Audio Remixing & Sample Booty


A brief wade through the embarrassment of audio riches online.

Near drowning in available Mp3s, the challenge has shifted from finding music to figuring out ways to deal with the waves of it being published. Podcasts and Mp3 blogs are one strategy – after finding some of quality, subscribing to them can deliver a fairly reliable source of new or interesting music. While plenty of these sample tracks from newer albums, there are also plenty that publish relentlessly diverse, out of print material, or their own personal mixes. A few samplers?

Scarstuff – huge collections of ripped and uploaded halloween records.
Record Brother – all kindsa oddness.
Wayne & Wax – have been enjoying various mixes and tracks posted here.

Huge archives of weird sounds also abound :
The Avant Garde Project – a series of recordings of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. New AGP installments are released as bittorrents each Friday night around midnight. “To the best of my knowledge, all of the recordings on this site are currently out of print.”

The Ubuweb sound archive is a stupendous collection of rare, avant garde and weird audio :
“Categories include Dadaism, Futurism, early 20th century literary experiments, musique concrete, electronic music, Fluxus, Beat sound works, minimalist and process works, performance art, plunderphonics and sampling, and digital glitch works, to name just a few.” Amongst other gems, DJ Food’s epic “Raiding the 20th Century” can be found here in it’s full 70mb sample-history compilation glory.

At the same site can also be found hosted the 365 Days Project where one MP3 was uploaded everyday for a year. Mostly oddities and humourous schtick such as William Shatner’s drunken rendition of Rocket Man, but well worth a browse. is famous as a hoster of public domain and creative commons licenced videos ( see this video which explains creative commons superbly in 2 minutes, but it also hosts a huge catalog of audio too : Audio Books & Poetry, Computers & Technology podcasts, ‘the Grateful Dead collection’ and a ‘Live Music Archive’, nearly 600 virtual record labels found in the Netlabels collection, the unique contemporary compositions and performances found in the Other Minds collection, News & Public Affairs podcasts, non-english audio, open source audio and much more.

Catering more specifically to sound artists, musicians and soundtrackers, The Freesound Project zooms in on sounds themselves, aiming to provide a giant database of individual sounds that can be used for music or audio projects. Has a great exploratory interface, is free, and filled with creative commons ‘sounds, snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps’. As with any collaborative project, users are very encouraged to upload their own samples so that others may use these too.

Connected to Freesound is CCMixter which expands on that database with a huge range of creative commons related music files ( both songs & parts – eg drum loops ). Amongst it all can be found legal Public Enemy & Beastie Boys samples, tons of acapellas, and multi-tracks for remixing songs.

Forward thinking record label Magnatune allows podcasters* to use all their music for free, allows easy sampling licences for much of their music and even includes track by track audio and midi files in some cases. ( *Podcasting doesn’t get any simpler than using the podpress plug-in for wordpress blog software )

Downhill Battle host a range of music and copyright related projects such as ‘Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds’ ( Beach Boys acappellas & synth sounds ), The Double Black Album ( Jay Z & Metallica’s Black album ), The Grey Album ( Jay Z & Beatles White album mixed by Dangermouse ), and the Illegal Art compilation by Stay Free Magazine – which hosts songs that have been the subject of lawsuits, such as music by Negativland, Biz Markie, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and De La Soul.

Splice Music offers browser based audio editing, collaborating and remixing ( a good companion to the browser based video editor – Jump Cut). Author Greg Palast has made his audiobook “Armed Madhouse’ available for remix & cc podcasting, and lastly, a follow-up to the online charity – Let’s Get Hasselhoff to Number One. They were trying to leverage net tools to get everyone buying David’s single at the same time and topping the Uk charts. On Sunday 8th October 2006, David Hasselhoff reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart with over 26000 copies of “Jump In My Car” sold.

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