When you're just getting started in music production, it can be hard to justify spending upwards of a $100 on a sample pack, to get you started. A Free Sample Pack, that's Royalty Free is exactly what you need.
Navigating the free sample pack jungle can be quite a chore, so to help you out, we've compiled a list of our favorite Free sample pack downloads from all over the internet.
Here's the complete list of the best free sample packs:
- Purple Slush Zero – Royalty Free Lofi Pack
- Purple Slush – Free Lofi Presets Pack
- Redd Velvet – Hyperpop Melodies & Serum Preset Pack
- Extra Scoop Royalty Free Foley Pack
- SampleRadar 354 Free 90's Samples
- SampleRadar 1,338 Female Vocal Samples
- SampleRadar 1,000 Free Drum Samples
- PureMagnetik Small Tape Collages
- PureMagnetik The Foundation 8 Free Ableton live packs
- LegoWelt Sample Kits
- Garage Sessions Volume 3
- PANTONE Color of the Year 2020: The Classic Blue 19-4052 Sample Pack
- MTMT Polymer SFX
- Function Loops – Trends 2021
- Cymatics LIFE Ambient Recordings
- Cymatics Euphoria Vocal Sample Pack
- Cymatics Fantasy Sample Pack
- Sound7 Free Sounds
- WA Productions 10GB Anniversary Collection Vol.7
- Producer Spot – The Cure Free Samples
- Function Loops Free Vocal Pack
- Brutalism by Erald
- 59Perlen Citylights
- Samplephonics Dark Waves Freebie
- Samplephonics Mechanisms Freebie
- Samplephonics Processed Acoustics Freebie
- Samplephonics Granular Textrures Freebie
Other Cool Freebies
- 53 Thieves Serum Presets & MIDI
- Medasin – Daydream Serum Presets & MIDI
- Piano Chord Cheat Sheet
- Compressor Cheat Sheet
- EQ Cheat Sheet
- Exotic Piano Scales Chart
- Catalyst Vol.2 Serum Presets
Are Free Sample Packs Copyright Free?
Yes, most free sample packs are copyright free. Usually free sample packs are royalty-free, which means you can use them in music or film, earn money from it and not have to pay royalties to the original creator. Some royalty-free packs have other terms like providing attribution for the work, but most are entirely free.
Before using a free sample pack, make sure to read the attached terms and conditions to see what the artist requires you to do before use.
Where Can I Find Free Sample Packs?
Finding Free Sample Packs can be difficult, and tiresome. There are hundreds of websites out there, some sketchier than others, offering the same thing, free sounds and samples.
Navigating the free samples that are actually good, and worth downloading, from the bulk trash, that's filling google searches every day, can be quite a task.
Here's the complete list of the best places to find free samples online:
- Free To Use Sounds
- Whipped Cream Sounds
- 99 Sounds
- BBC Sound Effects
- Nasa Audio Collection
- Greatest Speeches of The 20th Century
The sample packs on Samplephonics are always extremely high quality, and super inspiring to work with. Each pack they release comes with a free version you can download and use. They don't have the largest library of free samples, but the quality is top-notch and that of a paid sample pack.
We still use free samples from Samplephonics for our own productions. The future hop free sample pack is one of our absolute favourites and has beautiful warm pads, to chords and loose, swung crunchy beats.
All the free samples are royalty-free so you can use them for profit in your music creations without having to get any clearance. But, always make sure to check the T&Cs before using each pack.
Sound Packs are a blog that write about free sample packs. They have thousands of posts released that share where to find and download free samples. You can browse by genre, format and also company.
They're also a fantastic resource to get free synth patches, offering a whole part of the site dedicated to just preset packs.
Unfortunately they're not as active as they used to be with posting, but there are still some gems to be found there – you just gotta do a little digging.
3. Sample Radar
Sample Radar is the largest collection of free sounds available online, with over 70,000 royalty-free samples to use. You can get breaks, synth loops, melodies, drum one-shots and more. They're a great resource to use to find free samples!
However, because of the incredible amount of sounds, it can be difficult to sift through and find what you're looking for unless you know exactly what you want beforehand.
If you want to listen to the sounds first, it's best to browse through the SampleRadar SoundCloud as they upload the audio previews there, and it's much easier to navigate than the site.
Additionally, although huge, some of the sample qualities are not up to scratch with what you'd expect from a modern, more processed pack as many were created a while ago. Despite that, it's still one of the best free sample resources out there!
FreeToUseSounds is an incredible collection of professional foley sounds recorded around the world. It's run by Libby & Marcel who are a couple that travels the world to record phenomenal ambient recordings.
