The landscape of the music business and “what’s hot” is constantly changing which means there’s always a need to fill in the market. Creating sample packs for marketplaces like Loopmasters, Splice, and Black Octopus is a great way to earn passive income and develop your production skills while making a contribution to the current culture.
In this post, we breakdown a recent guest lecture from Pyramind alumni Danny Dignin AKA Imaginate on how to create a sample pack. This is a creative way to make passive income producing high quality audio. If you’re a sound designer ready to be heard, this may be a great road to take. Let’s get started.
Who is Imaginate?
After graduating from Pyramind, Danny Dignin has gone one to create multiple successful sample packs including:
Glitch Kitchen: Awarded #1 glitch sample pack on Loopmasters
Kaleidoscope Neuro DNB: Reached #2 most popular drum and bass pack on Loopmasters
Aqua: Released on Black Octopus (coming soon to Splice!) and made entirely of water foley
His passion lies in using foley to find and create interesting sounds and he’s done this very well with many 5 star reviews on all of his work.
How To Make A Sample Pack
When setting out to create a sample pack, Danny discusses a few things to think about. Like what’s your unique style? What will set you apart from the others? What genres or styles are you aiming to create for? Will your pack be marketable and how so?
Preparation is key here as he reminds us to focus on quality over quantity.
When developing your workflow Danny stresses the importance of saving all processing chains in your user library. This includes synth settings, mixing and mastering chains, and anything else you develop. This will make your production process more streamlined and efficient with easy recall of all your past work.
At this stage it’s also important to get the pack requirements from the marketplace to ensure that you don’t waste time creating sounds that don’t match what they’re looking for, causing you to go back and do more work. Or maybe they’ll be wanting Serum presets, one shots only, or educational material to go along with.
These are all things to think about before getting too deep into any project.
One thought he touches on a few times is the possibility of starting with a demo track first, to know how all of your sounds fit into the design aesthetic. Throughout the lecture, he reiterates the importance of the pack’s demo track as the true north and guiding light when making design decisions.
In order to finalize the pack Danny’s focus is on editing. Listen intently for every click or pop and remedy them as you find them.
As in many areas of music, it’s important to also reference other work that you’d like to meet or exceed. When finalizing the mix and master take a listen to other successful sample pack designers like KSHMR, or Virtual Riot and make sure that your pack holds up.
When it comes to dynamics, make sure that you don’t just set a blanket loudness across all your samples. You want to adjust each sample’s level to make sure it sounds it’s best at the appropriate volume for each.
For more musical or atmospheric sounds make sure you leave them fairly dynamic as opposed to drums which you can abuse.
He also noted on the absolute importance of your sample’s ability to loop seamlessly. This speeds up the end user’s workflow and will help your pack have that extra layer of polish.
After creating a high quality pack of sounds it’s time to finalize it. This means being able to clearly pitch it to a label with a defined genre, style, and aesthetic. You should have a conscise “elevator pitch” that you can say in your sleep, describing exactly what you’ve created and why it’s worth purchasing.
Danny also gives some great advice on around the cover art design aesthetic of your pack. The labels will create this in-house but the fact that you’ve got an idea means that you’re thinking about it and will thus give you an edge of thoroughness above others.
One thing he mentioned at the end of the lecture is the opportunity to build sampler instruments out of your sounds as well as MIDI files to go with your pack.
All of this bonus content will make your pack feel extra robust.
The Demo Track
One of the most important parts of your pack for marketability and overall direction is the demo track. Everyone that visits the pack’s sales page will be listening to this and it’s imperative to leave them in awe if you want them to click purchase.
Furthermore, if you’ll be pitching this pack to a label then there are a few considerations you’ll want to take into account.
They’ll want to hear something unique, super high-quality, punchy, and something that will display their brand in a great light.
With everything mentioned above you should be able to create a great sample pack that is high-quality, marketable and should earn you a decent amount of revenue if you do it right. If you have any questions or would like to reach out to Imaginate, find him on Instagram and Soundcloud.
Also before you go, make sure you check out Imaginate’s production chops from his recent Sol Potion Remix on Pyramind Records.
If you find sound design, synthesis, and foley interesting, book a call with our friendly admissions team to learn how Pyramind can help you evolve.