Bored of your usual samples? Strapped for cash? Or just looking for some inspiration? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to find samples and loops, covering a huge range of sounds and styles. Whatever you make, we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration to help you create music on little to no budget.
When am I allowed to use samples or loops from a sample pack?
If the publisher of a sample pack states that the samples on the pack are ‘royalty-free’, it means that you do not have to pay any royalties to them or the people involved in creating the sample.
Usually when you sample someone else’s work, you would need to ‘clear’ the use of the sample with both the owner of the rights in the recording (the label or the artist) and the owner of the rights in the composition and lyrics (the artist or their publisher). Head to our help centre for info on what you need to release music with samples in it.
This guide lists samples whose creators have given them away for free or for a small fee. Why would someone give samples away for free? Well, some producers just enjoy making them, or want to be generous with material they have produced for their own use, or just want to give back to the community of sound creators. Whatever their reason, it’s good news for you.
So where do you get the best music samples and loops to use in your music?
Dutch electro, techno and electronica genius Legowelt is a real gearhead. He owns dozens of vintage synths and drum machines, and he has created an incredible array of sample packs picking through his favourite sounds for them. His incredible archive features lovingly created packs of sounds recorded from classic machines like the Juno 106, the Boss DR660, the KORG Electribe ER-1 and the Yamaha DX series, with everything from drum hits to FX, bass, leads, pads and plenty more. There’s an absolute treasure trove to discover here, and an education in vintage hardware to be had while you’re doing it.
He’s also made a variety of excellent Ableton plugins and VSTs which you can also download for free from his website.
For more free VSTs, check out our roundup of the 12 best free VSTs you can get online.
This website brings together the online content of magazines including Computer Music, Total Guitarist and Keyboard Magazine in one place, and it hosts a full archive of the 70,000+ free sample packs they have created and given away over the years in cover discs and online downloads. Whether you need some jazzy keys, some Prodigy-style samples, trap samples or world music flavours, they’ve got you covered. You could make an entire album of diverse music from what they have on offer.
German software and hardware company Native Instruments have a very generous free package available for all called Komplete Start. The package includes a whopping 2,000 sounds as well as 16 virtual synths and additional effects plugins. As the name implies, it’s plenty to get started with and to boost your set up with.
A small but perfectly formed collection featuring everything from drum hits sampled from a Roland SH-101 to groove templates from classic MPC machines to add vintage swing to your tracks.
Splice is one of the leading platforms for music production samples and loops, offering access to millions of the best royalty-free samples, loops, and presets; Rent-to-Own plugins & DAWs.
Ghosthack offer some of the worlds best royalty free packages that and could be used in your next hit including 90 fresh sounds from their latest sound design sessions, 808 sounds for trap producers, Massive and Serum Patches, Pads and Bass One-Shots! and so much more.
If you need more inspiration, or just want some friendly advice on the best tools to make music check out our articles on the top music production DAWs and our roundup of free tools to make music from home. And when you’ve got that banging new track, we’d love to release it for you. Login or sign up to get started.