“Everyone can make this tune”: Producer reveals the 3 readily-available Splice loops that power the beat for Sabrina Carpenter’s all–conquering Espresso

Sabrina Carpenter
(Image credit: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images)

Sabrina Carpenter’s Espresso has already been anointed the Song Of The Summer, and deservedly so, in our opinion. However, although there’s a certain kind of genius at work in its writing - particularly those ever-so-quotable lyrics - it turns out that the meat of the beat is based on just a couple of Splice loops that are available to all.

The discovery was made by various social media users, one of whom, an ebullient producer by the name of Pastel, proceeded to make a TikTok video about it.

“Everyone can make this tune,” he says before heading on to Splice and locating a pack called Power Tools Sample Pack III. This was created by a popular loop maven known as Oliver; he’s no stranger to having his samples used in chart hits, having previously heard his work in the likes of Doja Cat’s Say So and (he thinks) Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now.

Back to Pastel’s Espresso recreation, though: he starts by locating the file called ‘OLIVER_104_pop_loop_surf_dad_rhythm_lead_C.wav’, which is immediately recognisable as the loop that provides Espresso’s distinctive guitar groove.

What of the drum loop, though? It seems that that’s in this pack, too, by way of a file called ‘OLIVER_105_drum_loop_disco_live_feel.wav’. All that’s required is to timestretch this down to 104 bpm to match the guitars

At this point, things get a little trickier: the bassline isn’t a Splice loop, but recorded in the studio, so Pastel sets about recreating that on a keyboard. The drum fill, though, does appear to be a sample - ‘OLIVER_85_drum_fill_tom_slap_delay.wav’ is your friend, here.


♬ original sound - Pastel

These sounds alone will provide you with the backbone of the Espresso beat, but there are plenty of other elements in the mix - various synth parts, for example, including that distinctive lead. And, of course, there’s Sabrina Carpenter’s knowing vocal which, in combination with the aforementioned killer pop lyrics, is what makes the song.

And that, really, is the point: while some have claimed to feel somehow cheated by the fact that their new favourite tune draws heavily on pre-rolled loops, these alone would not have made Espresso the inescapable earworm that it’s turned out to be. As such, a great deal of credit should go not only to Sabrina Carpenter but also her co-writers Amy Allen, Steph Jones and, finally, Julian Bunetta, who also produced the track.

If any of them ever run into Oliver, though, they might want to buy him a drink.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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