In many cases, a well-deployed vocal sample can be the element that makes an electronic track. It can provide the hook that means your track sticks in the mind of listeners, or provide the emotive heart to an otherwise sterile electronic composition.
Vocal sampling can be tricky, however, and it’s easy to do badly. Whether it’s lazy use of an obvious acapella, clunky and unnatural changes to pitch and timing, or simply a vocal that doesn’t suit the underlying track, a bad vocal sample can spoil a production just as easily as save it. When it’s done well though, the vocal ‘flip’ is an artform all by itself.
This issue, we’re taking a deep dive into the practicalities of vocal sampling, from how to source and extract the right vocal, to creative ways to edit and manipulate your sounds.
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Marta Salogni – The Italian producer has mixed Björk and Depeche Mode, now she’s giving underrated synthesist Pauline Anna Strom the reappraisal she deserves
DJ Shadow – The US electronic icon on why he's ditched the MPC and moved beyond his sampling roots
Evian Christ – The British producer on the ups and downs of working with Kanye West and how he's reinventing trance on his long-awaited debut album
Classic Album – The multi-talented Mo Kolours breaks down their genre-hopping self titled debut album
Vocal Sampling – From stem separation to pitch shifting, formant shifting, vocoding and more; get to know the vocabulary of vocal manipulation in our guide
Masterclass: Wavetables – Everything you need to know about wavetable synthesis
Producer's Guide to the LA-2A – Whether you're lucky enough to own the hardware, picked up UA's recent freebie or have any other emulated version, we'll show you how to use this compression classic
Knowledge – The multiple faces of distortion
AJH Synth Minimod Keyz
Teenage Engineering TP-7
Erica Synths Black Stereo Reverb
t.bone SC 420 USB Desktop Set
Sugar Bytes Effectrix 2
Lewitt Pure Tube
Sonic Charge Synplant 2
808 and 909 Reworked – We put a totally fresh spin on the classic, much-used sounds of Roland’s iconic beatboxes with creative effects and sequencing
Modulated Drums – Are your beats lacking movement? Break free of static rhythms with this pack of filtered, modulated and moving beats and grooves
Access the FM sample archive: Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 18GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!