Sampling 101: What Does Royalty-Free Mean?


Samples are everywhere is music. For decades, producers and musicians have been taking snippets of sound from pre-existing recordings and using it their own music to create something new. In this article, get to know how sampling began and the advantages of using royalty-free samples in your music. 

A Brief History of Sampling

In the 1940s, electronic music pioneers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry used tape recordings and phonograph technology to manipulate the pitch and speed of recorded sounds, which would be arranged into sound collages called musique concrète

Over the next 30 years, boundary pushing groups like the Beatles and Pink Floyd would experiment with similar techniques in their music. At the time, samplers were expensive, in limited production and only capable of recording short bits of sound. 

By the 1980s, sampling went from being used as an experimental composition technique to a means of making commercial hits. The availability of cheaper samplers like the SP-2 and MPC opened up more creative possibilities for producers, directly contributing to the birth and rise of Hip Hop. 

Instrumental breaks in funk, rock and disco, have become the backbone of electronic music, making it clear how important sampling is for the development of new music. At the same time, artists whose music is sampled want to be compensated, opening up a slew of questions about creativity and copyright that continue to this day. 

Using Royalty-Free Samples

Whenever you use a sample from someone else's music, you usually need to get permission from them, or pay a 'royalty' every time your sample-based song is played on the radio, TV and even in a club. It's an expensive process only a small group of people can afford. That's where royalty-free samples come in! 

If you buy royalty-free samples, you get a license that allows you to use the samples in your music without having to pay any additional fees. You can use royalty-free samples in your own music and in commercial music without any legal risk or hassle. It's an awesome development in music production that's made sampling simpler for producers. 

Where To Find Royalty-Free Samples? 

If you like using samples in your music, we've got your back. Outro is home to thousands of unique sounds from creators around the world. We also have a studio team that works hard to put together exclusive samples you can't find anywhere else. Everything on Outro is royalty-free, so you can use the samples you download without having to give credit or pay any additional fees. If you ever come across a sample that you want to use, but are not sure if you're allowed to use it, reference this guide!

Find some new royalty-free samples today. 

Daniel Dixon

Daniel is a music producer with a love for breakbeats and basslines. Content writer at Outro.
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