In my last post, about Megowan’s Wormhole Wednesday mix, I referenced my undying love for hip hop culture. Let’s continue in that vein with a topic that touches my sweet little boom bappin heart – SAMPLING!!!!!
The first real sampler by definition was the Mellotron, one of my FAVORITE instruments of all time. It’s that thing you hear in the beginning of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever‘, plus MANY other late 60’s and early 70’s psychedelic masterpieces. The way a Mellotron works is absolutely ridiculous, and there’s no time to go into it now….but you can read all about it right here. Slowly but surely, sampling evolved. The first real pioneer was the electronic legend Bruce Haack (Seriously, peep his work if you’ve never heard of him…may I suggest the album Electric Lucifer), who took his homemade sampler on Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood and blew the minds of kids and adults alike. By the time the late 70’s and early 80’s hit, sampling was taking the music world by storm. From hip hop to new wave and everywhere in between, the distinct timbre of taking an old or found sound and creating something new with it was all the rage.
In todays lawyer-saturated world, sampling has become somewhat taboo. Most legitimate artists won’t touch it, as they know that unless they clear that sample, there will be an impending lawsuit and a cease-and-desist order. Nowadays in the electronic music world, there are plenty of royalty-free sample packs one can spend their hard earned dollars on, but…but…but….they are mostly more electronic sourced sounds. Meaning, there just isn’t that same crunch, vibe, or magic courtesy of accidents that comes with sampling live instrumentation.
Enter – The Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library!!!!! If you’re not familiar with Rubber Tracks, here’s a quick description from their site –
“Converse Rubber Tracks is a community-based professional recording studio in Brooklyn, NY. Emerging musicians of all genres can apply for free studio time. If selected, artists record at no cost while maintaining the rights to their own music. In addition to our Brooklyn studio we partner with local recording studios in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, and Los Angeles to provide free recording time for local musicians.”
Ya gotta love it – a company who has made plenty of money off the hip hop community (Snoop Dogg anyone?) is giving back by providing a library of INCREDIBLE samples for FREE! I mean, seriously, this collection is top of the line and mind blowing. Everything from Jazz to Rock, Funk to Gospel…all right at your fingertips, for free. These golden nuggets of audio bliss are stamped with BPM codes and Key, and are just waiting for you to experiment with. High quality, live players, real singers, and royalty free. They say you don’t HAVE to credit the original players, but it would be pretty cool if you did spread the love if you end up using any in your works. (That means credit them.)
Look, there’s really no need for me to tell you a ton more about this. Just get over there and explore this treasure chest for yourself. You can find the whole collection right here in the Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library.
Do you have any amazing sample libraries you’d like to share? Please do in the comments below, we’re always looking to dig in the crates!