Part 3: Sampling The Future
Yep, the 1980's was the decade when sampling truly entered the collective musical psyche. Indications that something big was about to happen came in the shape of 12" vinyl platters like Malcom X (No Sell Out), The Enemy Within, Big In America Right Now, Steinski's History Of Hip Hop and Freeez's I.O.U. Then with mainstream artists like Depeche Mode's 'Construction Time Again', Duran Duran's 'Ragged Tiger', Pet Shop Boys, Yello, Thompson Twins and Tears For Fears. Each with their own well crafted ideals about the use of sampling in contemporary music.
As for the technology, by the late 80's Akai, E-mu, Roland and Ensoniq are battling it out for sampling supremacy with other companies like Yamaha, Casio and Kurzweil snapping at their heels. Sampling has a vice-like grip on music production. Sampled instruments, vocal lines and loops appear on countless records and entire genres of music become routed in the possibilities that this new form of expressionism offers.
The end of the century was approaching and music was searching for a renaissance period to highlight its greatest achievements. Looping and sampling seemed to offer the perfect solution.
Casio release their FZ-1 keyboard sampler.
Roland release the S-220, S-330 and S-550 rack samplers.
E-mu release the Emulator III.
Balearic Beats from the Ibiza dance scene were brought back to the UK by DJ's Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling and played at the UK nightclubs Shoom, Heaven, Future and Spectrum.
Creative Technology introduce the Sound Blaster sound card.
Sequential Circuits release the Prophet 3000 rack sampler shortly before the company folds.
Los Angeles based rapper Ice-T released '6 n the Mornin', which is often regarded as the first gangsta rap song ever produced
Public Enemy - 'Yo! Bum Rush The Show' is released on DEF JAM.
MARRS - 'Pump Up the Volume'
Derrick May - 'Strings Of Life'
Steve 'Silk' Hurley - 'Jack Your Body'
Eric B. and Rakim - 'Paid in Full (remix)'
Yazz and the Plastic Population - 'The Only Way Is Up'
Prince - 'Sign O' The Times'
Michael Jackson - 'Bad'
Yamaha enter the rack mounted sampler market with the TX16W.
Ensoniq release the EPS.
Akai continue the S series with the S1000 and launch the MPC60. This sampling drum machine designed by Roger Linn is set to reach legendary status over the ensuing decade.
E-mu improve the SP range with the SP-1200. Like Akai's MPC, the SP will become a highly praised drum machine sequencer.
The CD overtakes LP sales worldwide.
CD-ROMs are developed as a computer medium able to store around 750 megabytes per disc.
The Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988. (Â© Crown Copyright 1988) comes into effect to counter the theft of intellectual property.
'A Day in the Life' by Black Riot and 'Can U Party?' by Royal House are both produced by Todd Terry.
Timelords - 'Doctorin' The Tardis' introduces the sonic mayhem of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty.
Public Enemy - 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back'
Inner City (Kevin Saunderson) - 'Big Fun' and 'Good Life'
S'Express - 'Theme From S'Express'
NWA - 'Straight Outa Compton'
The Pet Shop Boys - 'Introspective'
The World Wide Web comes to the Internet, providing linked pages of text & graphics, developed by (Sir) Tim Berners-Lee working at the CERN atomic laboratory in Switzerland.
Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield - 'People Hold On'
De La Soul - '3 Feet High And Rising'
New Order - 'Technique'
The Stone Roses - 'Fool's Gold'
Ensoniq release their new keyboard sampler, the EPS16+
Orbital - 'Chime'
DNA feat. Suzanne Vega - 'Tom's Diner'
Public Enemy - 'Fear Of A Black Planet'
Rap artist Biz Markie samples Gilbert O'Sullivans 1972 hit 'Alone Again, Naturally' for an album track called 'Alone Again' from the LP 'I Need a Haircut'.
Gilbert O'Sullivan brings charges against Biz Markie and the case was referred to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
In summing up, the Judge quotes from the Ten Commandments: - "Thou Shalt Not Steal"
Akai release the improved Akai MPC60 mkII.
Kurzweil release their much acclaimed K2000 sampler keyboard.
Dr. Dre leaves NWA and forms Death Row Records.
Massive Attack - 'Blue Lines'
The Orb - 'Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld'
Moby - 'Go'
Prodigy - 'Charly'
Prodigy - 'Everybody is in the Place'
Ice T. - 'OG: Original Gangster'
The World Wide Web is demonstrated outside the confines of CERN Laboratories.
