Talk:Sampling (music)

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Where Is Double D and Stienski's "lesson one the pay of mix" or Grandmaster Flash's 'Adventures on the wheels of Steel??? the two most influential cut up records ever.

In between a cover and a sample[edit]

How do we deal with and where do we put borrowings or covering that doesn't include a whole song, like a sample, but unlike a sample is re-performed. Numerous examples exist of the bass line from Chic's "Good Times", from rap songs to Queen. Hyacinth 04:46, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I believe the phrase to describe that is 'musical quotation'. This is often seen in Jazz. I don't believe there's currently a wikipedia page on the subject however I do see mention of the practice on the Quotation page. --E.D.Hedekar 13:52, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thank you! Hyacinth 01:48, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)


i'd like a disambiguation with sampling (signal processing) at the top, although it doesn't really have its own article... - Omegatron 21:23, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Sample Sources[edit]

Is there a wikipedia site with a list of sample sources used in songs? For example the names of movies and stuff like that sampled by industrial bands such as Front Line Assembly or Velvet Acid Christ? I was unable to find one, but I don't want to go ahead and create one if it already exists somewhere else. I was thinking there should be a list organized first by band, listing the sources they sampled, and then also a list organized by sample sources showing bands that had sampled them.

See the links section on main page, that first link has the oldest searchable data base of sample references online. Some wikipedia pages of individual albums also have this info, some of which isn't yet in the samplefaq page, as its not quite up to date.

Samplers on sampling[edit]

I think there is a huge gap in the general public's perception of sampling concerning WHY and HOW people who sample actually do it. The prevailing idea is that everyone who samples is a business-driven Puff Daddy svengali type who just raps over the instrumentals of hits from the 70s and 80s to make a quick buck. I think the best way to clear this up is to include quotes from the people who sample themselves, let them explain. So I did. --Jamieli 12:24, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely wonderful. I read it and was like "Wow...I'd never expect to see this on WIkipedia!" Great work. --FuriousFreddy 17:43, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
I like hiphop and its roots and leaders, but this section is way too long. Also, if a section like this exists so lopsided, basically explaining the skill and qualtiy of sampling, how it is great, and defending it, there should be an equal section "Musicians on Sampling" with quotes by musicians and composers with counterpoint as to why they either support samplers or dislike the practice or if they believe its less creative or talented a medium. After all, samplers are using material from actual musicians, so their perspective is important to this. I suggest adding that, and massively trimming the existing section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KnowNothing (talkcontribs) 08:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


Is the sound category necessary? It is a supercategory of Electronic music, I assume. Hyacinth 10:40, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Digital sampling; Sampling is more than just reusing others' recordings[edit]

Does anyone feel as I do that Sampling (music) ought to be about more than just incorporating someone else's recording in your own? It certainly is about that, but it is much more. Between digital sampling and this article -- which I feel should be combined -- very important topics are completely ignored: instrument samples, for example. There is a whole industry around sampling acoustic instruments. These samples are vastly more common in modern recordings than lifted bits of somebody else's recordings. There also ought to be expanded discussion on how sampling works and how sample rate, bit width, etc. affect the quality of samples. There also ought to be a mention of how music workstations such as a Triton allow you to sample layers of patches so as not to waste polyphony. Please weigh in on this or suggest an alternative solution. --Trweiss 15:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

It should stay as is but I do agree that there are some other facets of sampling which can be expanded. I would suggest that you think of this sampling article as an one on the technique and the culture that it associates to, rather than the specifics of the digital medium. Sampling has existed long before the common PC was available and I think the mentions to modern sampling cover this enough. I would encourage you to expand on the digital sampling article if you can.
--OpenSebJ 09:37, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I would guess that there is enough information about digital sampling to get that article out of stub status while this article is already fairly long. If the digital sampling article stays as a stub I say it should be merged. Hyacinth 11:48, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you OpenSebJ and Hyacinth for your suggestions. Based on them, I have removed the merge suggestion template and replaced it with a disambiguation link to digital sampling. I will be working on that article. When I am done, it will link to Sampling (music). --Trweiss 23:21, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Biz Markie case[edit]

"...not merely copyright infringement, but criminal theft..."

