What equipment do I need to make sampled music

I’d like to (try at least) make sampled based music like Endtroducing and Since I left you. That sort of thing anyway.
I’ve used Reason for my own tunes and Recycle for the odd little bit of sampling but I feel there must be a better way?
So I’m just after some pointers really? For example, would I benefit with a decent laptop? Any separate hardware I should look at?

Any help would be great :slight_smile: thanks

Don’t bother with hardware. You can do everything on software.

Download yourself a copy of Ableton, who are doing a 90 day trial at the moment, read the manual and watch some youtube tutorials. It’s by far the best program in terms of mangling samples and timestretching stuff, etc. Unless your laptop’s really old it should perform alright, but see how you get on.


I watched a you tube clip of a guy trying to replicate a DJ Shadow track with Ableton and he was using a Push 2. Is that just an unnecessary piece of kit or does it make life a lot easier?

You absolutely don’t need push2, or any other controller really. Ableton is the way forward for this sort of thing though.

Learn to use the different warp engines. Use simpler, sampler and drum rack. That’s all you need for Entroducing. There is a lot more you can do if you want to dive in, but those things will be the bulk of your workflow.

I put this together a couple of years ago - halfway between a DJ mix and a mixtape, all based on game / TV soundracks. Didn’t use much beyond the above:

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Nah you don’t need any external gear and don’t feel forced into buying any. You can make an album just like Endtroducing entirely on screen if you wanted to.

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Thank you Elights. If you did that mix without extra hardware then that’s good enough for me :slight_smile:

Excellent, cheers sprinkles. Thanks for your help :slight_smile:

A good lawyer to get the rights


No worries - give me a shout if you get lost with anything in Ableton.

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I’d recommend sticking with what you have so far (I dont really know much about them specifically, I’m afraid) and just get more practice with learning about what you can do with samples.

For me, my earliest musical experiments were just letting myself loose with the insane possibilities opened up by being able to mess around with samples on a computer (even with something free like Audacity you can do all kinds of cool things) and then I moved onto hardware when I had more of an idea of what I’d use it for within what I wanted to do (hardware samplers or midi controllers offer more physicality in terms of how you chop and playback samples but you can technically still get all those results just on yer puter).

One recommendation I would say is to look for remix competitions and things like that. Anything where, as well as learning with samples you find, you can get stuck into tinkering with the individual components and stems of a track (for a start I know Black Midi released some remix stems on their website, I believe). I dont do that sort of thing myself much nowadays but it was a really valuable way of getting those building blocks to experiment with and for developing an understanding of how you can structure different parts of a choon.

Hope this has helped in some way!


It has manches-brute, you’ve been very helpful :slight_smile:

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All this Ableton chat has reminded me of a time when I was obsessed with these videos, recreating tracks.

The bit at 4:24 where he recreates the intro guitar riff is amazing.


Another good one:


Noticed a hip hop beat maker I quite like has released an album that he’d produced just using an app called Koala on his iPhone. Inspired me to pay £3.99 and start making beats of my own! And did I ever use it? Did I bollocks.


Loved this!

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Someone else I know was raving about the other month.

If anyone else is wondering what it’s about, this is a good primer

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Are there any good equivalents of Sonic Foundry Acid out there for Mac? Something with a built-in beatmapper that’s easy to use (not like Garageband that I just couldn’t get my head round).

I’ve had Acid 4.0 on Windows recently, but can’t register it and no way of getting a code o unlock it from the 30 day demo.