The Best Sources for Free Royalty-Free Samples
Since the release of the Akai MPC in 1988 sampling became really common in music production. Today sampling is more relevant than ever. You can easily use samples with the help of software like DAWs or samplers like the TX16Wx, for your own unique creations. Whenever you use samples from someone else you have to consider the license of the samples. If you use samples without permission you could end up paying royalties or other financial penalties. Clearing a sample can be a little bit difficult and if you don’t want to care about this you should focus on royalty-free samples. It is totally fine to offer samples that aren’t royalty-free, but in my opinion, it should be communicated really clearly.
These icons will help you to easily identify what you need to do in return for the free samples:
– free download without any strings attached
– you need to sign up for a newsletter or create an account
– besides creating an account you need to install additional software to use the plugin
Free royalty-free samples
This article features 21 websites where you can find free drum sounds, free loops, and free sound effects, which are also royalty-free.
MusicRadar offers you nearly 70,000 samples of all kinds of genres for free. You can download them directly but they are only sorted from A to Z and you cannot search through the library with filters. I suggest you use the search of your browser (Ctrl+F) to find samples that could be interesting to you.
TriSamples offers really great free sound and preset packs. Besides complete drum sample packs, you can get melodies, 808s and presets for Massive & Zebra (by u-he). One thing I really like about their melody packs is that they come with MIDI files. So if you like a melody you can use it with other instruments.
At Newloops you can find 10 free sample packs for different kinds of genres and some of them even contain presets, patches and kits for Kontakt, Battery or Hailion for example.
99sounds is a great source for free sound effects. There are many different sound packs on their website and personally I like the vinyl crackle library the most. They also have some drum samples and two VST plugins which I wouldn’t, but maybe they are interesting to you.
As the name suggests Free Beats & Samples offers exactly that. The majority of their packs are for trap music, so if you are a trap producer, maybe check out their website.
Alonso Sound is focused on EDM. You can directly download TRY packs for every sample pack they sell. In those TRY packs, you will find a few samples from the full pack. Besides they are giving away their three Revealed Producers Starter packs for free. So if you’re interested in producing some EDM definitely go and check them out.
A popular website is soundpacks.com. They have a lot of great sample packs over there but some packs are not royalty-free so make sure to read the license agreement if this is important to you.
My favorite free sample packs come from SoundMajorz. The samples sound amazing and are perfect for R&B, Hip-Hop, Boom bap, trap… If you want to produce music like that definitely go and check out the Appreciation Kits.
At FreeDrumKits.com you can find 48 free drum kits mainly based on hip hop producers and artists and you have to sign up with your email to download them.
Here you can find different sample packs and preset packs for software like Serum and Omnisphere, for example. The majority of them are royalty-free, but a few are not. So make sure to read the description and the license txt or pdf file, which comes with the sample pack.
For some, you have to subscribe to the newsletter, most of them require you to share it on social media and some can be downloaded directly.
Loopmasters offers you 500MB of free sounds. But there are similar offers at Primeloops and noiiz.
The real advantage of creating an account at Loopmasters is Loopcloud. With Loopcloud you can easily organize all of your samples It automatically detects the key and the BPM of your samples and if it identifies the instrument it will be tagged accordingly so you will find the sample easily sample if you filter for that particular instrument. You can also tag them manually.
Search for the tag “free” and you will find multiple free royalty-free samples in the store. You can claim 5 free samples per day. However, there is an annoying preview limitation.
For me, it is a real time-saver to be able to go through my samples like that and quickly process them accordingly to my projects before importing them. You can even synchronize it with your DAW I highly recommend getting Loopcloud.
A quite popular source for free samples and also presets is Cymatics. To get access to their free content you have to subscribe to their email list. Drew and Steven are two music producers who do a lot for the producer community. You can also check out the Cymatics Instagram feed for a lot of free information.
Curtiss King is also YouTuber focussing on music production. On Slap Experts he not only sells sample packs, he also offers a lot of free sample packs like the ones from OhGosh Leotus, that are really cool. They mainly focus on Hip-Hop and sometimes not only contain royalty-free samples but also free beats for artists, which are free for profit.
A lot of producers sell their beats on BeatStars.com but besides beats, you can also sell (and give away) sound kits. Simply search for free and filter by sound kits and you will find a lot of sample packs you can download for free. The downside here is you don’t really know what you get and every producer has his own terms so some are royalty-free some are not. If you have a favorite producer then maybe check out their website or BeatStars and see if they are giving away a sample pack for free.
On r-loops.com you get 3 free sample packs for each order. but some of them are also available if you sign up for their email list.
The majority of their free sample packs can also be downloaded via Slooply.
Here you can also download and preview each sample individually. If you like what you hear you can create an account at Slooply or download the whole pack via r-loops.
A really interesting sample library is SampleFocus. While you only get ten free samples per week you can get four more for each approved uploaded sample. Of course, there is the risk that someone uploads a sample that isn’t royalty-free and declares it to be royalty-free.
If the creator of a sample violates the copyright law and you use it, technically you are also violating the copyright law without even knowing it (this is, of course, applies to all sources of samples). But still, I think SampleFocus is a more trustworthy source than for example the subreddit r/drumkits.
Freesound.org is a platform where you can download and share all kinds of sounds under the Creative Commons license.
Some of them need attribution and some of them only can be used for non-commercial use. But if you filter by Creative Commons 0 all of the sounds can be used in commercial projects without attribution. Of course, there is a risk that someone just labels something as Creative Commons 0 while it’s copyrighted.
Wave Alchemy offers great free sample packs of vintage drum machine sounds and two Kontakt libraries if you create an account.
W. A.Production has got a huge library of not only free sounds but also presets and even a free parallel compression plugin. To download the packs you need to repost the pack’s demo track and follow different profiles on SoundCloud.
Furthermore, you have to make it known in the description that you used content from Looperman if you use loops from Looperman in content that you uploaded to sites like YouTube.
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