Audio School Online Sampling Secrets Tutorial Review

What up, MM sisters and brethren? VolcanoBeats back with a little something different. I’ve got a nice treat from the good folks over at Audio School Online. If you aren’t familiar with this site it’s run by Ken Lewis. Who is he? The Multi-platinum (that’s an understatement) and 12-time Grammy award winning engineer, songwriter and producer. His site, Audio School Online, is geared towards those that want to learn audio tips and tricks from a real pro. Most courses are less than 20 bucks!? You just can’t beat that type of value. The lessons on his site range from beginner to advance and can be downloaded whenever you have the urge to learn something new. So head over to the site and check it out; but read this first!

Now on to the good stuff….Sampling Secrets Lesson 1. Yeah boy! You know me, VolcanoBeats aka “The Sampler King” aka “Vinny Vinyl-rhino” aka….well you get the point. I was excited when I saw this one. A bit cynical too; like what can I learn about sampling that I don’t already know (you know everybody with a drum machine thinks they’re Preemo…..ha)? From the MPC60 to Maschine and everything in between, I’ve used it all. So I was dying to see these “secrets”, so I dove right in.

Once you begin the video you will see that these tips aren’t particularly tied to any one machine. These are tips and tricks that can be performed with a lot of today’s stock DAW plug-ins. Or if you own the ones he’s using in the course that’s even better.  It ran 78 minutes, jammed packed with great content and techniques. The course starts off with Ken dissecting what is probably the dopest horn sample flip of all-time (my bad Soul Brother #1, ”T.R.O.Y.” (go look it up if you don’t know), Jay-Z’s Hitmen-produced “Roc Boyz” from the American
Gangster Album. Ken shows us how to manipulate that sample to get different results. How to mute the bass, pull the main horns out, how to pull the reverberant horns out and so on. All using a series of eq’s and filters. It’s not magic, just stuff that you can do, that you should certainly learn. Definitely worth the $14.99 price tag of this course alone. That was just the first 20 minutes though. See what I mean about value? Best part is he included a Pro Tools session file so that you can follow along. Those without Pro Tools don’t worry, he included the stems too.

Later on in the course he shows us how to take a break and break it down into the elements its comprised of and have more control of each element to replace, enhance or use for something different. Like many other sampling producers, I make beats in a pretty standard way. Dig, find, sample, chop, and bang out. In that exact order. I never think about using eq’s or stereo imagers, etc. to see what’s just on the left side or to subtract the middle and so on. This lesson totally opened my eyes to the sampling process and the parts that I’m not totally maximizing. We literally have the ability to break down a sample’s DNA and use only the parts we want by using our tools and the techniques in this course. I’m definitely impressed and would recommend this to any producer. I know sampling isn’t for everyone, but everyone can learn from the techniques. I can even see these being used on live band recordings to separate and attenuate (or accentuate). Big ups to Ken Lewis and Audio School Online for offering an affordable platform that can prove to be worth it’s price 100-fold. Oh yeah, they also have a free section. So go on over, check it out and learn from a pro. Back to the lab, peace.

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