Samples are short sound recordings or parts of songs that are played back on demand or pieced together to create a new composition. (This kind of sample has a very different meaning from the term sample used elsewhere in this book, as in “The sample rate of an audio CD is 44.1 kHz.”) A sample may be as short as a single note (Figure 13-17) or may consist of one or more measures. Typically, samples of individual notes should begin just prior to the “attack” and end just after the “release.” Longer samples are usually designed to loop, or repeat over and over (Figure 13-18). With a program such as ACID Pro or GarageBand, loops can be used to create entire songs. The same loops can be used in different parts of a song and repeated as many times as necessary.
Figure 13-17. A single note from a cymbal
Figure 13-18. A loop based on four measures extracted from a song
You can purchase samples as pre-recorded loops, record them from scratch, or grab them from existing recordings. When you record samples or grab them from another recording, you need to edit them so they begin and end on the appropriate beats (samples should always end on a downbeat). Otherwise, longer samples will stutter when looped, and short samples will be difficult to accurately align with other samples. ...