Creative Technlogy introduce the Sound Blaster 16 soundcard with 16 bit digital audio sampling.
Prodigy - 'Out Of Space'
Ice Cube - 'Predator'
Dr. Dre - 'The Chronic'
Akai release the S01 sampler.
The term Trip Hop is coined by journalist Andy Pemberton in Mixmag to describe the single In/Flux by DJ. Shadow. The term is used throughout the mid 90s to describe sample based downbeat electronica by bands such as Leftfield, Portishead, Tricky and the Chemical Brothers.
Snoop Doggy Dogg - 'Doggystyle'
Beck - 'Loser'
Creative Technology release the The Sound Blaster AWE32.
Propellerhead Software is founded in Sweden by Ernst Nathorst-BÃ¶Ã¶s, Marcus Zetterquist and Pelle Jubel who introduce ReCycle and the new REX format.
E-mu and Akai continue their dominance in the sampler market.
Akai release the MPC3000, the latest in their highly acclaimed MCP series of sampling drum machine sequencer workstations.
E-mu introduce the ESI range with the ESI-32 sampler.
Roland release their S-760 rack sampler that is able to read Akai's S1000 libraries.
Portishead - 'Dummy'
Notorious B.I.G. - 'Ready To Die'
Tupac Shakur - 'Thug Life'
Coolio - 'Gangsta's Paradise'
Prodigy - 'Poison'
Leftfield - 'Leftism'
Chemical Brothers - 'Exit Planet Dust'
Underworld - 'Born Slippy'
Tupac Shakur - 'Me Against The World'
Oasis - '(What's The Story) Morning Glory'
Creative Technlogy release the AWE32's successor, the Sound Blaster AWE64.
E-mu introduce their dance module range with the Orbit 9090.
Sonic Foundry introduce Acid Pro, a breakbeat editor and loop based sequencer.
Kurzweil release the K2500 keyboard sampler workstation.
Tupac Shakur is shot in Las Vegas.
Prodigy - 'Firestarter'
Prodigy - 'Breathe'
Akai continue the MCP range with the 2000 model.
Propellerheads ReBirth heralds the arrival of the virtual synth generation.
Chemical Brothers - 'Block Rockin' Beats'
Notorious B.I.G. - 'Life After Death' compilation
Jay-Z - 'In My Lifetime Vol. 1'
Puff Daddy - 'I'll Be Missing You'
Daft Punk - 'Around The World'
Missy Elliott - 'Supa Dupa Fly'
Groove Armada - 'At The River'
Creative Technlogy release the Sound Blaster Live!
E-mu continue their ESI sampler range with the ESI-4000.
Ensoniq and E-Mu are bought out by Creative Technology Ltd.
The number of web pages is estimated at 300 million with a further one and a half million being added every day.
Bitheadz introduce the Unity DS-1 virtual sampler for Mac and PC.
Jay-Z - 'Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life'
Air - 'Moon Safari'
Cher - 'Believe'
Native Instruments introduce Reaktor. A soft synth, sampler & effects processor.
Kurzweil release their K2600 keyboard sampler workstation.
Chemical Brothers - 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl'
Moby - 'Play'
Jay-Z - 'Vol. 3 Life & Times Of S.Carter'
10 Sampled Records from the 60's
The New Millennium
Engelbert Humperdink - 'From here to Eternity'
(from 'Slip into Something' - Kinobe)
John Barry - 'Golden Girl'
(from '6 Underground' - Sneaker Pimps)
Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra - 'Tahitan Sunset'
(from 'In the Bath' - Lemon Jelly)
Gunter Kallman Choir - 'Daydream'
(from 'Daydream in Blue' - I Monster)
Maz Romeo & the Upsetters - 'Chase the Devil'
(from 'Out of Space' - Prodigy)
Buddy Rich - 'The Beat Goes On'
(from 'Beat Goes On' - All seeing I)
Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band - 'Apache'
(from 'Know How' - Young MC)
Lulu - 'Love Love's to Love'
(from 'Santa Cruz' - Fatboy Slim)
The Turtles - 'You Showed Me'
(from 'Transmitting Love from Mars' - De La Soul)
Los Hombres - 'Let it all hang out'
(from 'Wear your Love like Heaven' - Definition of Sound)
The release of Gmedia's MTron (a virtual Mellotron) in 2000 represented a unique milestone in the history of sampling. The Mellotron with its notorious unreliability had been reincarnated as a well behaved post modern digital tool, a smartly presented and meticulously engineered piece of software for a generation where sound manipulation had become as acceptable as strumming a guitar or banging a drum.
