Reader DJ Coops writes: "I am fairly new to the game and currently use Virtual DJ Pro on a laptop, but I am looking at up buying a controller which will most likely be the Traktor Kontrol S4. My question relates to samples and loops. Can anyone suggest good online sources for these? I do not want illegal downloads as I believe this is the wrong thing to do by the artists. I am in Australia but happy to buy from anywhere."
Digital DJ Tips says:
It's great that you're wanting to do the right thing and obtain your samples from legal sources. With the Traktor Kontrol S4 putting particular emphasis on the use of samples, you can't be the only DJ looking at this route to make their sets more interesting.
The first thing to say is that the S4 comes with a set of samples and loops to get you going. But as far as the best places to obtain further samples from online, I asked our Twitter followers where they get their samples from. Below are their suggestions and a couple of my own too, including one offline source. Many of those who sell products don't have them exclusively, so make sure you shop around!
- Loopmasters - As well as instant-download sample CDs there are also plenty of artist interviews, tech tutorials and music software tips on this site's video channel
- Clickproduce - Search quickly by chart or by what's new, or pick a genre and browse - this is a simple to use site that has the added attraction of free tutorials from Point Blank
- SoundsToSample - Seem to have a particularly wide range of samples here, with the added attraction of a weekly Q&A session with a top producer for some free insider tips
- Prime Loops - Up-to-the minute selection including plenty of exclusive sound suites across a wide range of formats. Weekly blog and a wide range of tutorial videos to buy as well
- SoundCloud - Soundcloud has recently launched a new initiative which encourages producers to contribute, share, and in certain cases, sell their original or exclusive samples under a Creative Commons licence
- Sonomic - More like an aggregator/search engine of samples, this site has samples from all over the place that you can buy by the loop or as whole downloadable CDs, for instance
- Computer Music magazine - Grab the cover-mount CD to get loads of royalty-free samples every month. Not sure if they distribute Computer Music in Australia - however, many of these are also given away for free at the Sample Radar website
One word of advice is to make sure you're getting "royalty free" samples, where once you've bought them you can do what you will with them, otherwise you may find yourself shelling out more than you bargained for were you to have a hit!
• Thanks to @xarishmusic @djsoosk @tommybutala @btdj @edwilder and christiandavies on Twitter for their suggestions for this article.
Do you use samples, loops and effects in your DJ sets or own productions? Where do you get yours from? We'd love to know in the comments.