The Sampling to Make Dance Music Megathread

The purpose of this thread is to discuss crate digging, using samples to create dance music, using samples to create new sounds, chopping breaks, music theory vs. sampling etc. The conversation should steer away from using drum one shots and focus on using snippets of other artist’s work to create something new, remixing, cooking loops etc.

Posting WIPs and finished products is encouraged but posts should include a fairly wordy description about what samples were used, how they were processed and arranged etc. If you just want general feedback please post in the Listening Booth. Likewise, feedback to tracks to should focus on the sampling aspect rather than general feedback. Discussion of specific software or hardware is also OK as long as its related to a specific song that’s been posted–we already have a Hardware Megathread and I don’t want to step on its toes.

To restate the purpose of the thread, the target of conversation should be on how you used samples to create something you posted or questions about how to use samples to create dance music. The kind of samples we are talking are those “found in the wild” but we can also talk about those obtained through sample packs or subscription services. No drum one shot discussion as that’s been done to death.


I’ve got something in the can I’ll be posting later this afternoon as an example. Stand by.

So this is an old tune and I think I posted it in the LB already but here goes…

Sound wise everything but the drum sounds, the bass and the vox are sampled from rock tunes. I was sampling the Doors, Santana and U2 (some others as well but I don’t recall). All the sounds were shaped and sequenced originally in the Digitakt then I recorded the phrases into my DAW to do a full arrangement.

The sounds are like plucks and keys pulled out of bare spaces, multiple instruments hitting at the same time. Things like that. So no big loops and everything was manipulated heavily. Everything was recorded of of YT from my phone directly into the DT.

Unfortunately this is very old and I can’t speak much to specific sound design w/o digging through the parameters on my DT. I do know that the sound around :20 with the long reverb tail I am automating the bit reduction to get that kind of sparkly/textured fizzle out sound as it trails off. I may have resampled the sound with the reverb and added the bit crush afterwards to really get that grit.

All the other sounds are manipulated heavily, even the bright key/pluck that plays the main phrases throughout the track sounds very different than what I started with. Much of it was just using filters and envelopes to get a new sound. I think I resampled a few things internally as well to get more complexity.

I didn’t go into this with a specific plan except I wanted to use primarily samples to make all the sounds except drums and bass.

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I keep thinking I should try a project where I use samples from my punk/hardcore background and layer with electronic sounds to get something different but I always post pone that.

I haven’t done any serious sample digging in a long time. It didn’t take me too long, maybe an hour, before I had grabbed enough snippets where I was comfortable starting a track. It was a good afternoon of nostalgia listening. I’m not going to win any sound designing awards any time soon but I think I got a decent couple songs out of the exercise (the above being one of two).

When you have a free hour or two some weekend you should just go for it! It doesn’t take much original audio to get you somewhere interesting. Does your MPC have direct sampling? That makes it much easier.

I have a track where I put a bunch of spoken word snippets of sermons over a house beat. Is that in the ballpark?

Sure. IMO this thread should be pretty open to all kinds of sample use :slight_smile:

My experiments on sampling punk and metal are not going too well, sure I’m getting some cool samples, but nothing I’ve been able to integrate in a beat

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Sampling you have to have an ear for because fitting different melodic elements together…

Anyone could sample a drum break and reslice it…or fsu a sound…but mixing different melodies together and making them fit not only mix wise but tonally is not an easy thing to do.

I just stuck with reslicing and fsu ing samples…off of free sound and wherever.

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So this uses a bunch of sermons because I wanted voices screaming at the top of their lungs over bitcrushed wildfire (which is what that noisebed is btw) and I couldn’t think of something where the people scream more reliably than a pastor into his sermon. Except maybe a cable news anchor, but I didn’t want to go there.

Only a little visit seeing some friends but will respond to yall when I get back.

So, here I am getting back to you all weeks later. Sorry about that.

@White_Noise yea, this is a pretty classic move in house music. House music reaches back when musicians like Ray Charles were taking Gospel and turning it into something else and this became Soul, R&B > Disco > House. Soulful and religious vocals were not uncommon in early house tunes.

I like it. (Bassline is on point too).

@Auto-meh-geddon did I see on FB that you did actually use like a punk or metal band sample to get something going recently?

I did. With sub standard results though.

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it was something like this, you can hear how elements do not really fit…


I think I know the parts that you say don’t fit, but honestly I think it works. That said, I’ve always been a fan of dissonant music. I’ve got my limits on how dissonant but this is far from terrible imo.

this was basically just me being a little bored after smoking a hootie and it has no legs or plans but…Imma leave this here…

I needed to announce it somewhere but didn’t really want anyone to see it. A Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episode last night inspired me to do a ~30-45 minute studio mix (@me if you don’t know what that is) of only Donna Summer’s songs and instrumental parts but in a dark disco/bleep n bass/old school rave style.

Literally no one in the world wants to hear this but me but I’m fucking going to make it.

@relic I am watching this cartoon. Cool so. :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed::kissing::kissing::kissing::kissing::kissing::sleeping: