The sample player (also known as a sampler) is a feature included in most modern DJ software. Most DJs only use it for triggering sound effects like an airhorn, but it can be used to do more creative (and useful) things. Here are three examples of how to use the sample player aside from triggering sound effects.
1. Use it as a drum machine
You can easily turn the sampler into a pseudo-drum machine, and you do this by loading some high quality drum samples. Make sure you’ve got the basics like a kick, snare, clap, hi-hat, and percussion, and use them to fill in quiet / low-energy parts of songs. This is a perfect way to add variations and “movement” to songs that have sections that do not have drums, or just to improvise to add more of a live element to your set.
2. Use it as a loop player
Some DJ apps have the ability to change the tempo of the samples loaded and/or sync the samples to a deck. This makes the sample player a great loop player. Adding drum, percussion, or bass loops add another creative element to your set becomes easy, especially if your software has a sync feature for the sample player.
3. Use it as an aux deck
Since you can load whole songs onto the sample player, it makes for an “extra” deck. This is especially useful for mobile DJs who have songs that need to be played at particular times. Songs loaded in sample player slots make to play tracks at the press of a key or pad instead of having to load each song in a regular track deck.
With a little bit of preparation and some practice, the sample player really adds another creative element that DJs can add to their sets. Load up some drum samples and loops, and try sprinkling them throughout your DJ set. Not only is it a simple and fun way to add new elements to your performance, but it can help your sets stand out from others too as you gain more proficiency in using it.
Do you use your DJ app’s sample player feature at all? How? Let us know in the comments.