Drum samplers are incredibly practical tools which can help musicians express their creativity. They are versatile, with a wide range of options for manipulating tracks to one’s taste. However, due to the sheer number of different options, they can also come off as pretty overwhelming. Lucky for you, we have compiled several sampling tricks that are sure to help you on your musical journey!
Tip one: Properly fitting and the sample
One of the very first things you should remember is that drum samples were not originally meant to fit properly into a pre-existing track. It is not enough to just simply slap a drum sample into a mix and call it a day. You need to be weary that, realistically, a sample can only fit into 4 places in a track: on the beat, on the off beat, or before and after the following beat. When placing a drum samples into any of these places, you need to make sure the EQ of the sample fits with the rest of the arrangement, you should also adjust the tone so it doesn’t overlap with other sounds, and finally, you need to be aware that not every drum sample will fit to the overall vibe of the track. Certain drum sample packs are meant for certain genres, so sacrifices will have to be made in order to keep the overall aesthetic of the track. Or alternatively, make sure you are using the appropriate drum sample pack for a certain genre.
Tip two: Slicing Loops
In certain genres, like EDM and techno, the basis of a track will consist of a certain drum loop. One interesting way of spicing things up with a single drum loop is to try and slice up the loop and add various midi notes to each of the slices for example. Alternatively, you can slice up the loop, and try to either resample it or reconstruct it in different ways, as this will give a breath of fresh air to the entire track.
Tip Three: Messing around with punching and swinging
One sure way of spicing up those drum samples is to make sure they have a nice punch and swing to them. Of course, this mostly depends on the genre of the track, but turning that swing up, or adding a stronger punch and impact to your drums will increase your chances of your song becoming the next hit. Sometimes, what a track needs is that little extra push on the pitch envelope, or maybe the drum’s hit length needs adjusting. You never know until you try!
Tip four: Adding Effects
If you decide to slice up your drum samples, you can make interesting rhythmic variations by processing each slice individually and experimenting with different plug-ins. Place each of the slices in separate audio tracks and let your imagination take you on a journey. Don’t be afraid to experiment with filters, messing with the EQ, add bit-crushing effects etc. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself.
Published by Emma Lawson