~ 7 min read

Is Using Samples & Loops Cheating?

Spoiler alert, no it's not

Why You Should Be Using Royalty-Free Loops In Your Beats

There’s a lot of debate about using royalty-free loops in your beats. Some producers feel like it’s “cheating”, while others see it as a way to get the most out of their music.

Regardless let me set one thing straight right away.

No, using loops is not “cheating”

And yes professionals do use loops, in fact, we use them all the time.

If anything there may be a difference in how we use them compared to an amateur, but otherwise, it’s a fairly common practice.

No matter which side of the debate you’re on, there’s no denying the fact that royalty-free loops can be a great tool in your arsenal.

What are royalty-free loops?

A royalty-free loop is a short loopable audio recording that has been made with the intention of being combined with other sounds in a way that makes a song

The royalty-free part means that the creator of the song will not get charged any fees for using the loop in their song

There are a few things to consider when looking for royalty-free loops. The most important thing is to make sure that you are actually using a royalty-free loop. This means that you are not required to pay any additional fees beyond the initial purchase price.

You also want to make sure that the loop is high quality and fits with your project.

Where To Find Royalty-Free Loops

Finding a quality royalty-free loop can be difficult, but there are a few resources that can help.

There are a number of websites that offer royalty-free loops, and most of these loops are high quality. You can also find royalty-free loops through online marketplaces and boutique online shops like ours.

If you are looking for a specific type of loop, it can be helpful to search by genre. This will help you to find loops that are specifically suited to your project.

It can also be helpful to search by tempo. This will help you to find loops that match the tempo of your project.

Regardless of where you find your royalty-free loops, it is important to make sure that you read the licensing agreement carefully. This will ensure that you are using the loops in accordance with the license agreement.

Should I Use Loops In My Beats?

So, why should you be using royalty-free loops in your beats? There are a few reasons. First, royalty-free loops are a great way to save both time and money.

Second, they allow you to experiment with different sounds and genres very easily.

Third, they can help you achieve a pro-level sound without needing a college education in music.

They can help you to create professional-sounding beats quickly and easily, without worrying about copyright infringement.

A lot of music nowadays is made with the help of loops. They are often used in electronic and hip-hop music but can be used in any genre.

As with everything, There are pros and cons to using loops in your music, whether or not you use them ultimately depends on your musical style and what you’re trying to achieve with your song.

But I can say one thing for sure and that is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them(and it is certainly not “cheating”)

How to use loops in your music

A lot of people seem to think that there is only one way to use loops, and while there is nothing wrong with simply using a loop exactly how it is, no one ever said we can’t get creative with how we use them either

Sp to wrap this article up, here are 5 different techniques for using loops in your music

The Plain Jain.

Don’t let the name fool you, while this technique may be simple in concept it still takes skill to execute it well.

This is where you use the loop just how it is.

You then build up your song around it by either writing complimentary melodies(remember to stay in scale, you can usually find the scale in the title of the loop file) or layering additional loops in to accompany the first.

You keep doing this, periodically making changes, until you have a fully structured song.

The Chopper

This is where things start to get a little more interesting.

With this technique, you would take a loop, and then using your daw or an audio editor, split the loop into multiple smaller samples.

This way you can essentially rearrange the contents of the loop. This is very similar to the practice of “flipping” a vinyl record that was popular in the earlier days of hip hop.

The Reverser

Ok, This one is kind of self-explanatory, but it is where you use an audio editor or your daw to reverse the loop.

Its crazy how much of a difference this can make on the sound, and in most cases it comes out sounding really cool and unique.

Some instruments, like the flute, are not very dynamic so if you try and reverse them they may sound virtually identical. If this is the case just move on and try a different loop.

The Stretcher

Similar in ways to the last one we covered, the stretcher is where you slow down or speed up the playback of the loop.

Because of how sound and frequency work, this causes a pitch shift either down(slow) or up(fast).

I find it useful to slow it down to exactly half speed, this way it will lower the pitch by an octave, still keeping everything in the same scale.

(PRO TIP: if you are still not convinced, just know that the technique I just mentioned above is exactly how the beat for “mask off” by Future was made. The producer “Metro Boomin” admits it during several interviews. He used an effect plugin made by Image Line called Grossbeat which among other things, pitch shifts samples by speeding up or slowing down playback)

The Extremist

Ok, this one is a little abstract but you can actually make a synthesizer out of a loop or sample.

Wavetable synthesis uses tiny loops, the length of 1 periodic wave, instead of traditional oscillators. They call these tiny loops wavetables.

In fact, this is how serum, a hugely popular VST plugin synthesizer works.

(A lot of the big-name wavetable synths like serum let you import your own samples to use as a wavetable. but even if you don’t have the money for one of these expensive instruments you can still experiment using free software called Wavedit and/or the free VST plugin Vital)

The Truth About Using Loops

As you can now hopefully see, there is nothing wrong with using loops in your music, and in fact, it’s actually a fairly common practice. On top of that, it’s even possible to use loops in creative ways that vastly change the sound to suit your needs.

Loops are just another tool you can have in your toolbox, use them to your full advantage because that’s what tools are for.

Think of it like this, would you ever try and tell someone that using a hammer to build a house was “cheating”?

I didn’t think so.