How to creatively use Sample Packs | Tips by Janus Rasmussen
Currently, there are loads of sample packs available online that are suitable for every kind of music production. Samples from the biggest producers, engineers, and music companies are available online, 100% royalty-free. You’re free to use these samples 1-on-1 in your productions, but the art of music lies behind this. Renowned music producer Janus Rasmussen who is also 1/2 of the duo Kiasmos recently put out a video showing how to get the most out of your sample packs.
Down below you’ll find some tips and tricks on how to creatively use Sample Packs, based on Janus’s YouTube video. The sample pack used to illustrate these tips is Organica – Full Production Suite by Production Music Live and the DAW used in the process was Ableton. These tips can be replicated easily to any sample pack and any DAW.
Tip 1 (Drum rack)
By selecting all of the kicks, snares, percussions, or FX and dragging them into your drum rack, you can freely choose the right sounds that suit your track. Connect your drum rack to a controller, such as the Ableton Push, and start jamming to your song. This way you save a lot of time searching for the right sample and it will spark your creativity.
Tip 2 (Combining)
Often, you come across the right sample but something is lacking. Let’s say you like the low-end of the kick but not the transient. Let’s combine different kicks then. Drag multiple kicks of choice inside your DAW and start shaping them by using an equalizer. Remove the low-end of one kick and the high-end from the other. This way you will create your own kick.
Tip 3 (Sampler)
Load any sample inside a sampler and start playing around with the pitch, by using your keyboard or controller. You can start experimenting with the timing and different pitches of the sample.
Tip 4 (Timing)
You can change the starting point of a loop and find the sweet spot by selecting a section and moving this around until satisfied. This will change the timing and the groove of the sample. You can also throw your loop inside a slicer and start experimenting with that. Ableton for instance, instantly adds different controllable features, such as the ADSR, start offset, and loop length to the slicer. This will give you even more control over your loop.
Tip 5 (Comping)
Normally, the comping process will be used for vocals but this can also be used for your loops. Drag and drop different shaker loops inside your DAW and select your favorite points from different loops. Achieve a creative and surprising outcome.
Tip 6 (Vocoder)
Use a vocoder plugin on, for instance, your hihats in order to let them cut through the mix more easily. The vocoder will add hiss to the incoming single but it will also round off the transients. Use an equalizer straight after the vocoder if you want to maintain the transients.
Tip 7 (FX)
Use a random sound, change the key, (add reverb/delay) & reverse it. This will result in a suction effect inside your track and function as your self-made FX.
Tip 8 (Stretching)
Time stretch your sounds on or off the grid and let the result surprise you. Within Ableton, you can choose different warp functions that will react differently to each sound. Artists such as Flume, and San Holo are using this method a lot in their music productions.
Janus Rasmussen’s YouTube video:
Next article: Best Ambient Sounds Sample Packs in 2022
Image Credits: Janus Rasmussen
Information Credits: Janus Rasmussen