Sampling In Music. (Separating Facts From Assumptions)

Have you ever listened to a song on the radio or a streaming platform, and felt you have heard the sound on another song? You begin to wonder why this new song is bringing to your mind the memory of an older song. Well, if you have experienced this, then you have listened to a sampled song. Sometimes the sampled track is better than the original version. Burna boy is widely known for sampling Fela’s songs.

What is Sampling?

Sampling is the process of infusing a previously recorded audio into a new record. It is the craft of incorporating sounds from a previous song into a new one. 

Still, don’t mistake sampling for a walk in the park activity. Sampling requires skills. It can be likened to finishing a work of art started by another artist. Through sampling sounds invented in the 90s are used to make music that makes waves today. 

The process of sampling is a tricky one. It entails the understanding of complex tools, knowing the right sources or where to look, and being able to identify useful and good materials. To perfect the above you must invest time into learning the craft of sampling. 

Shading an artist for legally sampling songs is sheer ignorance because there is no shame in sampling. It is an interesting aspect of music and requires talent to pull it off. Through samples, some timeless songs were made. For instance, Eminem’s “My name is” is known to have sampled “I Got The” by Labi Siffre. Even producers employ the skill of sampling in their craft.

Though creating audio sounds using synthesizers is crucial in music production, sampling is also a vital skill in the production of music. Great producers, such as Dr. Dre have sampled other songs to create monster hits.

Is Sampling New In Music?

Sampling in music is a tradition that has been practiced for decades. Tons of records imbued a snippet of another person’s song. James Brown ranks as the most sampled artist of all time. Music Legends such as Michael Jackson, 2pac have all been sampled by several artists.

Which sort of artists samples? You are dead wrong if you think sampling is just for rookies or untalented artists. Timeless talents such as Beyonce, Drake, Nas, Kanye West, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, and even the rap God Eminem have sampled other artists several times.

Kindly note that through sampling artists pay homage to the artists they respect. Drake’s, “When To Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle.” The former samples “Song Cry” by Jay Z, While the latter song, is infused with lyrics from ” Superman” by Eminem. This way Drake is paid homage to older hip hop stars through sampling their songs.

So when next you want to shade an artist’s work because he sampled, remember such a shade only makes you appear ignorant.

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Top Websites to Gather Resources for Sampling.

Information is power. Having the right information is the best way to start anything including sampling. There is a need to correctly note which song to sample, list of samples, sample resources, and lots more.

Below are websites to get sampling materials. They contain a library of royalty-free sounds.

  • Splice
  • Noizz
  • SampleSwap  
  • Forgotify 
  • Reddit

Some Tools Used In Sampling

  • Ableton Live
  • FL Studio
  • Logic Pro X
  • Waveform
  • Bitwig
  • Reason
  • Studio One 3
  • Cubase

Ensure to sample royalty-free music and sounds.  Except you get copyright permission.


Sampling is a creative skill and it is good the public is beginning to see it in a positive light. Classics have been created via sampling. However, caution should be applied to avoid the overprocessing of sounds.

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