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Using samples makes me feel like I didn't really write the track


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Hi, I have nothing against people who choose to use samples. Personally though, I am afraid to use them, because it just doesn't feel like it's my track. I even have problems using arps and sequences...I rarely use them, and usually only for ambience. What are your thoughts on samples, and personal creativity? I know it's almost impossible to get R.L. quality audio without using them.

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I don't see what could possibly be wrong with using samples. I think you must mean "loops", as a sample is literally any bit of recorded audio (and using, say, piano samples is no different than writing a piano score and having a pianist perform it, from the perspective of creativity.)

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As zircon says, you're not really talking about samples. You're talking about what are referred to as loops (or in the arp scenario, presets).

Samples refer to something different entirely, it actually just means virtual instruments (at least around here), which you use for the computer to perform your own compositions.

As far as loops go, I try to stay away from them. However, when I come across a good drum loop with high quality drum sounds, I slice it up for the individual hits and make my own rhythms (unless it was a dance beat loop that had sounds I wanted for a dance beat, then there's really no need there to slice it up). So in short, if you really like a loop, but you feel guilty about creativity, then use audio slicing and manipulation to add your own twist to it. :nicework:

As far as real life quality audio without loops? That is completely false. Virtual instrument sample libraries can get you real life quality audio (with some effort) just as good as loops can.

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There are longer sampled, phrases, parts that don't have to be looped but are still long and elaborate enough to feel like someone else's doing. My advice? Get over it. Write your music, use these samples when you need or want to use them. If you're writing the rest of the music, selecting and placing these sanples, and mixing it yourself, it's yours, isn't it? :)

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http://jhsounds.com/track/infamy

Listen to this(wonderful) track. It used samples, does that make it any less musical? The samples used in this were actually taken from a rather famous(not infamous :P) speech on Pearl Harbour. Samples can still be used musically and make something wonderful and new.

While we're at it, let's look at this song.

I'm sure you've heard it before, it's rather popular. It used samples rather extensively. Samples don't just mean you're selling out and using other people's work. If you can take something and turn it into something else, that's still a wonderful accomplishment in your own right.

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http://jhsounds.com/track/infamy

Listen to this(wonderful) track. It used samples, does that make it any less musical? The samples used in this were actually taken from a rather famous(not infamous :P) speech on Pearl Harbour. Samples can still be used musically and make something wonderful and new.

While we're at it, let's look at this song.

I'm sure you've heard it before, it's rather popular. It used samples rather extensively. Samples don't just mean you're selling out and using other people's work. If you can take something and turn it into something else, that's still a wonderful accomplishment in your own right.

Yet the problem lies where you don't gain any skills in writing your own music, just in manipulating (remixing) music. They're totally different things, and I write all my music from scratch because I want it to be my music. I want all the notes to be placed by my mouse and my mouse alone!

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Piano samples [are] no different than writing a piano score and having a pianist perform it.
This.

Yeah, that's like saying famous composers such as Debussy or Wagner were actually pretty unoriginal because a whole orchestra performed their work - and they didn't even have direct control over attack envolopes and individual note velocities. Shame on them.

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Can you post a couple examples of the kinds of samples you feel uncomfortable using? Surely you're not opposed to using something like a piano VST, I think we can all agree that would be silly.

I have a feeling you're referring more to things like a sample of a synth pad that you didn't create, or relying on a synth's arpeggiator instead of writing the notes out yourself? And probably loops as well?

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This.

Yeah, that's like saying famous composers such as Debussy or Wagner were actually pretty unoriginal because a whole orchestra performed their work - and they didn't even have direct control over attack envolopes and individual note velocities. Shame on them.

They didn't even develop their own programming language from binary to make their own OS so they could create their own MIDI standard and their own DAW for their own VST's.

They didn't even program the frikkin envelopes.

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They didn't even develop their own programming language from binary to make their own OS so they could create their own MIDI standard and their own DAW for their own VST's.

They didn't even program the frikkin envelopes.

They didn't invent the microchips either, nor did they solder the PC together. For shame...

lol

I don't mind using synth presets, since I've never tried making one before. The way I look at it is this...the composers of ancient times didn't really invent the instruments, and they set the standard, so I guess technically we don't have to invent the instruments either.

Certain samples I understand, like the Roosevelt one (since it was a famous speech), and the Daft Punk one (there's nothing wrong with using a sample you made yourself.) It's just I wouldn't feel like the work was really mine if it was made out of mostly loops...I have nothing against listening to music like that, some of it is really great (for example, I like the sound of B.I.G Hypnotize and there are sample's from 2 different songs in it.) But personally it would just feel like I cheated myself.

Oh and by samples, yes, I mean loops. Those are the only kind of samples I'd consider using, using samples in place of a vst just doesn't work for me, the oscillations get messed up because it's not really generated, just pitched shifted.