How could it be theft? Sounds like copyright infringement to me. I don't understand how the author of this line is able to draw this conclusion, but IANAL. The link to Grand Upright Music vs. WB doesn't support a finding of theft either.

Digital sampling is not sampling (music)[edit]

I see from the above comments that some people think digital sampling is about the same thing as this page. It isn't. The phrase 'digital sampling' has a much more fundamental meaning in electronic engineering and digital signal processing. It was in use long before the digital recording of music was possible. A 'sample' in digital processing, or on a music CD, in the technical sense, is a single number, the instantaneous value at one instant in time. The fact that music sampling also involves digital sampling is only the result of the fact that we have digital recording and computers. Music sampling is perfectly possible, if not so convenient, using other technologies.

I moved all music sampling content from 'digital sampling' a while ago, including lists of types of sampling, and expanded the article to cover the technical meaning, which is vital not just to audio but also to our modern telephone systems, television, and video recording. I linked from the top to this other meaning. --Lindosland 20:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

In my view, the article omits important cultural and technical components of sampling. Coming from the academic computer music world, some things in this article jump out at me. First of all, it is not clear (you'd really have to read between the lines) that a lot of sampling practice evolved from the use of sampling synthesizers. These synthesizers (e.g. the Fairlight) were developed primarily to replace analog synthesizers, not to play back and repeat rhythmic samples. The pop music world essentially repurposed the hardware to create a new musical esthetic. In doing so, this culture essentially reinvented a practice that extended back to Pierre Schaeffer and that was in the day-to-day activity of many computer music composers who had access to other means to accomplish the same thing. If there is something distinctive about sampling in the pop world, which seems to be an assumption underlying this article, then is is probably an esthetic based on the reuse of music by other artists, something that the more traditional recording and computer music world generally viewed as undignified and uncreative. (I'm not sure these words capture the true sentiment, but there was certainly a sense in the academic electro-acoustic music world that placed a high value on creating new sounds and shunned the idea of taking and using someone else's sound creations.) So I think the article could be improved by describing how technology enabled the development of a new direction/practice in popular music (and didn't the term "sampling" derive from "sampling synthesizers"? -- even the word "sampling" was repurposed) and also by describing what if anything distinguishes "sampling" from the common practice of electro-acoustic music. --RBDannenberg 14:20, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Lindosland's comment. I have recently merged digital sampling with sampling (signal processing), since both articles discussed the same meaning of sampling. However, the term 'digital sampling' does seem to be used by music professionals to indicate music sampling. A large number of links to digital sampling are actually supposed to link to sampling (music). Therefore, I think digital sampling should be treated as a disambig page, since people from different backgrounds use the term differently. I am going through all links to digital sampling and disambiging them so that they point to either the music or the engineering terms. When this is done, I will redirect digital sampling to sampling, which is the disambig page for this exact issue. --Zvika 19:11, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Some video games have sampled too.[edit]

I know Earthbound (SNES) and Sonic 3 (Genesis) did, but there are probably a few newer games that do as well (most likely something with a rapper >_>)

Should there be a mention of this somewhere? I know it's not necessary to do so, but it would be nice. 20:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Sample torrents link added[edit]

I added Sample Torrents ( in the links list.

I run this site along with brent from and we keep a strong eye on any material that might be illegal.

Removing "Sample trolls"[edit]

I'm removing the section about "Sample trolls", mostly on the basis that it's a neologism. The Slate story seems to be the only use of the term I can find. --Otterfan 13:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

dj shadow's entroducing[edit]

could a reference be made to this album as I believe it was entered in the Guinness world record books for the 'first completely sampled album'?

I find this impossible to believe, the digital sampler (instrument) was invented in 1979 (before that there were Tape Replay keyboards, also samplers just not digital) and with all of the people involved with Sequencers and Synthesizers in the 70's/80's I am betting there is more than one obscure fully sampled album from then (not samples from other music but sampled from other existing instruments and such). - (talk) 19:32, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

The above is true. If I had to wager a guess, I'd say any of Mark the 45 King's various releases in the mid '80s were likely the first completely sampled albums released. Most notorious was a collection featured the now infamous "900 Number" which has been resampled too many times to count directly from the song he made which is itself a sample. (talk) 20:42, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Computer sampling software[edit]

Re: the section on software samplers, the only mention seems to be Propellerhead's Reason and Recycle, and I don't think these are particularly relevant - the innovation here is more to do with "beat slicing" than sampling. They're not mentioned on the Wiki page dedicated to samplers (, which lists better examples like Kontakt and Gigastudio. Needs some joined-up thinking.

