You’re working on your latest project and you’re searching for that sound that’s really going to enhance your drop. But you’ve exhausted your favourite presets. You need to find some instruments that sound ‘real’, or you need an extra percussion loop for your rhythm section. The chances are someone has already recorded that for you.
Since the days of Sonic Foundry’s ACID software, producers and composers have been using pre-recorded loops in their projects. It’s often been seen as an easy way to get ideas down quickly, saving time rather than creating grooves from scratch. Plus saving money in session fees and employing musicians to play something for you. I’m old enough to remember ACID (later re-branded at Sony Acid Pro). Although it allowed you to do some cool things like stretch your audio loops in sync with your tempo, (amazing back then) it was cumbersome and crashed a lot. The Acid Loops library was also pretty limited. Unless you knew a mate who could lend you a CD or two of Jungle breaks.
The Sample Library
The 2000s saw the emergence of the online ‘sample library’ with Loopmasters and Garageband bringing pre-recorded loops to the fore. Jump to 2019 and there is a huge selection of sample libraries to suit every musical preference. Fuelled by the ever-increasing number of creators, composers and producers it’s boom time for sample libraries. And one of the companies leading the charge is Noiiz.
Launched by Samplephonics, Noiiz set up shop in 2017. A subscription based service offering freemium membership or unlimited access to the Noiiz library for an annual fee. Pretty cool. But what makes Noiiz really special is the revolutionary Noiiz Plugin, which gives you access to the entire library direct from your DAW. Not only that it allows you to audition audio whilst playing your existing project. So you can try a loop out in your project before you even download it. Once you’ve found the sample you’re looking for you simply drag the audio into your project. The file is downloaded from the cloud straight into your track.
The Plugin also lets you save files to folders within the cloud so you can create banks of your favourite sounds. The superior search features allow you to search by the usual tags such as tempo and key. But you can also search and follow specific creators you like the sound of. In addition there’s a whole bunch of presets for some of your favourite software synth too.
The Noiiz plugin is now joined by the Noiiz player, offering a range of playable instruments with a nice simple interface. It has some cool on-board FX to customise and sculpt your sound, with available instruments currently ranging from a Marimba to quirky percussion, and even Leeds Town Hall organ.
What about originality?
Isn’t producing music from loops that someone else has recorded kinda cheating? Well the simple answer to that is no. You are essentially producing music with the expert help of other musicians. All Noiiz loops are royalty-free so permission has already been granted for you to use them in your own productions. If you are making money from your music productions, your music is generating business and businesses need resources. Be that hardware, plugins, musicians, or recorded loops of musicians playing music. It doesn’t matter where the raw materials for your music comes from, or whether or not you created them yourself. Its how you use them creatively that’s important.
And it’s a really exciting time for both creators and users of the content. For a producer, being able to tap into someone who has already created that killer bass sound you’ve been looking for is equally beneficial to the creator who made it. Knowing that their creativity is leaving their hard-drive to help someone else do great things. And rather than being limited to those Jungle Acid Loops, there is a torrent of fresh material coming out of bedrooms, and basements all over the world every day.
If you’re not making money from your music that’s cool too. When i started out i had limited music production knowledge. Using loops enabled me to make music instantly. By gathering samples together I was able to experiment with arranging ideas and have fun, which ultimately is what its all about.