There are many reasons why I record my own samples. In this article I’ll share with you why I choose to spend time and money on doing so. The benefits to each and some information I’ve learnt over the years from some of the industries top sound designers. Below is a video of various sample packs I have recorded and created for use in our custom kontakt sampler.
You can download this sample pack from the Audio Animals Samples home page by clicking the download free button below. There you will find a number of other free sample packs ready to download instantly by clicking the sample pack image.
By recording my own samples I know they are 100% original. No other producer or composer has the same sounds I will have. Resulting in a sound that is unique to me.
Knowing The Source
I know exactly where the sample has come from. I know that at some point down the line it hasn’t been converted to MP3 or resampled a hundred times before it reaches me. I know it has been recorded and mixed correctly using high quality equipment.
Getting The Sound You Want
If I need a certain sound for a certain track I’m composing, I can record that exact sound. Instead of searching through hundreds of sample packs trying to find the sound I’m after. A couple of weeks ago I needed a white noise style hi hat for use in a house track I was writing for a vocalist. With the track already utilising a lot of natural recordings, I didn’t want to use synthesised white noise and cheapen the track. Instead I recorded air being released from my old bike tyre.
By recording your own samples creativity is possible. For instance you are not restrained to a snare drum that sounds like a normal snare drum. You can experiment. Add grains of rice or ball bearings to the top of the snare for added effect. Build your own snare using plastic tubing. The possibilities are endless.
I love recording. Sometimes I’ll never even use the samples I record. I simply recorded what I recorded for the sheer fun of it. Taking a couple of hours away from the studio to go and record audio.
Sample Packs To Sell
Sample packs are a good earner. As many other sound designers may tell you. I love selling my sample packs. Not only because Of the money that can be made from them but also because I’m a lover of audio quality. I feel it’s important for other artists to be able to achieve this kind of quality in their music too.
I Don’t Trust Sample Packs
I’ve bought sample packs in the past from sample sites and out of the 200 plus I own I can quite safely say I’ll never touch them again. Low quality samples of loops that are best described as resampling other artists work. Time and time again I have loaded a sample from a sample pack into my daw and seen poorly spliced samples with clicks and pops in. Not to mention many samples being badly bounced exceeding 0db and leaving no dynamic range. These are samples I don’t want to associate with my own productions.
Capturing Natural Room Ambiance
Natural reverb from recording in a certain room is great. No amount of convolution reverb can emulate it exactly. Although a convolution reverb does sound great, the live recording of the room ambiance whilst recording your sample can not be beaten.
Mixing Samples How I Wish
Most artists who create sample packs are not mixing engineers and will not mix a sample correctly to work well in any mix. I know by mixing my own samples I can take the necessary approach to the sample so that it is ready to be loaded into any session.
Sample Processed Ready To Load Directly Into A Project
By recording and mixing the sample myself, I am able to process it ready to be used as soon as I Import it into a session. No processing will be required, thus reducing time spent using EQ, compression and other processing tools.
Written by Paul Ashmore ( Audio Animals Mixing And Mastering Engineer )