White6rabbit 18:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Ben


"Artists who do not sample: Replayed Samples"

Ain't that just called interpolation? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:29, 14 January 2007 (UTC).

2 Live Crew case[edit]

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, Inc. has nothing to do with sampling. Acuff-Rose owns the publishing rights to the song "Pretty Woman", not the copyright to Orbison's recording of it -- the lawsuit was over Campbell's release of an unauthorized cover version. Lazlo Nibble 07:55, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


There should be a section in this article about the criticisms of sampling. The "Producers" section is wholly congratulatory and tilted in favor of sampling, while aside from the legal section, nowhere in the article is there a section about the detractor's point of view: (sampling rips off the original song, sampling takes lines and musical clips out of context, the artist doing it has less originality than the artist who wrote the sampled song, etc...). Merely writing the history and platitudes of sampling is baised and one-sided. (talk) 19:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

There is no necessity for sampling to be illegal, and I don't think there exists serious criticism of sampling as a musical process in reliable sources. I'm sure a lot of people don't like jazz, should there be a criticism section in the jazz article? The article has a lot of problems, but POV is among the least of them. So I'm removing the POV tag. If you want to come back with cites supporting your examples of possible criticism that you wish to be represented in the article, do so, and we can either include them or re-instate the tag pending discussion discuss their merits. (talk) 19:45, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually I suppose technically there is a dispute over NPOV ongoing, so I'll leave it pending your reply. (talk) 19:50, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
The article is on Sampling, not a specific use of this. Many musicians sample real instruments to incorporate into their work which has no argument legally, nor does it make the musicians "less original". I would say that this article is way too biased on the use of samples in popular music (sampling other popular music) and less on the technology and early use (synthesized electronic musicians). Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Richard James Burgess, Todd Rundgren, Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, producer Rhett Lawrence, Stevie Wonder all purchased and used the Fairlight CMI and were all using samples of instruments by the early 80's. - (talk) 20:15, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Attitudes toward being sampled[edit]

Besides the legal issue section, please add a section like the following: Jidanni (talk) 01:50, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Examples of attitude towards being sampled[edit]

  • Artists who have a permissive attitude to being sampled
    • James Brown?
    • etc.
  • Artists who have a negative attitude to being sampled
    • Artist1, 2,.

However, it is not always the artist in control, but their record company. So,

  • Record companies who have a permissive attitude to being sampled
    • Company1, 2
    • etc.
  • Record companys who have a negative attitude to being sampled
    • Company3, 4,.

William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin's contributions to the artform[edit]

This seems to be completely neglected on here, which is odd given that they pretty much pioneered the idea of using existing media on tape to produce new works in their early sound collages of news programs on radio. This was done as the first reel-to-reel recorders using tape were made available to the public and were pretty much unheard of before then. Also worth mentioning is the process used to create the original theme to Dr. Who which was a similar but new technique at the time, also utilizing samples and tape looping.

None of this is mentioned anywhere in this article as far as I can tell, but it's in nearly every major work I've read (and I've read many) about the history of sampling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about those two names, but what about Pierre Schaeffer?? didn't he invent musique concrete, and therefore the idea (and the method) of using recordings of sounds as music? surely that is sampling! Retrorocker (talk) 20:52, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Bitter sweet symphony - "unlicensed sample"?[edit]

Regarding The Verve was forced to pay 100% of their royalties from their hit "Bitter Sweet Symphony" for the use of an unlicensed sample... According to the Bittersweet Symphony article, they obtained a license for this sample. Should this section be rephrased, or am I misunderstanding this issue? - Poobslag (talk) 15:26, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

DJ Premier / Chuck D lawsuit[edit]

No mention of DJ Premier getting sued by Chuck D for sampling his voice on 10 crack commandments? I thought it was a pretty major event. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluesoju (talkcontribs) 00:36, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Notorious B.I.G. "Hypnotize" sampling Herb Alpert's "Rise"[edit]

