Category Archives: Samples

Green Ears

The Acoustic Ecology Institute has a great compendium of site links that feature environmental and experimental sound clips. One of my favorites is the “part guaranteed conceptual failure” Audio Recordings of Great Works of Art. (Perhaps it is considered a failure because it took me four mintues to get the RAM files to play.)

The sites that did have more playable clips had various licensing schemes but then what’s three notes between friends when you’re sampling. Even if those three notes lasts seven and a half minutes.

A true time waster if there ever was one.

“I want to remix some old jazz”

I regularly get mail like this one:

Hi Victor

I want to start creating more enthusiasm in Jazz! What I’d like to know is……. when old tracks, LPs, artists etc are extinct – what’s the situation re copyright etc?

For instance – if I want to remix and modernise some old jazz LP tracks onto CD from mono to stereo – can I do it without worrying about being sued by some modern global organisation who secretly might have the rights etc to royalties from an old label but who don’t make it publicly known! In other words – sitting on their arse with some brilliant vintage tracks but don’t do anything with them……..but we want to!!

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Naropa Collection (Cross Post)

Over on the Creative Commons weblog I’ve posted an entry about the Naropa Collection that was uploaded to the Internet Archive. This is very special one-of-a-kind spoken word material (lectures mainly) by such oft-sampled giants as William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

How to Watch the Archive


I realize this is probably years behind the curve but I just figured out how to watch the Internet Archive feeds for Creative Commons licensed audio only:

http://www.archive.org/services/collection-rss.php?mediatype=audio&licensed_only=1

(link here)

Many of the uploads are marked as Non-Derivs which means you can not legally use the music or spoken word piece without permission. But then many are not marked with this way, so remixes away…!!!

Django Online

Guitarists will appreciate this: the Django Swing page with a huge compendium of tips and tricks for playing just like the all time swing master. (How they reverse engineered the fingerings of the chords I’ll never know.)

Normal remixers can dig around the site for some of the the clean audio clips (in AU format) of swing guitar riffs.

The Doctorow Doctrine

You probably don’t need me to link to this but the last few paragraphs of Cory Doctorow’s speech at Emerging Technologies Conference is actually very, very good. Fire up the coffee maker, sit back and read the whole thing.

I have a lot reactions to this piece. Mainly I wonder if all the audience hears is “Oh, I get it, it’s like ‘free’ but more articulate.” Eh, I should have a lot more faith. Or at least pretend to better.
cory.jpg

Zappa Comes and Goes

Over at the Internet Archive you can hear recent uploads, like Nicolas Slonimsky talk about Frank Zappa and a great audio documentary on Zappa’s hero, Edgar Varese. But the recently uploaded 17 minute raw audio of a Robin Baxter interview with a typically ornery Frank himself (from 1971) in which he compares Stravinsky to Lawrence Welk and turns down a room service beer, alas, has been yanked.

However the William Burroughs 1974 press conference is still there. And while we’re on the subject, don’t miss the new Cowboy Junkies and one of several Little Feat concerts circa 1976.

Where the Samples Are

pirate.jpgThere are only so many ways to go in the world of remixing today, but it all comes down to: did you get permission from the “owner” of the music to use their material or are you using the material outside the bounds of authorization. I don’t know of a “grey area” between the two points I mentioned above. (I am not a lawyer, nothing you read on this site is to be taken as valid legal interpretation of the laws that may or may not apply where you live and post to the Internet.)

Now I’d like to tell you where to get music for remxing that you may or may not have the rights to.

(Make sure to giggle at the picture of Mickey as a pirate. That way the use of that image is considered “satire.”)

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Free Live Shows

I’ve had a visceral understanding of the Internet Archive until recently when I started actively watching the RSS feed. For about two weeks now I’ve seen uploads get logged at what seems like about 3 or 4 an hour.

Well, yesterday a recording of Bela Fleck’s appearance at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI on December 12 was uploaded. The entire show is there in FLAC format.

Now this is a “home recording” but it is definitely sample worthy. Many of these recordings are done with mics directly on or near the stage. The ones I’ve downloaded are the best bootlegs I’ve ever heard but there are the occasional clipping. You can click on Vincent to hear a minute of Undercover Funk (You’ll need the MKW tool if you want more of them).

What about rights? Fleck is part of the Trade Friendly coalition of artists that allow (and encourage) fans to record and trade concerts. So non-commercial usage is already cleared. Here is the exact terms for taping and uploading a Flecktones show but it is not clear what they expect is done with these recordings.

My understanding is that the Creative Commons folks are working to CC the material in the Archive which clear up a lot of questions about how this material could be used for remixing.