Okay, so you’re currently trying to extend your sample library but don’t know where to find free quality samples to use in your productions. I know how it feels, I’ve been there multiple times.
This post will show and discuss a few ways that I’ve used to find free high quality samples and loops for my productions. Please note that all of the samples you find using these methods will not be royalty free. Always make sure that you are allowed to use the samples in your productions, at least if they’re making you money.
Reddit has named itself “the frontpage of the internet” because of the amazing amount of content and posts that are posted every day. Because of all this content, you can find a lot of royalty free samples in various genres for your productions.
The Reddit search engine isn’t the best though. In order to find what you need, you should instead go to Google and use this search method;
Site:reddit.com “insert genre” free samples
As you can see, this query will search through reddit and find threads and subreddits that match the genre that you are looking for. You can use various different search terms to match what you need.
Remakes on YouTube
As you probably know, there are lots of song remakes uploaded to YouTube every single day. A majority of these offer some sort of project file download in the description. Just search on YouTube for your favorite “artist / genre / song + remake” and you will probably find what you are looking for.
When downloading these project files there are usually some kind of annoying “follow-to-download” gate or something similar (I know, because I’ve been guilty of using these). In order to quickly get through these, and to not spam your main accounts, you should open up some alternative accounts on all the popular social networks. These include Soundcloud, YouTube and Instagram.
Please note that the samples that you download through this method may not be royalty free. That makes this a bit of a risky method to use, so use it with caution.
Splice is a website that offers a wide range of samples made by multiple companies and artists. In order to access the library you have to pay an initial amount of money where the lowest alternative is about $8 for 100 Credits.
One sample usually amounts to 1 credit, but Splice offers a wide range of free samples after you’ve paid the initial amount. This makes it a great value for your money.
Loopcloud is a service and application developed by Loopmasters. This app is similar to Splice in terms of offering royalty free samples and loops for you to use. You may think that this is a paid service, which it is, but they are currently offering new users 150 free samples and loops per week as well as an initial 1 GB of free sounds.
Another really cool feature with Loopcloud is that it offers you a way to audition the samples in your DAW before downloading / spending credits on them. You also have the option to timestretch and pitch-shift the samples before committing to them.
Artist Sample Packs
You may have noticed that every now and then there are artists who offers free sample packs to their followers. Examples of this is Jon Sine, who’s label “Axsens” offers free packs made by him and other artists signed by the lable. Another example is Asher Postman who released a really great free pack on his YouTube channel.
In order to find these kind of sample packs you should start following as many of your favorite artists and “music production YouTubers” as possible. You can also search for these on for example YouTube.
Sometimes you may see that these artists sell their packs for a “pay what you want price”. This is also a great deal for you as well as a great way to support the creators that you like.
“Try out” or demo packs
Many sound design companies that sell sounds (such as Loopmasters, WA Productions etc.) give out free small sample packs that are a limited version of the full paid sample packs. These packs usually contains about 20-30 samples and can be legally used in your productions. Make sure to take advantage of these and take a look at various companies and see what they offer.
Production Resources Website and Blogs
Many blogs and websites related to electronic music productions have been putting together lists of free sample packs and preset packs for people to download. Websites such as Cymatics.fm and Nodusk.com have a wide range of different resources that you can go through in order to find the perfect packs.
I’m also putting together lists like these, so make sure to stay tuned for those. You will probably find them under the “Resources” tab in the menu in the near future. In the meantime, take a look at these;
Freesound.org is a great source to find mostly foley sounds and sound effects that may be needed in some genres. Please note that these sounds mostly goes under the Creative Commons License, which means that you can use the sounds even commercially but may need to provide credits to the owner or producer of the sound.
Soundbible.com is another great website that contains similar sounds as freesound.org. These sounds also goes under the same license, so make sure to check how you should proceed to use these sounds.