Should there be mention of this in the article? -- (talk) 04:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Probably. Already got a load of less famous examples in there, so why not. Pagen HD (talk) 13:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Good way of handling info on samples in articles?[edit]

Some songs sample many other songs, perhaps only briefly. Should all the songs be indicated in an article, regardless of the notability of the sample? Is there a good model for how to handle that: prose in article, list, table, footnotes...? Шизомби (Sz) (talk) 01:19, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Clearance services[edit]

Similar to companies that obtain mechanical licenses for licensees who wish to use musical compositions to make new sound recordings, sample clearance services obtain licenses to clear the rights involved with using a sample. Clearance services can obtain sample license offers on behalf of independent artists and producers who utilize samples in their "new works," or on behalf of record labels who plan to distribute their "new works." "New work" refers to the new musical composition and sound recording which utilizes a sample from another work. Note that a music sample contains two separate copyrighted works. One is the original sound recording, and the other is the underlying musical composition.

Removed this along with a lot of advertisement for one such company. The above can probably be used if an independent, secondary source is provided. / edg 13:10, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Michael Jackson Sample Map[edit]

I added a link to a Michael Jackson sample map, which was subsequently removed, with the sole reason being given that Wikepedia doesn't use Flickr pages. I realize that typically Wikipedia doesn't link to Flickr images, but the Michael Jackson sample map isn't a typical Flickr image, as I should have explained at the time I added it. Following its posting on Flickr, it has been reposted and/or discussed at:

It also appears internationally here (Dutch), here (Italian), and here (Polish). The image's creator discusses its going viral here, and about 1/3 to 1/2 way down he discusses the many other places it has also been discussed or appeared.

If it isn't noteworthy for this article, then it shouldn't stay, but I think it is noteworthy here: it indicates how common sampling is, using a popular musician to do so. All of this being so, are there still objections to its inclusion? -Badger151 (talk) 13:17, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Distinction between Sampling (borrowing from other songs) and Sampling (getting a recording of a single instrument to play back at other frequencies)[edit]

The concepts of Sampling as in "Borrowing from other songs" and Sampling as in "getting recordings of single instruments for a synthesizer" are completely unrelated, and shouldn't be put together.--Dwedit (talk) 00:55, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Hammer & Michael Bolton[edit]

An IP has added material about [3] Michael Bolton and MC Hammer to this article. The IP came to my talk page, so I've brought it here for further discussion and consensus.

The Michael Bolton section seemed to just be about cover songs, and had no relevance to the sampling issue. As for the Hammer material, he did sample on his album (obviously). However, the sampling article isn't just a list of every artist who sampled on their album. The other artists mentioned are Vanilla Ice, Biz Markie, Shut Up and Dance, and the Verve, all of which are very significant moments in sampling because of the legal issues involved. Each is well referenced in terms of the legal issues the songs/albums brought up, royalties, lawsuits, clearances, etc. Hammer's album is just mentioned as an album that sampled other music, with no notability in terms of long-term affect on sampling. Dayewalker (talk) 01:49, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

