowns yourself. This is perfect for producers who want to specialise on mastering but don’t have the time or the means to produce their own mixes, or for more seasoned producers who simply want to improve their mastering skills on an extended range of genres. At Producer Loops, you can find a vast array of professional mixes spanning many different styles and many desirable technical requirements for mastering like headroom, mono compatibility and high bit depth fulfilled.
Sound design is the core subject that dominates today’s sampling industry, and whether you are a beginner or a seasoned producer, this is a skill that you simply can’t ignore. Sample packs give you a clear picture of all the different categories and types of sounds associated with all the different genres and project types, as well as all the terminology on formats and all the rest of technical and legal stuff surrounding sampling and sound design. There’s a lot that can be learned simply by listening and analysing the work of sound designers at the top of their game. Clues about sound fundamentals like amplitude, length and pitch found in one-shot samples, as well as the advanced concepts behind more complex formats like loops, stems, MIDI files and instrument presets, such as rhythm, tempo, key, and synthesis types, are all for the taking for those with a will to learn and step up their game.
One of the easiest and most popular ways of making music today is by drag-dropping and sequencing samples on a DAW. This method of producing music through the layering, edition and sequencing of audio files in a DAW is called arranging, and it’s become ubiquitous in nowadays’ computer dominated landscape. That being said, it isn’t hard to see why this is a skill that producers of all stripes need to embrace and master, for even those with a leaning towards more traditional genres such as Pop and Rock can benefit from the ability to layer a few extra loops in the mix and exploit the potential of the ‘studio as an instrument’ approach as a way to extend and enhance music production beyond that which the mere recording of instruments allows. Sample packs constitute an affordable and convenient way of mastering this skill, making the learning process as smooth as playful.
Similar to arranging, but definitely a skill on its own, beat-making has become a huge field of interest within the electronic music scene due to the rising popularity of Urban genres like Hip Hop and Trap and the growing appeal of controllerism. This is a very interesting approach to music production that relies on real time performance and physical dexterity as means to create rhythmical structures. A stance that deviates from the programmatic and automatized strategies traditionally associated with electronic music. Modern mainstream music has embraced the beat as the predominant musical support for EDM, Pop and Dance, and there’s not a single commercial hit that isn’t built on some kind of beat these days. Sample packs make diving into beat-making a breeze with a steady and diverse supply of one-shots and loops of any imaginable source and genre.
With MIDI packs you can learn a lot about the creation of MIDI and experiment with MIDI editing endlessly without having to write or perform elaborate MIDI files from scratch. These files can ultimately be assigned to any instrument in your collection and be turned into unique music parts for your own productions. There are MIDI files available for almost any conceivable genre, so they constitute an amazing resource for the learning of music theory, as well as the in-depth study of musical genres.
Throughout this list, we have delved into eight ways in which sample packs can help producers and musicians to improve their professional and creative status by providing insight and perspective from a wide repository of industry related information such as musical genres, audio companies, as well as a set of technical skills including mixing, mastering, sound design, arranging, beat making and MIDI editing.