This quick tip shares just one way that you can go about triggering samples differently to help keep writer’s block and other creativity killers at bay.


These days, there is really no reason for any of us to lack in inspiration or endure long bouts of creative ruts. With all of the amazing tools and ideas that surround us in our daily lives, we should have the exact opposite problem. Regardless of why these things happen, or how long they can last, there are seemingly endless options available to us to help break through when we need to. One thing that has always helped me is to think of something that is one of the most basic and elementary elements of whatever I am working on at the time and then I consider how I normally engage with it. In this case, that element is an audio sample. How I normally engage with a sample is to toss it into a sampler and start composing with it or try to transform it into something more unique. THIS is where we make our change. Triggering samples differently is a fantastic place to start breaking away from the norm and begin exploring new options!

In this lesson we use a drum synth called Ultrabeat instead of a more traditional sampler like the EXS24 or Kontakt. Triggering samples different, in this case, means that we are using an entirely different tool, as well as using one of the features of this new sampler to dynamically change the starting point of our sample playback as we move through our arrangement. This means there is no need to chop or slice the sample, but instead we use a parameter like velocity to make those changes for us. Aren’t MIDI instruments amazing?!

To take this approach to triggering samples differently in a new direction, try using a different (amp) envelope shape to alter the delivery of the sample playback entirely. Or, perhaps, assign an LFO to modulate the pitch or volume of the sample playback at the same time. There are no limits to what you can do with a new idea once you start experimenting freely. If you start simple, you leave plenty to discover later on. And if you go crazy, you can discover new realms that you never even fathomed before. So take a moment and try triggering samples differently to help spice up your routines and introduce new concepts in your music. You will not regret it!