With electronic musicians the world over living under some form lockdown in recent weeks, we thought it the perfect time to task them with something a little different – the Sample Challenge.
We gave musicians from across a range of electronic genres the same, very basic, sample pack and a set of strict rules and asked them to create us a track.
The results did not disappoint – armed with just 10 loops and 20 one-shot samples, our entrants have created everything from wonky vocal pop to rolling techno, melodic house, experimental DnB and beyond.
We asked each artist to create us a self-recorded video breaking down the ideas and techniques behind their creation, and we’ll be premiering a new entry every day over the coming weeks.
Bristol-based electronic outfit Icarus comprise brothers Tom and Ian Griffiths. For their Sample Challenge they turn to granular tools and randomisation to create a textured club track.
Check out the full rules and download the sample pack for yourself below. Stay tuned for another Sample Challenge tomorrow.
The Sample Challenge rules
• Create a song ‘sketch’ of at least 16 bars.
• Your creation must use the sample pack as a starting point. There’s no restriction on how many of the samples you need to use: you could use all 30 or you could just use one sample in a multitude of different ways.
• You’re not allowed to use any samples other than those contained in our pack.
• You can add 1 new audio recording (eg. a recorded vocal, a hardware synth bassline, a recorded instrument part).
• You can add 1 new software instrument part (eg. a softsynth or software drum machine part).
• You can use any DAW/audio recorder, any combination of hardware or software samplers – including sample-based synths – and as many effects as you like.
• You can ‘resample’ the samples or bounce them out through external effects as many times as you want.
What's in the sample pack?
Download the Sample Challenge pack yourself or listen to the original samples in the playlist below.*
*All the samples are supplied as WAV files so can be imported directly into your DAW or sampler of choice. Because they're royalty-free, you're welcome to use the samples in your music in any way you like - all we ask is that you don't re-distribute them.