A quiet revolution in the music industry is underway. It is happening in the bedrooms of musicians connected to the internet, sharing and selling sound loops for others to use.
These sound loops have become the raw material for recording artists around the world and are gaining in popularity. Literally millions of sound loops are available for download on platforms like Samplified, which provides sample packs royalty free for producers to use in their recordings.
Loops are small snippets of music that are entirely composed by computer. They are usually short melodies that could serve as a hook for a song but without the remaining song. They can be simple sounds composed of one or two instruments or complex multilayered compositions in their own right.
These loops are in high demand and the business to supply them has become very lucrative. Many musicians have turned creating sound loops into a full time job. Someone looking for a full time job in creating and selling sound loops often uses social media channels to connect with producers. Once they’ve found a producer who might be interested in their sample, they will then incorporate the loop in their next track. Sometimes they will change the pitch of the loop, or the tempo, but often times it will be left as it is while an artist records over it.
However, musicians must also be aware that if they are making money from creating loops, then knowing about licensing becomes essential. You will only be able to make money from their loops with a proper licensing framework around their work.
With that in mind, producers will also have to be careful to make sure they get a license for the loops they use or only use royalty free loops.
It has become increasingly common for producers to swap and share loops on online communities, freely and without concern for the licensing situation. One producer, !llmind, went to length on Instagram to explain why he doesn’t like other producers selling loops royalty free.
“The true value to sustain a real career as a music producer is to build your writer/publishing value, over time,” said !llmind. “Sure, you can sell sample packs and kits and make a good living… but if you’ve never tasted the other side and got a major placement or publishing deal or know how important your publishing is, you don’t value it as much, so you would rather sell the “Royalty Free” sample packs because you’re making quick money from it.”
It is important for producers and musicians alike, to think carefully when they sell or buy a music loop. Producers need to know their full entitlement to use a sample and musicians should understand the limitations of selling loops royalty free.