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SampleRadar: 546 free retro and degraded samples

The Commodore 64 is famous for its SID chip.
The Commodore 64 is famous for its SID chip.

This week, SampleRadar is delivering a vast repository of high-quality samples… of low-quality sounds.

Confused? Think Atari, Casio, Commodore 64, Nintendo, Sega, Dr Who (version 1) and Speak & Spell. It's a combination of brutal harshness and delicate pathos that only 8-bit audio can bring.

The collection also features some more contemporary flavours, albeit rammed through all manner of corrosive hardware and plug-ins.

What you need to know

The samples are split into six folders, each of which contains a construction kit of samples (some also include a demo loop so that you can hear what you're getting into). As well as loops, each kit also contains hits and multisamples.

All the samples are supplied as 24-bit 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.

The retro and degraded samples are supplied in a zip file, so you'll need to extract them before you can see them. Enjoy!

Example sounds

Bass (kit 1)

Drums (kit 2)

Lead synth (kit 3)

FX (kit 4)

Retro and degraded samples: click to download

Retro and degraded samples (312MB)

These samples originally appeared on Computer Music magazine's cover DVD. Check out the latest issue for many more.

Retro and degraded tutorials

Old-school synth tips

How to make a glitchy beat in Logic 9