Using Samples In Beats: You Need To Do This!

Sampling is an amazing skill to have. You can create very unique beats by implementing creative sampling methods in your beats.

But, do you take notes of all the samples you use in beats?

This is important!

Whenever you use a copyrighted sample in a beat, you should always write down the detailed information about the sample. It’s your responsibility to know this information.

If an artist wants to use your beat in their project, you need to have the details of the sample available for them. Most often artists and record labels need to know what 3rd party samples have been used in order to get permission to use them.

If you don’t even know what samples you have used, it’s highly likely you will lose the deal. If you don’t tell the client you have used samples in the beat, you may get in trouble.

You don’t want that to happen, right?

Sample Information You Need

Essentially you need to know the source of the samples you use. Any information that would help to locate the owner of the sample.

When sampling a piece of music:

  • Artist and song title (important!)
  • Album and release year (helpful)
  • Original audio file or link to source (helpful)

When sampling a movie or a TV-show:

  • Title and release year (important!)
  • IMBD link (helpful)
  • Timecode of sample (For example: Sampled from Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 1 at 0:46 min.)

When sampling a YouTube video (or similar):

  • Channel and video URL (important!)
  • Channel owner information (e.g. email)

Sampling YouTube videos can sometimes be tricky because videos are constantly being removed. Even if you have the video link, you may not be able to access it later. In this case, it’s important to know the information of the channel owner, such as email. In addition, YouTube videos might contain content that even they don’t have the permission for. This is important to remember.

Where To Save Sample Information?

In order to quickly find the sample information of a beat, you need to save it for easy access. You don’t want to waste time trying to find the information later.

I like to save the information in two ways:

  • In the beat folder as a plain text file.
  • In an Excel spreadsheet where I save all the details of all my beats (Download my template here!)

NOTE: Always backup your files, too! Here’s an effective backup method for music producers and beatmakers.


Last Words

That’s it. Hope this information helped you to become a bit more organized with sampling. Make it a habit to always write this information down when you’re finishing a beat. You’ll save so much time and headache with this simple procedure.

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