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Loops can form the foundation of a track, and are useful for quickly putting some ideas together when sketching out an arrangement. Samples provide us with sounds and colors to create our music with. But where can you download great loops and samples? Here are 30+ great places to start.
Some of the sites we list provide packs you can download for free. Other sites allow you to purchase packs at a reasonable price. Every music producer worth his salt is in the process of building up a useful collection of useable sounds.
The list has a history. Here are some of the places we've gathered these sites from. And please add more in the comments. We'll be sure to add them in the next version of this post.
- 47 Sites Every Recording Musician Should Visit, and your suggestions in the comments.
- 15 Sites Where You Can Find Free Vocal Samples and Loops
- Your comments to Open Mic: Where Do You Get Your Samples and Loops?
So hold onto your hats. Here are 30+ sites that serve up great loops and samples. Let us know in the comments which you found most useful.
Besides having a huge collection of audio tutorials, you may not realize we have loop and sample packs as well. Check them out in our Freebies category.
Our sister site AudioJungle - a royalty-free stock audio marketplace - is a great place to buy samples and loops, as well as full audio tracks.
"AudioJungle is an Envato Marketplace. At AudioJungle you can buy and sell royalty-free music and sound effects that are completely Podsafe for just a few dollars. The site is home to a bustling community of audio composers and producers."
"I am a drummer based in Boston, Massachusetts. I previously lived in NYC and Los Angeles where I had the chance to record, collaborate and tour with a wide range of artists. I started this blog with the intention of sharing, transferring and exploring musical ideas with my friends around the world… as well as anyone else who might stumble across this site."
"We are a small, hard working team of sound designers, musicians and general audio nerds who provide a range of tools for music producers, sound designers and composers.
Our goal is to create fresh, unique sounds that inspire creativity and push the boundaries of music and sound."
Audiotuts+ reader Ben comments: "These guys are new but their sample packs are amazing!"
Download loads of drum samples.
"Free Sample Shootout is a series of articles covering the best free samples in different categories. The most popular Free Sample Shootout article is the list of free acoustic drum kit multisamples, shortly followed by the list of free drum machine samples.
"BPB Samples is a section in which you’ll find various free sample packs made by me. My personal favorite is the Game Boy LSDJ Noise And Glitch Sessions sample pack.
"Free VST Plugins Archive allows you to browse through all previously published BPB articles covering free sample packs and loop libraries."
Audiotuts+ reader Peter Simcoe comments: "I’ve bought some loops from loopmasters.com – they’re usually pretty good and at a reasonable price and have a variety of formats including Reason Refill which is great."
"Twenty-five years ago, we recorded and created the first commercially available virtual instrument, the Prosonus brand of orchestral libraries. Since 1986, Big Fish Audio has consistently produced the highest quality sample libraries available. Over the years, our sounds have been featured in hundreds of charting songs and top film and television soundtracks. We are the largest distributor of sample libraries in the world, and we create the most up-to-date loop and virtual instruments libraries using our extensive recording facilities and team of producers. As when you hire a musician or engineer in the studio, experience is vital.
"And from the very beginning, Big Fish Audio has sold license-free sounds. Your purchase of our product IS the license: if you've bought our product through a legitimate source, you have the unlimited right to use it in your musical compositions. Unlike some companies, Big Fish Audio does not require you to fill out clearance forms or pay additional license fees, even if your song goes straight to number one on the charts! Please see our license agreement for full details."
"Sounds/To/Sample is a one-stop pro-audio download resource developed by the team behind award-winning sound design company Sample Magic. In an age where media is increasingly delivered and consumed online, Sounds/To/Sample's mission statement is simple - to bring the sample industry in-line and up-to-date with the remainder of the creative industry. In putting sample libraries online we cut the costs associated with duplication, packaging and shipping - offering a better, fairer deal for the producer and the end user."
"We sell 5114 LEGAL downloads from 263 Sample Pack Labels. Our catalogue includes the world's largest and most comprehensive range of Sample Packs for Download. Shop here and Download Sample Packs, Sample CDs, Drum Samples, Acid Loops, MIDI Loops, Reason Refills, Synth Sounds, Virtual Instruments, Audio Plug-ins, Video Tutorials and more. All products on this site are available for Immediate Download to your PC or Mac."
11. Wave Alchemy
"Wave Alchemy offer a unique selection of award-winning sample cds and royalty free sound libraries to download. Our wav samples are suitable for music production, sound design, media production and DJ use."
Audiotuts+ reader Greg comments: "For drum hits / loops I can look no further than http://www.wavealchemy.co.uk. Simply the best quality I have come across."
100% acoustic drum loops available in WAV, Apple Loops, REX2 formats.
Audiotuts+ reader Billy Shuler comments: "I sometimes use Beta Monkey drum loops for songwriting."
"This 100% free AIFF/WAV collection contains 7.5 GB of sounds -- including 2,430 techno, hiphop, rap, trance, and drum and bass drum beats / loops, 1,265 drum hits, 95 drum kits, 2,214 sound FX, 1,207 instrument sounds, 1,006 vocal samples, 1,255 melodic parts, fruity loops and more."
Audiotuts+ reader "thekaratesuit" explains:
"I get mine from YouTube these days. There used to be a good channel called Breakhunter – and it would be full of all these classic, rare and obscure funk and soul songs, all with a hidden breakbeat in there somewhere. You’d have to listen through the whole song, and sometimes you’d even end up taking a bit of a riff here and there. It’s just the modern version of wht DJ Shadow was doing on Entroducing…
"Oh you want to talk about sound quality off YouTube? I don’t… because once it’s in Logic Pro and it’s being pumped, sucked and chopped up by all sorts of side chain compression and bussing, it doesn’t matter then."
"Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds."
Audiotuts+ reader Charles comments: "I like Freesound.org lots of cool samples to find, and stumble upon…"
16. Drums on Demand
"From drum loops to construction kits, from full backing tracks to drum tracks, our products will inspire your songwriting and expedite your music production."
Audiotuts+ reader John comments: "RemixComps lists remix contests all with downloadable track parts. 99% are free download although most are not royalty free but you get to make remixes and play around with other peoples work."
"ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
"Remixers If you’re into sampling, remixing and mash-ups grab the sample packs and a cappellas for download and you can upload your version back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample. All legal."
Audiotuts+ reader John comments: "Loads of loops all under creative commons created by the community, free download."
Audiotuts+ reader John comments: "Huge pack of free samples for download."
"Thousands of free, downloadable sound samples specially recorded by Philharmonia Orchestra players. These samples are suitable for creating any kind of music, no matter what you're into. From piccolo to double bass there are single notes, phrases and whole orchestra samples to choose from."
"analogfactory is a brand of the in Munich/Germany based company Diginauten UG (haftungsbeschränkt) which was founded by Metalhead, Linus and Adam in 2010. We have the goal to produce professional sounds for synthesizers and samplers at an affordable price. The team consists of experienced musicians with years of studio experience and classical musical training who work also active as composers for film music.
"Our focus is on the music itself and not on economic success. We’ve paid a lot of money in the past for low quality patches and samples and we thought that other musicians might have the same problems with that. That’s why we always adapt our standards of quality to our products. Thinking about seeing you smile and being satisfied with one of our products is worth the effort."
"Soundiron is a labor of love, owned jointly by Mike Peaslee, Gregg Stephens and Chris Marshall. Soundiron is the result of over a decade of sound design experience, including the design, recording, editing and programming of close to unique 80 high-quality professional-grade deep-sampled virtual sample instruments in the last 3 years alone."
"8DIO is a premium developer of high-end virtual instruments. The company was founded by Academy Award Winning Composer, Troels Folmann. 8DIO is an abstract version of AUDIO. 8DIO is pronounced (EIGHT-DEE-OOH). 8DIO is a reference to Digital Input Output and DIO is a singular (Italian) expression for God. The 8 is made of two circles – hence the aspect of tension and release in music. The 8 is a 90′ angled symbol of infinity. It also correlates with the idea of a full octave and number of luck in Chinese philosophy. It also ties in with our production music company, 8Dawn, which was founded on the question: 'What did God do on the 8th day? We got many other obscure and pseudo-intellectual reasons, but hopefully this will suffice.'
"Our sample libraries come in easily downloadable packages. You surf around on this website. You find an instrument or two you like. You click the ‘add to cart‘ button. You pay via secure transfer (paypal and/or google check-out) and we instantly provide download links to you."
"Our mission at www.p5audio.com is to create hit quality, royalty free loops and sample sounds for music producers and artists. We have assembled a production team of musicians and sound designers who have worked with some of the greatest music legends of all time including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Luther Vandross, Nelly Furtado, Alica Keys, Flo Rida, Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child and many others. We never ever compromise on quality. Every loop and sample sound on our site has been hand-picked by our senior producers with one criteria in mind: to help our customers make hit sounding music. We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction, and just like our commitment to providing excellent products, our commitment to customer service is just as much of a priority. We thank you very much for visiting www.p5audio.com, and are here if you have any questions. Good luck making your next hit record!"
Audiotuts+ reader Darque comments: "These guys have a variety of sounds and styles. Great stuff here."
25. Vocal Downloads
"A leading vocal sample content provider of downloadable clearance free & royalty-free acapella vocals."
"Looking for royalty free music loops, acapellas and vocals, want to hook up with like minded musicians from around the world or just looking to get some feedback on your music. Well, you came to the right place. We have 1000s of free loops and other audio resources to keep you making music."
27. VIPZone Samples
"VIPZONE SAMPLES® is THE source for high quality Samples and Tools for your dance music production since 2004.
"We provide Samples, SF2 Multisamples, Loops, Acapellas, Vocals, Melodies in Midi and Wave Format, Hooklines, Midis and Construction Kits for the genres Dance, Trance, Electro, House, Hardstyle, Jumpstyle, Hands Up and Techno.
"Download High Quality Producer Samples and Tools within minutes."
"Each one of our sample CD ROMS and downloadable packs are unique: They were produced by established producers who know how to create the music you are trying to produce. We cover all styles of urban style / Underground music including Dubstep, Hardcore, Jungle, Drum and Bass, Garage, Hip Hop and House House."
29. Acapellas 4U
"Clean, dirty, instrumentals, acapellas, 8-bar DJ intros, DJ tools and much more."
"156 free samples are available at the moment; not much but they're good. Click on the speaker to hear a lo-fi realaudio preview (needs realplayer) and on the file name to download. all zips contain single wav files, 16 bit and mostly 44 kHz."
31. Sound Proz
"Updated daily, Soundproz brings free audio samples to help you improve your productions and inspire you.
If you use tools like Ableton, Renoise of Fruity Loops, you'll love this site packed with vocals, effects, drums, loops, strings, pads."
"Listen, download, play." Lots of loops and samples, and a special "Freesoundz" area with packs you can download free of charge.
"Platinumloops is a massive library of royalty free loops and samples. We offer loops and samples as well as thousands of other loops and samples in many different categories ranging from Heavy Metal Drum Loops to Ethnic Loops."
"Professional quality free audio samples and electronic music."