After all, in this Utopian society, sampling is an everyday experience and so much a part of the popular culture that if often goes unnoticed. Sampled voices, sounds and music are heard over PA's, through cellphones, in cars, on the radio, in lots of different ways and in all walks of life.
Music production has been entirely terraformed by digital recording.
Looping and sampling is no longer the esoteric pastime of dance producers and fay experimentalists. Sound manipulation has firmly established itself in the mainstream of daytime pop music.
Again, I'm not saying this is a bad thing... it's just the way it is.
10 Sampled Records from the 70's
Of course, those of us who grew up with hardware samplers are constantly amazed by how casual and laid back life has become for the modern day music producer.
Software is infinitely cheaper (legitimately, that is), performs better, has more functionality and unlike the hardware of old, it has boundless compatibility. Virtual samplers offer access to more filter types, LFO options, and global effects. Virtual analogue synths are polyphonic, they can store presets and they're velocity sensitive.
As the decade rolls on light speed processing power and streaming directly from disk means that every sample we use can be an endless evolving journey into sound. Cross formatting is becoming more wide spread among software producers.
Programmes like Ableton Live have rewritten the book of what to expect from contemporary software. 24, 32 and 64bit sampling are causing bigger and bigger ripples in your bucket of Coke at the multiplex.
Funkadelic - '(Not Just) Knee Deep'
(from 'Me, Myself and I' - De La Soul)
Patrice Rushen - 'Forget Me Nots'
(from 'Men in Black' - Will Smith)
Sister Sledge - 'He's the Greatest Dancer'
(from 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' - Will Smith)
Sly and the Family Stone - 'Everday People'
(from 'People Everyday' - Arrested Development)
Stevie Wonder - 'Pastime Paradise'
(from 'Gangsta's Paradise' - Coolio featuring LV.)
Barry White - 'It's Ecstasy'
(from 'Rock DJ' - Robbie Williams)
Bob Dorough - 'The Magic Number'
(from 'Magic Number' - De la Soul)
Woman of the Ghetto - 'Marlena Shaw'
(from 'Remember me' - Blueboy)
Carly Simon - 'Why?'
(from 'Bonita Applebum' - Tribe Called Quest)
Rick James - 'Superfreak'
(from 'Can't Touch This' - MC Hammer's)
10 Sampling Records from the 90's
Even new generation hardware effortlessly combines multi-sampling with synthesis. It's cross compatible and fully integrated with its virtual cousins.
Yep, life's pretty good these days and it's set to get better and better.
So is there a downside to all this? Well, yes. There's always a downside. For a start, software is prone to piracy. Software producers will become more and more reluctant to invest years of development into products that are immediately cloned. The process of registration will become more and more complex and may eventually only be available to a select few. Manufacturers may become reluctant to offer more cross compatibility thinking that a closed format is less attractive to the pirates.
And what about creativity? With excessively large libraries and infinite possibilities, a modern day producer may find themselves drowning in possibilities. Or even worse, unable to break free from the world of unlimited choice. Only able to produce work that is ultimately governed by the imagination of the software manufacturers.
Yep, it's a far cry from the distant dream of the early Futurists at the beginning of our journey and a Brave New World of possibility and choice at the end.
And in between? Well, there are countless people who have given a lifetimes dedication to investigating, improving and hopefully enjoying something they truly believe in. The Art Of Sampling.
Notorious BIG - 'Mo money Mo Problems'
( 'I'm Coming Out' - Diana Ross)
Dr Dre - 'Roaches'
('P Funk' - Parliament)
Basement Jaxx - 'Jus 1 Kiss'
('You Can't do it Alone' - Chic)
Missy Elliot - 'The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)'
(' I Can't Stand the Rain' - Ann Peebles)
Roger Sanchez - 'Another chance'
('I won't Hold you Back' - Toto)
Fatboy Slim - 'The Rockafeller Skank'
('Beat girl' - John Barry and his Orchestra)
The Avalanches - 'Frontier psychiatrist'
('My way of life' - Bert Kaempfert)
Dee-lite - 'Groove is in the Heart'
('Bring down the birds' - Herbie Hancock)
Portishead - 'Sour Times'
('Danube Incident' - Lalo Schifrin)
Dr Dre - 'The next episode'
('The edge' - David mcCallum)