Vocal samples are very popular among djs and music producers. They let you create much more interesting tunes. You can either record them in studio or get an acapella sample pack. In this article you will find ideas and inspirations on how to use vocal samples in a less obvious way.
Vocal samples in music productions
The most recognizable part of a dj tune is the vocal part. This is why many djs cooperate with singers and vocalists. This is the best way to get vocals for your music productions. This however might be expensive and needs a professional studio to perform the recordings. It also takes much time and you need to plan it ahead.
A handy and inexpensive alternative is to use acapella vocal samples.
In this article I will show you some tricks that you can perform with acapellas. This guide is intended to be DAW-neutral. No matter which audio workstation you use, the ideas and information should be relevant to you.
First of all you will need a vocal sample pack. You can help yourself in many places. Here are some of them:
- Vocal Downloads is definitely one of the first places too visit.
- Good old Freesound is also here for you in this matter. But watch out for the quality! The sound could be recorded with a calculator 🙂
- Last but not least try some of our free vocal samples. They are designed to fit modern electronic music and also are professionally recorded and mastered.
Vocal samples in your mix
If you create your own tracks you will want a vocal part to appear at least in the chorus. This is basic. But you need to be more than basic to make something that will catch the attention of people.
You should definitely experiment with your sounds. Here is the place where software comes into play. You can do a lot in your DAW. Especially when you add some powerful software extensions as:
Both of these programs are pure magic. You can take your vocal samples and process them by changing pitch, tempo and many other parameters easily.
Melodyne and Autotune can be used to produce samples on various pitch levels which you can late load into an external controller and play around with them as you would play normally with synth sounds. You can even make a synth lead with sampled vocal parts. The best practice is to have a single, short word, one syllable preferably.
While performing you can use such a trick: take vocal samples out of one track and use them to play the melody from another and then play this another track. The effect will be amazing.
The use of vocal samples in remixes
Have you ever made a remix? Sure, all of us did it at least once! What about cross-genres? Lately it is popular thing to take for example, classical music mashup in jungle tunes. But most of these remixes have one issue: the author takes the lead melody from another track and produces absolutely neutral thing around it so that this lead melody has nothing to do with its surroundings.
Do it in a creative way! Let’s say we take this killer track made by Bizet around 150 years ago and cut the vocals out of it.
Now using your software make a bassline out of the main vocal melody by lowering the pitch by 5 octaves or more. Cool enough? Then take this maginficent vocal again and look for a place where she sings solo, one easy to cut syllable. Making the lead synth melody would be a piece of cake. Especially when you get some of your sound processing VSTs to work.
This way by getting vocal samples out of a tune, turning them into “instruments” and playing with these “instruments” you create something fresh and interesting. It will not go unnoticed!
As always in the matter of sampling you should pay extra attention to the copyrights. If you record vocal samples by your own you’re ok but if you cut phrases and hooks from ready songs you should have a written permission.
Again, a good way to deal with copyrights is to use royalty free vocal sample packs.