This blog was written for primeloops.com – check them out for some ace samples and to see my blogs 2 months earlier!

With the advent of Electronic music, it’s much easier to copy sounds – a simple cut and paste and you’ll have exactly the same music as someone else.

But which sounds have been copied and pasted the most?   Which sounds have people overused to the point where they’ve become intrinsic to the popular music industry?

Let’s find out…


Amen Break – You can’t deny that the Amen break is one of the most overused samples of all time.   Deep rooted in Hip Hop and nigh-on essential in Jungle and Drum and Bass, this sample has been the foundation for many a popular track!

808 Kick - Often backing up the Amen break, the 808 kick began its roots in a humble drum machine and has now spread the world over as one of the most used kick drums ever.   Hip Hop thanks you, 808!

TB 303 Synth - Fast sequenced resonant synths were the order of the day when acid house and trance kicked off, with the TB 303 being the chef.

Supersaw – Could you imagine conventional music without the massive anthemic trance leads of the 90s being punctuated throughout it?   It’d be like losing a limb!   With an awesome name as well, the supersaw synth is vital to the dance music industry!

Orchestra Hit - From the early electronica to 90s Pop music to even more alternative artists (Biffy Clyro – Living is a Problem uses it more than anyone I’ve heard!), the orchestra hit has been the pitched noise of choice to power out those anthems.   I can’t imagine Britney singing about not being that innocent without them.

Gated Snare - Thanks to the 80s, these reverby monsters of snare drums have been the driving backbone to many a Rock and Pop anthem.

Percussive Blip - Yeah, I’m looking at you, Timbaland.   Those early drum machine blips have become such a staple in hip hop that you’d think they weren’t pitched samples at all.

Reese Bass – Kevin Maurice Saunderson has shaped modern Drum and Bass forever with his dirty, powerful bass synth.

The Big Beat – Another one of those samples that pops up again and again – Run DMC, Naughty By Nature, Jay-Z and Dizzee Rascal have all spat over the top of this loop.   Whether you think of spitting as a synonym for rap or a derogatory thing is up to you!

Vocoder – Would daft punk even exist without this?   Used so much in pop music it almost hurts.   The robot-tastic vocoder completes our 10 sounds that shaped the industry!

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One Response to “Top 10 sounds that shaped the music industry!”

  1. I really recommend everyone to take a look at this video about the Amen Break.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac

    It tells of its history and importance on the music scene and how it’s barely given credit.

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