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Electronic music is about sound design more so than any other kind of music. Not making your own synth patches means you're missing out on a whole creative field. Start doing it. It's not just useful, it's also fun. :)

Oh and by samples, yes, I mean loops. Those are the only kind of samples I'd consider using, using samples in place of a vst just doesn't work for me, the oscillations get messed up because it's not really generated, just pitched shifted.

You do know _most_ piano VSTs use samples, right? :tomatoface:

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Oh and by samples, yes, I mean loops. Those are the only kind of samples I'd consider using, using samples in place of a vst just doesn't work for me, the oscillations get messed up because it's not really generated, just pitched shifted.

Sample librares aren't pitch shifted, they actually record every note.

And acoustic instrument VST's aren't usually generated. They use samples.

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While we're at it, let's look at this song.

I'd just like to point out that daft punk is one of the worst possible examples of sample manipulation I can think of, right up there with Kayne and co...

They are great examples, though, of the kind of thing you feel guilty about: basically just pitch shifting someone's track wholesale and adding a drum beat.

If you are going to use samples as an "instrument" which is the type of creative endeavor I think you are referring to, do something like this:

Also be careful of legal repercussions... sampling is definitely a grey area.

also, I write music on an original daw with a custom rig which uses a ternary system of my own invention.

I also use hardware synths made entirely of scraps of old IBM machines and Russian vacuum tubes for which I programmed the communication interface in an entirely new assembly language that I wrote down on a napkin while eating chicken waffles at Grandy's.

it sounds so analog

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Sample librares aren't pitch shifted, they actually record every note.

And acoustic instrument VST's aren't usually generated. They use samples.

Depends on the library. Smaller soundfonts usually re-use samples for multiple notes, you wouldn't even notice it if the instrument is layered

As for OP's question; I really hate synths. Even after all those decades of development they're still sine/square/triangle/noise being inserted into effects and layered upon one another to generate a sound. I'm talking about realism here, if anyone bothered to read that. Synths can be amazing at what they do, but it's hard to come by a synth that's "beautiful" in the way you'd call a harp, a sitar or a very-well crafted acoustic guitar beautiful. Native-Instruments is making great progress with their traktor and reaktor range, though..

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Synths can be amazing at what they do, but it's hard to come by a synth that's "beautiful" in the way you'd call a harp, a sitar or a very-well crafted acoustic guitar beautiful.
Whoa, whoa back up. So really, you think dirty sine waves are beautiful? Because that's cool too.

Not like the beautiful, pure, unadulterated, basic waveforms.

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As cheesy as they tend to be, I think certain well-programmed synth pad sounds can sound really beautiful, in the sense that a string section can sound beautiful.

There's also something really visceral about sweeping filters on really any synth sound (especially if controlled manually) that can't really be recreated with any acoustic instruments (unless you're using filters as an insert effect on an acoustic instrument track which is weird, and also cheating), and between that and controllable vibrato, ring modulation, phasing, and what not, I think the sounds can be as expressive as you want them to.

With the amazing versatility of most synths, I think the limit to the 'beauty' of a synth sound is moreso ones own ability to program sounds, rather than anything inherent to synthesizers.

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Depends on the library. Smaller soundfonts usually re-use samples for multiple notes, you wouldn't even notice it if the instrument is layered

As for OP's question; I really hate synths. Even after all those decades of development they're still sine/square/triangle/noise being inserted into effects and layered upon one another to generate a sound. I'm talking about realism here, if anyone bothered to read that. Synths can be amazing at what they do, but it's hard to come by a synth that's "beautiful" in the way you'd call a harp, a sitar or a very-well crafted acoustic guitar beautiful. Native-Instruments is making great progress with their traktor and reaktor range, though..

You know all sound in the world is sine waves, right? That's basic 8th grade science. Also, lol at last bit.

Traktor is DJ software and reaktor is a synth factory (not so much a synth itself)

As far as your beautiful comment, it's safe to say you haven't heard a lot of synth sounds (or played with one).

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You know all sound in the world is sine waves, right? That's basic 8th grade science. Also, lol at last bit.

Traktor is DJ software and reaktor is a synth factory (not so much a synth itself)

As far as your beautiful comment, it's safe to say you haven't heard a lot of synth sounds (or played with one).

I cannot recall I said traktor and reaktor are synths, perhaps you read it somewhere else? I haven't heard a lot of synthesizers, no. And it's safe to say not everyone has heard many instruments being played live, either. There really is a difference between hearing a recording of an instrument and hearing the instrument itself

Saying all sound is sine-wave is like saying all wood is made from cellulose. There really is more to sound than just sinewaves. Why else would so many rely on samples, instead of physical modelling? If you believe emulating instruments is something to belittle, you can either become very rich by writing your own synthesizer software, or you're unknown to the territory

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