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What is a sample?

A sample is a song element reused in a new production

A sample is a part of a song that is reused in a new composition. A sample is an isolated element like a vocal or a drum loop. It can be manipulated through layering, or speeding it up or down.

An example of sampling can be found in Lil Nas X’s all-time, number one hit “Old Time Road.” The song is built on a banjo track from Nine Inch Nail’s "34 Ghosts IV" which was altered by a 19-year old producer from the Netherlands. Lil Nas bought the sample for $30 on BeatStars and had to hastily negotiate proper credit and distribution rights when the track went viral on TikTok.