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HOWTO #10: Cut up samples

Thanks to the generosity of companies like Universal Music Group, Loudeye/Overpeer and Media Defender, the p2p network-game is your first stop for raw beat materials. Plus, you don’t have to worry about clearing samples because these tracks were approved for public sharing!

You can use Audacity to break a complete track down into breaks and hits to use in your own productions.

First, open Audacity and load a source track.

Play the track and look for one spot that contains a musical loop without vocals, a few percussion sounds, or anything else you might want to re-use.

With the select tool, highlight that section. It’s better to take too much than not enough. We can cut anything extra later on.

Click Edit from the top menu and select Copy.

Now create a new Audacity window and generate 1 second of silence like we did in the Glitching tutorial.

Click Edit and click Paste to drop your selection into this new project.

Now click Analyze in the top menu and choose Beat Finder.

After running Beat Finder, you’ll see a new track with red marks indicating the beginnings and ends of different sounds. (If these are not right, you can run the Beat Finder again and change the Threshold settings.)

Use the select tool to highlight from one marker to the next. Hold down the shift key and click the green Play button to test your selection. When you find one you like, click on Edit and choose Copy.

Press control + n to create a new project and then use Edit – Paste to drop this short clip into a new track like you did before.

Click File from the top menu and select Export As WAV to save the sample to your harddrive. It’s good look to name it something you will remember like ’50 Cent Kick Drum’ or ‘Kayne Snare’.

Repeat these steps to generate a library of raw materials to use on radical new productions like this beat from Sherman F Baby.


Download the Sample use sample beat

MediaDefendr (beta) Free Sample Packs

50 Cent “Curtis 187″

Kanye’s “Goodlife”

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