Choosing Your Sounds

Find out how you can always choose the right loops and samples for your tracks.

Any track you've ever heard that contains sounds, loops and samples have been carefully picked in order to suit that track. Whilst this may sound simple, it's not.


You might be thinking - 'Hang on, this is easy! Drag 'n' Drop right?'


If only it was that simple!


When choosing sounds for your track there are a few key things you need to ensure...
- are they in the right key?
- do they match the tracks' BPM?
- is this sound the right timbre/instrument for my track?


The first 2 points are easy to solve but the third is where things get a bit tricky. It's very tempting to scan through audio sample stores such as Hyper SoundsSplice, Loopmasters, Producer Loops etc - search via key, genre, BPM, instrument - and then assume you've found the right sound for your track just because a website has shown you. This isn't the way to go.



That being said, websites like the ones I mentioned are a great starting point but don't rely on them is what I'm trying to say.


Unfortunately, there is no quick tutorial, guide or fix to understanding how to choose the right sounds, loops or samples for your track. It's purely down to experimentation, trail 'n' error and experience.


However - don't be dis-heartened by this. You will learn many valuable lessons along the way by doing this.


One tip I will give you though, as this helped me massively, was to train my ears to recognise what sounds suit certain genres. The way I did this was making completely different styles of music than I had been before.



For example, if you make House - try making Drum & Bass. If you make Trap - try making a film score. Why not?


Do this combined with listening to copious amounts of different records, you will soon have a trained ear to what sounds work together and what sounds don't. This isn't restricted to only listening to commercially released tracks either, try finding some unsigned artists too, as typically, you're more likely to hear sounds that don't suit a track.


So overall what I'm saying is - do you think an 808 Booming Kick is going to sound good in a Jazz Quartet? Probably not.


It's about understanding context and what sound you're trying to achieve.