Sometimes we run out of ideas. It happens to all of us. You keep going in circles trying to find inspiration for your next song, browsing your collection of samples and sounds, thinking of how you can make this next tune sound unique. But to no avail.
This is where turning to something completely new may give you just the creative push you're looking for. In this article, I'll explore how you can use Splice to get your creative juices flowing.
What is Splice?
Odds are by now you've heard of Splice, the online music service that grants you access to over 2 million samples, loops, and presets, lets you rent-to-own your favorite plug-ins, and allows you to collaborate with other musicians. With an excellent web browsing experience and companion desktop apps, auditioning, and downloading new sounds is a breeze. The greatest part is that you can drag and drop your new downloads right into your DAW, so the workflow is beyond easy.
Search for new samples, loops, and sounds
There's nothing like stirring your creativity by pulling in some new sounds into your project. Historically, you'd have to go to one of the third-party sample sites and purchase a collection directly from them. The trick was that oftentimes you would buy a 2 GB package filled with hundreds of samples in various formats when all you really needed was only a couple particular sounds.
Splice Sounds is revolutionary in that you no longer need to buy an entire sample pack if all you want is just one specific sound. With a basic monthly subscription starting at $7.99, you'll get unlimited access to browse and audition all the samples, loops and sounds, along with 100 monthly credits which you can use to download the sounds you actually need.
In the Splice Sounds section, you'll find all the different sample packs that Splice has to offer. Many of these come from top third-party sample collections, with some created exclusively for Splice by pro music producers. You can search sounds by instrument, genre, label, or even application and sound type. You can furthermore refine your search by type (loops or one-shots), bpm range, and even key. The EDM genre alone has 384,965 samples in 1169 packs for you to peruse, so your options are pretty much limitless.
Repacks are also a great way to find interesting content. They're like playlists for samples and allow you to compile your own collections of sounds. Share them with others and explore the repacks that other users have created. The great thing is you can audition unlimited sounds, so browse away in search of that one thing that inspires you.
Once you find something that gives you that a-ha moment, hit the download button and it will automatically be downloaded to your computer. Drag it into your session and freshen up the tone of your song with some new sounds!
Think outside of the box
If you're working on say a trap song, the obvious choice would be to browse the Trap category for any samples, loops, and presets that were made particularly for the genre. This is where I encourage you to think outside of the box. Go to a completely different genre, look in House, go through Reggaeton, and listen to what's in Dubstep. Sure, many of the groove elements may not sound like Trap, but I am certain you will find some truly unique samples that you can work into your song. Whether they're musical parts or one-shots, let your creativity soar and see how you can break out of the predictable by introducing something new and unexpected.
The thing that has always been hardest to imagine and predict is how the different one-shot samples will work together when assembled to form an actual groove. This is where the Beatmaker feature is a life-saver. Using an easy point and click interface, you're able to create a groove using any samples available on Splice. You can start with a ready preset or completely create your own rhythm from scratch. Not certain about the snare? Compare how that groove will sound with different snares. What if you were to swap out the hi-hat? How about the kick?
Customize your kit to your liking in any way you want. You can make unlimited changes to the rhythm and sounds until you're happy with the outcome. That way you know that you're using your credits on only the sounds you want and need.
Expand your plug-in collection
Sometimes inspiration may come from the way you process your sounds rather than from new sounds themselves. What if you were to mix the song differently? What if you were to run the vocal through a vocoder? This is where downloading new plug-ins will come in handy.
Splice plug-ins offers 80 free plug-ins to give you a headstart with anything from iZotope's plug-ins to dozens of incredible compressors, EQ units, filters, and a plethora of saturation, dynamics, imaging, pitch, transient-shaper, and other incredible plug-ins.
To truly sweeten the deal though, Splice offers a rent-to-own system for various pro plug-ins. In fact, iZotope's Ozone 8 and Neutron 2, VocalSynth 2, and most recently, RX 7 Standard, are all available in the rent-to-own program. Meaning you can pay a small amount to rent the plug-ins when you need them, and whatever you pay during your rental period is applied to your final ownership. In other words, pay-as-you-go until you own it. And you can try any of the plug-ins free for three days! So there's absolutely nothing stopping you from taking all these excellent plug-ins for a spin and seeing how they can inspire your music-making process.
Splice is a fantastic tool to get your creative juices flowing. Sign up for a free trial and see what inspires you. Who knows which sounds will spark something within you. Don't be afraid to try something new and to step out of your comfort zone. I was recently working on a song that was originally going to be a straight-up Americana tune. However, browsing Splice inspired me to try out different grooves that I usually wouldn't work with and to explore different arrangement styles. I ended up turning the song upside down and making it in the Tropical Chill Pop genre instead. And to my huge surprise, it works much better there. So close your eyes and see where your curiosity takes you.