Sampling Ethics

Sampling is one of the biggest parts, and controversies in music production.

When is it okay to sample? Well, in my opinion it depends on a few factors.


Source: Where are you getting the sample from?

  • It is ill advised to take a sample from another song that  is easily recognizable and put it in a new song. This can easily lead to trouble down the road especially if your song does well.

Content: What type of sample is it? Is it a one shot? A melody line?

  • Sometimes, the type of sample can make a big difference. Drums are the easiest to get away with especially if you are just taking the individual drum hits. Fills and grooves are also fairly manageable as well. Once you start taking melody lines and Vocals though you put yourself at risk of someone recognizing the samples.

Context: How will you be using the sample?

  • If you are using the sample in a minimal type of track (hiphop, R&B, house) it may become recognizable due to how prevalent it is in your track. Try changing some things up so it isn’t glaringly obvious that the sample came from somewhere else.

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