When you’re producing sample based music, aside from having a good sampler, you need samples! Lately, sample packs are not hard to find, be it paid or free. The best part is that they can work in any DAW you need or have, so you’re not restricted to REAPER. In this article I will review a few free sample packs and sample based resources for REAPER that I found interesting and that may serve you in your productions, so let’s get to it.
SoundPacks.com is a really nice starting point for getting samples. It’s a recollection of hundreds of sample packs for anything you may think of, some are absurdly extensive, even amounting to tens of gigabytes! Here you have samples to work with for literally years.
Each sample pack page will take you to a direct download site, or its corresponding source page for downloading, which is usually another sample pack page with even more freebies!
Once you download the sample pack, you only need to uncompress the file and move the resulting folder wherever you find it easy to access. You can later access it from the REAPER Media explorer.
You can even add the folder to favorites in the REAPER Media explorer.
This will make it so that it’s easier to use any sample pack you download. I really like the Acoustic Drum Samples by WavBakey, and the Computersoundz Sample Pack.
I decided to add SMDrums to this list because, audio quality aside, it’s an awesome example of a sample pack set up as a very complex virtual instrument inside REAPER using the ReaSamplOmatic5000 that I covered in this article. It comes with a bunch of variations for all the pieces of the kit and up to 127 velocity layers! Check the description on the page for more info about it.
Download the REAPER project folder from the page and uncompress the file. The folder contains the project and all the samples you need inside it.
Once you open it, you may be a bit lost on where the sampler is, don’t fear.
Right click any track and open the Track manager. Here you will see a few tracks that are hidden, just click and drag on the TCP and MCP fields to show them.
The MIDI PROCESSOR track is intended for receiving MIDI, be it from a MIDI controller or a MIDI item in the track. And the DRUM SAMPLER folder track, which contains the needed instances of ReaSamplOmatic500 and with its child tracks, will act as a whole virtual instrument.
All these tracks go to individual tracks called DRUMS CHANNELS and then to busses called DRUM MIXER where you can control your drum groups and apply mixing processing
The best part of this is that all this system can be saved as a track template and import that template to any project you’re working on.
Just right click the track and select the option Save track as template… and you’re all set up to work with it!
And although this template is a few years old, feel free to take inspiration from this set up to create your own sample systems using ReaSamplOmatic5000, I’m sure you’ll find some part of this system useful.
Looperman is an awesome source for getting loops of any kind, acapellas, and free software. This site lets you search by category, key, genre and tempo. You only need to create a free account and dive on searching and losing yourself in the sea of loops and samples the community of this page have uploaded.
All resources are organized by tags and have a little description on the content of the sample and let you hear it before downloading it.
Then if you click on the Download button, it will take you to a page dedicated to the sample with a thanks to the author and recommendations based on the tags of this sample.
Click the Download button once again and the process will start. Once you have it in your machine, it may be a good idea to save it in a folder where you keep your samples and loops, ready to be imported into REAPER.
I’d like to add that I’ve found these loops work best when I need a little extra inspiration instead of when I have a really concrete idea in my head. Happy discovering!
In the world of Hip-Hop, is pretty common to use small sections of sampled song to create the harmonic content in a song, a loop may be created by using a few mangled slices of audio, pitched up or down, looped, and even with some audio effect on top of them.
These sites have special free music licenses that allow you to download the music and use it for commercial purposes and remixing just by crediting the artist, both sites include a dedicated license page where you’ll see how you should credit the original artist of the song.
Then you can search and download free to use music and sample sections of it to create your own!
Freesound is the ultimate free repository to get foley recordings, sound effects and ambient sounds, you only need to create a free account to contribute and download any resource.
There are people on this site that have recorded or synthesized some jaw dropping audios that you can use however you want, be it music production, sound for media or otherwise.
Click on any audio preview to hear the audio, and if you click on the title, the site will take you to a dedicated page where you can download the sample.
When it comes to using samples absolutely anything goes! Record them using a laptop and interface, a hand recorder, or even your phone can be used to capture anything at any time.
Any audio you record can be later imported into REAPER for producing and processing, it’s become a really popular trend especially between instagram and Tik Tok producers, and it has its merit.
These are some basic resources you can use for your work, it can be production, DJ, remixing, and even sound for media like radio, TV or movies. I firmly believe that you don’t always need expensive tools to create good content, and highly encourage you to try tools out before considering a paid option, these tools may surprise you! And if you find them limiting, feel free to use your wallet, paid tools have their place too. I hope this was useful and have fun!