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#1 Posted by KatyGaGa (501 posts) -

I've spoken to some musicians and they tend to have differing opinions about what samples are?

some artists use samples from other artists and incorporate them into their own songs, i.e. drum loops, bass lines, vocal loops etc.

some artists create their own loops and use them in live performances.

so, I guess my question is: are "samples" meant to denote something created or something stolen? or both?

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#2 Posted by 49th (3548 posts) -

Something borrowed. You take something and add to it or modify it.

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#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

Sampling is simply the act of using small section of a piece of music. It could be yours or anyone else's. Samples don't imply theft at all, especially if you clear them.

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#4 Posted by casper_ (915 posts) -

i think a sample is a repurposed audio file. so anything that manipulates an actual audio recording as opposed to synthesis or midi or anything like that.

i guess a real obvious example would be the amen beat, which is from a soul tune, but it has been chopped up into miniatures ie snare, crash, ride, kick to allow people to make their own patterns.

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#5 Edited by KatyGaGa (501 posts) -

so there's no differentiation if I create my own samples versus taking them from someone else? it seems there should be two categories for that, given that it leads to two different kinds of intent for artistic output

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#6 Posted by IBurningStar (2273 posts) -

To me, a sample means I am clearly taking something from someone else's work and using it in my own, however I am not trying to pass it off as my own creation. I mean, that is pretty much the definition.

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#7 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

If you're into long-winded explanations, the Wikipedia page is a decent read, too :)

*reads Wikipedia for two hours*

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#8 Posted by Canteu (2968 posts) -

@IBurningStar: You can sample your own work though.

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#9 Posted by KatyGaGa (501 posts) -

@Ravenlight: yeah, i've read that (and it is quite a good read, I agree) but it sadly doesn't answer the question, as it, more or less, just states the different uses for samples. I'm asking if there are sub-categories for "sampling", specifically revolving around something created and something "borrowed".

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#10 Posted by casper_ (915 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: maybe if the person sampling someone else takes a significant portion of a tune ala ice ice baby but i disagree if the audio has been modified/ chopped up enough to have a different musical purpose so different harmony, melody rhythm something like that. i think of that approach like a mosaic.

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#11 Posted by Fallen189 (5453 posts) -

A sample is a small thing which is supposed to be representative as a product of a whiole

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#12 Posted by Shivoa (1528 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: Samples aren't stolen, they are copyright infringement under fair use grounds (if the owner of the original from where the sample was taken is not informed) or licensed use (if the owner is contacted and an agreement made for the reuse). This is a bit questionable (and the question can be asked in each different country under their local laws, you may find fair use or similar doesn't even exist in some places) because the fair use claim comes from making a new work from the sampling which is transformative (adds much expression, not derivative) and so you have to convince a judge of this if ever taken to court. Views are divided about how far you have to walk from the samples and addition of your own material (which can be as short as you like, but is currently considered infringement in the US) to be transformative; be safe, get permission for your samples or be prepared to go to court over fair use. Girl Talk being an interesting case where there is only expression by sampling, all audio is sampled but layered deep and creating very different cohesive work compared to the originals. Maybe the lack of legal action is a PR move to avoid bad press, maybe the studios are deadly afraid of losing and ending up with a lot more unlicensed sampling depended as fair use (IMHO Girl Talk should be considered transformative to the extent to justify the fair use).

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#13 Posted by Harkat (1171 posts) -

People have pretty much spelled it out already in this thread. However, I should add that it only counts as a sample if you rip audio from somewhere. If you re-synthesize or re-record something, it's no longer a sample.

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#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

If you're into long-winded explanations, the Wikipedia page is a decent read, too :)

*reads Wikipedia for two hours*

Wait, isn't that something you're supposed to do with TVTropes instead? Or is it 2006 again?

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#15 Posted by SomeJerk (4077 posts) -

One great example of sampling is an introductory bar from KC and The Sunshine Band's That's The Way (I like it) being used in Face Down Ass up by 2LiveCrew, as seen here on a 1990 episode of the Phil Donahue show.

The looks on peoples faces..