Is it okay to use loops in your beats?
The use of loops is now one of the most popular staples of music production! Yet, professional and aspiring producers alike struggle with many ethical question concerning the use of loops in their music, particularly in regards to the originality of the material. So, you might be asking the question: “Is it okay to use loops in your beats?” Long story short, no respectable producer wants to use a loop or a sample that sounds identical to something that has been sampled in another song! The trick? Make it your own!
There are many ways producers and recording engineers incorporate loops and samples into their music. One of the oldest “tricks in the book” is definitely the process of chopping, cutting and shifting bars in a loop. This process allows producers to truly change the feel and sometimes even the groove and tempo of a specific loop. Cutting and pasting different loops even gave way to new music genres, including breakbeat and glitch, which are largely based on the cutting and chopping of beats, obtained from sampling vintage funk, soul, motown and R&B recordings.
So How Do I Make It My Own?
Today, producers are lucky, because cutting, chopping and sampling is easier than ever thanks to the simplicity and intuitiveness of digital audio work stations (DAW). The advent of digital music allows for even more creative freedom! The amount of processing you can do to a loop is virtually endless, and it all depends on your creativity and vision. You can take a loop and crush it to bits with a massive distortion…or you can drench it in reverb and delay to change its decay and tone completely! You can even reverse a loop for some eerie effects…or why not a combination of all the things mentioned above?
The beautiful thing is that all the processing ideas I listed right above are just a very small fraction of the amount of things you can do. One of the best things to do with loops is to experiment and see how far you can take it. Any DAW (pro tools, logic, ableton…) is kind of like an arsenal, featuring many tools, from absolute basics such as EQs and compressors, to quirky effects such as chorus, flangers and other bizarre modulators.
In fact, there are many companies out there who actually specialize in the creation of loops (anything from drum patterns to piano chord progressions and guitar riffs), so producers can use them and incorporate them into their music to add something special to their sound! The short answer is…yes! It is more than OK to use loops in your beats, as long as you use your creativity and come up with a way to make them unique!
Popular Songs That Use samples and loops:
These songs are literally built around an entire loop or sample! They use the loop as the foundation of the song, then use their creativity to make a brand new song out of it!
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