Leftover Links #16: Synths, Samples and Drum Machines

leftover-links

It’s Leftover Links time and we’re looking into the wonderful world of synths, samples and drum machines thanks to articles from HipHopDX, RBMA and The Guardian.

You’d be hard pressed to find three things to have revolutionised music as much as sampling, synthesizers and drum machines. Since the 80s, they have featured in most of the music we listen to in some form or another and Sampleface wouldn’t exist without at least two of them so we’re paying our dues with the latest edition of Leftover Links. From sample clearance discussions to the zero to hero story of the 808, the following articles will leave you with a never ending tech gear wish list in your head/on Amazon.

  1. 21st Century Breaks: Hip Hop’s New Source Of Soul Samples – Jay Balfour talks about the musicians bringing a “resurgence of ‘modern breaks’ powering hits by Jay Z and other popular emcees weigh in on infiltrating mainstream music’s scene”. (HipHopDX)
  2. Interview: The Cinematic Orchestra on “To Build A Home” and clearing samples – The Cinematic Orchestra frontman Jason Swinscoe talks about the hockey goalie that helped inspire the track that will follow him until the end of his career and the old days of (big) sample clearances. (RBMA)
  3. The Business: Once & For All, The Truth Behind The 6-Bar Sample Myth – Mita Carriman tells it like it is about the “6-bar sample myth” in regards to clearances. “There is no complete and absolute rule under US law that you can sample someone else’s music for free and without clearance if it’s only ‘six bars’, ‘six seconds’, ‘five seconds’, ‘five bars’ or any other number.” (Okayplayer)
  4. The Roland TR-808: the drum machine that revolutionised music – The 808 was in production for only three years and was a commercial flop but somehow its infamous drum kit has been used in anything and everything for decades. Ben Beaumont-Thomas investigated the unintentional drum machine of the future. (The Guardian)
  5. The 14 synthesizers that shaped modern music – FACT Mag give their list of fourteen synths that have shaped modern music (FACT)
  6. Synth icons: Oberheim OB series – Not one but three closely-related synths helped to shape the Oberheim legend, says Scot Solida. A whole host of pop stars from the Eighties had their wicked way with the synth and Scot examines a selection. (MusicRadar)
  7. Why Are We Seeing New Sampling Suits Over Old Songs? – Ali Sternburg questions the reasons behind the influx of new sample lawsuits involving songs from the last century and delves into the complex world of copyright. (DisCo)
  8. The Notorious B.I.G. Sued By R&B Singer Over Sample Clearance – Lee Hutson, formerly of The Impressions, is suing Biggie’s estate over the alleged use of a sample from one of his songs and joins a long line of musicians looking for their cut/credit. (HipHopWired)

About Luke Alex Davis

Luke Davis is a music producer and editor of music blog Sampleface. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis and football and reading.