Reader Question – Sampling Music

Another question from a reader:

I was looking to see if you had ever covered the topic of using someone else’s music recording incorporated into one’s own different music recording. Not exactly sampling, but using a whole work. The song I’m thinking of is a public domain piece, but the recording is not. I didn’t see it in the many things you have covered, so thought I’d ask. Thanks so much for any knowledge you might have to share!!

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Create Your Own GarageBand Loops

Today’s post is rather geeky! Since for this year’s RPM Challenge I am working with a musical partner for the first time we decided to do our recording projects using Apple’s GarageBand. GB is fairly easy to use and at this point has been improved and cross-pollinated from Apple’s pro Logic app sufficiently to get decent results.

One of the functions that makes GB easy is Apple Loops. GB comes with a large collection of pre-recorded/programmed live and electronic (MIDI) snippets that can be dropped into your song project and then “dragged” with your mouse to duplicate as many times as you wish.In the screen shot below (click to enlarge) I have dragged the loop “club beat 001” from the list of loops at the bottom right into the track area in the middle, and when this was captured I was using my mouse to drag from left to right on the loop to cause it to start copying itself:

Gb loop


But suppose you want to create your own loops? First, a legal caveat: do NOT use music you did not create yourself unless you have obtained the rights to sample it! (Apple’s built-in loops are royalty-free for commercial use).

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Posting Your Music Samples

I’ve shown you how to share files with individuals via YouSendIt. I’ve also talked about using Dropbox and Carbonite to share files among your own devices. But suppose you want to share (legal original) music or sound files to a group of people, e.g., your band, or with the general public?

If you have your own website you can stream MP3s from there – but that could quickly use up your monthly data transfer allotment if the tracks are popular or large. If you are selling the tracks you could set up a Bandcamp account and post them there.

But if these are files like band practice recordings, rough drafts, non-music audio samples, etc. you may prefer to use SoundCloud.

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Friday Faves 10-05-12

News for ASCAP musicians who perform their original songs! You may now upload your setlists in order to be paid for performing your song catalog live:

OnStage allows writer members to notify ASCAP of their live performances via Member Access. This data is processed and a royalty is distributed to the writers and publishers of the songs based upon the license fee paid by the respective venue.


If you are looking to buy an inexpensive Windows desktop PC in the Boston area but don’t like the idea of taking a chance buying on CraigsList, check out Semi-New Computers. They refurbish obsoleted PCs from Harvard and other corporate sources, then sell to you with a 90-day guarantee for about $200 depending on RAM and HD size.

Kickstarter projects I’ve recently backed:

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