Updated: Mar 15
The most frequently asked question from YouTube and Social Media listeners is about the source of my samples. A lot of guys assume that I take them all from purchased sample packs, but that's not the case. A lot of material is created by me using several different sources.
In this blogpost, I have compiled these sources for you. But I am grateful for more ideas of course, coz you can never have enough samples :) Leave your comments below or just text me!
Before we dive in, keep in mind that the sample selection is very personal and a reference to your own taste. I'm only looking for very specific material of my genre, which is minimalistic, lo-fi influenced and not loop based. Let's go!
Samples from hardware gear
Of course, I use material from the stores as well (read below). But to make my tracks unique, I often record sounds, stabs and phrases created with my own gear and handmade patches. The Digitakt makes it very convenient to sample straight into a track and record variations of a sound.
Most of my sounds are coming from the Novation Peak monster synth. But I also play around with the Novation Circuit Mono Station, combined with some of my selected effect pedals (most of the times I use the Synthstrom Big Sky and the Chase Bliss Audio's Mood Granulator).
Samples from field recordings
Another important audio source are field recordings and I highly recommend listening to your surroundings!
I purchased a little Shure lightning Mic for my phone years ago and carry it around most of the time. Instead of taking pictures, I turn on the mic and take recordings of scenes, trips and situations.
That way, I grow a nice library of my own recordings - they throw me back in time when I use them in my tracks, that makes a huge difference in my creative process, and I think listeners can feel this difference as well.
Other options are dedicated hardware recorders. Tascam or Zoom are well known for affordable and portable devices for taking field recordings on the go.
Samples from software synths
Another source are software synths. Yes, I still own some, namely ANA2, BT Phobos and Arturia Pigments 2, and sometimes I love to play around with them to get stuff that's simply not possible with the hardware gear. Especially the Phobos is a beast!
Samples from Online Libraries
Of course, libraries are important and also inspiring. But I rarely purchase complete samples packs, mainly for a very simple reason: most of the included material is loops, which I very rarely use in my tracks. They have a wrong speed and take a lot space on the Digitakt +Drive. That's why I prefer to hunt for one shot samples and create my own loops (especially easy with my new Elektron Model:Samples).
That said, splice.com is one of the sources I use most (there are other websites with the same business model, as loopmasters.com, I'm just subscribed at Splice). The pricing is flexible, I really get what I want, and the quality is good. But they often lack specific sounds, like crackles or vinyl rumbles.
One other store I stop by frequently is Elektron's own sample pack shop. They have a lineup of very good artists; high quality and the packs are affordable.
More samples stores I shop with:
Want to dive deeper into Digitakt track creation?
Maybe the Digitakt Online Class is something for you! It's a video course focussed on creating tracks with the Digitakt. It covers LFOs, Arrangement, Performing, Digitakt FX and many other interesting topics, and I add new lessons frequently.