For those of you old enough to remember (like many of us here at Acoustica) when Sonic Foundry released the revolutionary software program Acid in 1998, it literally changed the way musicians were making music. Like the brand Band Aid did to the bandage industry, the term "Acidized loops" became synonymous with providing loop content that allowed for tempo manipulation without changing pitch. With a simple drag-and-drop of an "Acidized" loop onto a track, it opened up a world of infinite creative possibilities. The rest is history.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and while advancements in digital audio technology has exponentially evolved into the driving force behind moving music production into the home studio, three of those pioneers at Sonic Foundry are still innovating today.
One of those pioneers is Acoustica CTO Dan Goldstein, a former Senior Developer at Sonic Foundry. Dan's fascinating story will be left for another day. The other two pioneers, Jason Donnelly and Matthew Yost, moved on from Sonic Foundry and created Soundtrack Loops, a collaboration between two long time friends with over 30 combined years of experience in the loops and samples industry. Jason, aka DJ Puzzle, was one of the first producers to provide loops for Mixcraft under Peace Love Productions.
Meet the guys from Soundtrack Loops. Jason (above) talks about their craft, what inspires him, how to make a good sample library, and offers advice for anyone trying to break into the business or just wanting to create the perfect loop:
How long have you been creating samples?
Matt and I met in 1998 while working at Sonic Foundry, Inc, where we were creating loop packs. Since then, we have produced, formatted, created, and marketed hundreds of loop packs. Our clients include some of the world’s largest loop companies, software DAWs and well known apps including Mixcraft!
Tell us about your latest projects Techno Noir and Lofi Drift.
So happy to talk about these two latest packs. Techno Noir comes to us from our friend Jim Stout. Jim has worked for some of the industry's biggest companies such as Roland and Beatport to name two. We know Jim from back when he was the man behind Beatport Sounds. We would hang with Jim at NAMM every year. He lives in Colorado and that is where the other half of Soundtrack Loops lives, I'm out here in LA. Anyway Jim started his own loop company "Carma Studio" a few years back and so we approached him about making us a cool dark Berlin style warehouse Techno pack. LoFi Drift was created for us by a producer from Milan Italy, Belibat, who we found on Reddit. He shared a video of his latest live looping jam (mostly hardware BTW) and I was like "wow this guy makes cool loops and he's fast too". Not only that, he's also quite prolific, which is something we look for in a producer. We have two packs by him, LoFi Drift and Memory Wave 80s.
What makes a good sample library?
Timeless sounds that inspire, and sounds that open creative minds up to more possibilities. Our loops are deep yet simple. When I say simple I mean we try to leave enough space to fill in the blanks so to speak. This leaves more to the imagination. Many of them are live instruments like guitars for example, and those types of sounds never get old. Chopping up a good loop can lead to hours of productivity. Another thing to note, we are total gear heads. I think because we all got started playing music back in the 80s and 90s. Yeah you can do amazing things with virtual instruments don't get me wrong, but we like to give our customers sounds from gear that they might not have the means to obtain. We feel this is what makes our libraries unique and "good".
Any advice for people looking to get into the sound library production world?
Producing loops can be a lucrative career for any musician. The most important skill to learn is how to record and edit the perfect loop. I know this may seem obvious and quite simple to those who have years of experience with DAWs but you would be surprised how often we get content submissions that just aren't edited properly. When submitting a pack to a label such as ours it is important to pay attention to detail with every little aspect, especially when editing and naming the files. Also try your best to find your voice, to be true and original. Find your niche. Make everything from scratch, don't sample work from copyrighted material. Don't waste time, start making some loop kits today! Those are my tips!
What keeps you inspired?
Everyone is born with a gift in my opinion. Honestly if you were to ask me what my gift is, I would say that I'm endlessly inspired. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm like a well of creativity. It doesn't take much to get me going, but there are some days, because I tend to surround myself with lots of cool gear and software, I simply just feel overwhelmed. This is when I like to find ways to set limitations. This can help me to focus that inspiration and creativity on those days when I lack focus. Also there are times when I just want to listen to some music that I love. Perhaps some music from the 80s for example. I'm a big 80s fanatic <lol>.
Any gear that you're a big fan of?
Yes I absolutely love my DSI Prophet 12. I'm also pretty stoked on analog filters. My P12 is patched through an Electrix Filter Factory, which is just music to my ears. I also have an EHX Bi-Filter patched through my bass guitar rig for some funky envelope following. I'm also really stoked about this 1010 Music Blackbox sampler. They are one of our partners and it comes bundled with hundreds of samples from our vault. Quite a powerful little sampling unit that pairs well with my Korg Volcas.
What's your favorite library you've made?
Oh wow! I've made so many <lol>. I think I've produced at least 50 different loop packs on my own. It would be difficult to choose just one because they are all very special to me, but I think the one that is the most nostalgic for me would be my first library for Sonic Foundry back in 2001, "Dj Puzzle Scratch Tactics." That one is what started it all.
What's next for you?
As for Soundtrack Loops, we are on a roll. We're cranking out 3-4 packs each month and constantly finding new partners to expand our reach. Soon we plan to focus more on providing valuable YouTube content. Me personally, I'm about to drop 30 songs on my music library publisher because when I'm not busy with Soundtrack Loops, I'm writing music for TV, video games, and film.
Where can people connect with you?
Soundtrack Loops is on every major social media site. We encourage producers to follow us there, ESPECIALLY Youtube. We're really trying to get our Youtube following up to 1000.
Editors Note: For the foreseeable future, Soundtrack Loops are running an exclusive Mixcraft user 20% off discount special offer, giving away a free loop pack and making available over 250 loops packs for only $5 each:
- 20% off exclusive discount offer, visit Soundtrack Loops store. Use Coupon Code: mixcraft2020
- Peace Love Productions brand are only $5, that's over 250 packs for this price. Visit Soundtrack Loops store
- Free stimulus loop pack: Get Soundtrack Loops free stimulus loop pack by Grammy nominated composer, Carlos Villalobos. It's actually a name your price OR free so if people want to donate, they can add a dollar amount, but if they enter zero it's free! Free stimulus loop pack
Thank you Jason and Matt for the long-time partnership, and for providing Mixcraft users with professionally-produced royalty-free loop content.
Jul 9, 2020