First of all, I'm an editor not an IP. Second, I have removed the Bolton songs since they were covers - as I have already told you on your talk page. Regarding Hammer, if anything he was the most "famous" artist criticized in history for the use of sampling (perhaps opinion but I'm trying to make a point). It even added to the loss of his popularity in some ways. It is very well documented. It would make sense instead of continuing to revert the edits, to discuss it as you have finally done here per my eventual request. This avoids edit wars. Additionally, it should remain until the "consensus" agrees/disagrees on the topic. Lastly, you have not researched the pages the statements are linked to, the sites, the resources/citations, nor the additional information added (which is also included in the Wiki article about Hammer) about the lawsuit that supports this. It is not made clear to my knowledge that sampling only is defined as the way you have decided to define it. Many articles list facts about a topic without indepth analysis. They also don't all follow a resource, as you have to take the entire matter into context (assume the "big picture"). I don't care to "win", I am merely adding to this topic to enhance it. Whether it stays or not is not my goal. It is defending what is right, and that is that Hammer had a major impact in the sampling industry of music (without question). I have done a MAJOR portion of his page on my own over time, and this is a matter I am well aware of. That is not to say I'm right, but we MUST give the benefit of the doubt on edits, have respect, not continue to revert to "win an edit war" and to research first. This is not an attack on anyone specifically but rather an "fyi" to assist in this process for the future. Add, leave, discuss and then agree. Either way, it is factual and listing the information regardless is not harmful to the article nor is it vandalism. I know you're not claiming that, I'm just saying. For some editors, it takes time for them to include every detail or to fix mistakes. For one reason or another, life exists off the internet and certainly off this site. My issue was my Internet wasn't staying connected but I have resolved the entire edit now. The edit is not "out-of-line" in any way and can be left as it totally supports the topic. If I left the Bolton info, that may be something to discuss. But I didn't realize those were only covers, yet nonetheless are still forms of sampling. It doesn't matter to list him, but the "backlash" that Hammer and Bolton received at that time (if you recall or are old enough to remember or can research on your own) makes it a point well adding to the page (as are the others listed). There doesn't have to be a limit of which artists get to be included in a topic that isn't about a specific genre. The page is called "Sampling", not just the artists you listed. We can not cherry pick who we want to include if others are applicable. It would beehove us all to expand the article as much as possible, as that is a Wiki objective. Thank you for your understanding and I appreciate the opportunity to bring closure to this in a mature and respectful way according to Wiki guidelines. In the future, I trust others won't be so quick to dismiss something without discussing it nicely as to the reason why it was included. Have a great day/night! (talk) 03:47, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. You linked to "old edits" not the fixed one that you were aware of before posting this talk topic. (To my knowledge.) (talk) 03:48, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE: After reviewing the article better, I concede to the point that the info about Hammer and other artists I included were better placed in another section (Recordings and popular examples). But to delete it entirely wasn't warranted. I now see the structure of the article better which escaped me when the Internet was acting up, as well as the fact that some entries (ie. Mariah Carey) didn't seem to follow the main topic of "Legal issues" regarding sampling. Nonetheless, the mention of Hammer's lawsuit will remain in the right section (eventually added after my initial entry), and again, the others have been moved/added to another topic simply regarding famous/popular artists who have sampled oldies. Those I've included made "long-term affects on sampling" in pop-culture, resulting in documented success. At any rate, for my part with any mistakes, I apologize and hope this clears the matter up. Peacefully, (talk) 05:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Readding rearranging like sampling[edit]

I see someone removed my "producers on sampling" section. Good job; after all, what use does a fully sourced section which fully explains an arcane article subject from the point of view of its practitioners have in a Wikipedia article? Certainly not as much as an exhaustive listing of peripheral lawsuits, that's for sure. If said quotes had been split up into a longer section which used explanatory text between each of them, nobody would have removed it; it hardly seems reasonable then to remove it when it plainly doesn't need any due to the strength of the selected quotes themselves. The existence of Wikiquote should not mean all quotes ever should be expunged from Wikipedia, particularly not the quotes which actually serve the purpose of explaining the subject of the goddamn article itself, i.e. fulfilling the aim to which the article was presumably consulted. There is a large list of zany modern adaptations at the end of every Shakespeare play article, there is a sizeable section in Nelson Mandela's article about pop culture depictions of him; perhaps the foundation should invest in a site called Wikirrelevance so all such crap can be sent there. I also can't really imagine someone removing a list of explanatory quotes from an article on renaissance drama or magnetohydrodynamics or taekwondo; but I guess sampling is one of those topics where it's okay for people to not know what the fuck they're talking about. I will restore the quotes section. I will also put the "legal issues" section to the bottom of the article; having at the top is akin to putting a large multi-paragraph section about Borat at the start of the article on Kazakhstan. --Jamieli (talk) 18:32, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Additional citations[edit]

Why and where does this article need additional citations for verification? What references does it need and how should they be added? Hyacinth (talk) 18:23, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

It needs additional citations for verification throughout (MOST sections are completely unsourced). In needs additional citations because verifiability is one of the five pillars of Wikipedia. - SummerPhD (talk) 03:41, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Spoken word[edit]

Seems like the Spoken word section could be improved a bit, to have more of a historical perspective, including early uses of spoken-word samples in music (e.g., at least back to early 1970s Pink Floyd), instead of simply being a hodge-podge of seemingly arbitrary examples. - dcljr (talk) 22:59, 28 August 2012 (UTC)