They've recorded the hot air balloons in Turkey, the streets busy streets of Thailand, the rainforests of Brazil and so much more. You can find a total of 140000 free downloads over on their site.
If you're looking for samples you can use for sound design, or to add texture to your beats, this is the best place to go for foley on the internet.
Cymatics don't have the biggest library of free sounds, but they offer a select few packs that are absolutely incredible quality. We've personally never bought a Cymatics sample packs and have stuck exclusively to using their free ones.
They also release free “beta” packs with every new launch, and run beat competitions where you can win tonnes of music production goodies as well as the entire Cymatics collection.
They offer some of the best free melodies, MIDI, synth patchs and drum loops you'll find online. All processed with extreme precision, they're already clean, crisp and ready to drag and drop into your next beat project.
6. Whipped Cream Sounds
We offer a range of free tasters to our sample packs on our website, with tonnes of other really useful free resources for learning piano, music theory, mixing and mastering etc. At the moment we don't have a huge range of free samples, but the packs we do offer are extremely high quality.
We also offer producer specific free downloads, including Serum patch re-creations from the likes of Mr Carmack, Sam Gellaitry, 53 Thieves and more.
Using them alongside the tutorial articles are a great way to learn music production and we think you'll really enjoy them.
99Sounds has a load of free packs that are all royalty-free so you can use them in your productions without having to seek clearance or being worried about copyright. Our favourite is the 99 Sound Design tools pack. It has some incredible cinematic transitions that are great for sound design.
We personally used it in one of our university projects to help create a transformers trailer recreation, using some of the sounds as base layers for more intricate robot sound design.
8. BBC Sound Effects
BBC Sound Effects has a massive library of professionally recorded sound effects that you are free to download and use in your projects. Unfortunately, they are not completely royalty-free for commercial use, but if you are using them for personal projects you should be fine.
They have a fantastic, easy-to-navigate website with categories of sounds, previews to listen to and a option to favorite samples for download later.
Most of the sounds are foley effects for film, YouTube etc. and have been taken directly from BBC's own collection of sound effects that have been used on TV. You won't find any melodic loops here.
9. Sample Focus
Sample Focus is a vast library of completely royalty-free sounds that can be used in film and music work. This means you don't have to worry about the copyright or getting any of the samples cleared before releasing your music/video project. You cannot repurpose Sample Focus' sounds and sell them as part of a sample pack.
Sample Focus is run by the community, so there are a wide range of sounds you can find from melody loops to drum sounds, foley, cinematic FX and more.
They have a fantastic GUI and user experience, making samples incredibly easy to find and download. However, due to it being community-run, the sounds are not always the best quality – so you'll have to sift through a lot of stuff to find something that's worthwhile.
10. Nasa Speech Audio Collection
You can get all of the NASA mission control recordings for free online. Everything that the US government produces (within the regions of the United States) is in the public domain, so you are completely free to use it for whatever you like.
These speeches are great for build-ups in tracks, or to use to sample as vocal stabs for your beats.
11. Greatest Speeches of The 20th Century
You can find the greatest speeches of the 20th century. These are completely free to use as they're are in the public domain, meaning you can use them in music, TV, film etc. without having to get clearance to use them.
Many of these speeches are from the US, with a few from the UK. You can find King Edward VIII, Winston Churchil, Malcom X, John F. Kennedy and more.
Freesound.org is a great resource to find all kinds of royalty-free sounds for your music projects. Like Sample Focus, freesound.org is a community-run project, meaning that you can get some incredible sounds for free. However, on the flip side there are a lot of lower-quality sounds to sift through in order to find the gold.
Freesound.org is also a little hard to navigate and you won't always get the high quality WAV files for download.
How to Download Free Sample Packs
Most Free sample packs are usually available as either a simple one-click download, or as part of a subscription to an e-mail list. Sample packs most often come as .zip files, in a compressed format, so you'll need to have software that can open .zip files, such as WinZip or 7Zip.
To download free sample packs that are part of an e-mail subscription, you'll have to either sign up to a mailing list, or register an account. Either way, once you have your sounds, you're free to remove yourself from said mailing lists if you so choose.
How Do I Use Free Sample Packs?
Sample packs are usually organized in folders, with many sub-folders, such as Drums > One-Shots > Kicks. You don't need to install samples, you can just drag and drop them from your file browser on your computer. However it's best to put them into the sample browser inside your DAW, so you don't have to switch between your file explorer and DAW constantly.
Most DAW's let you choose the default path for all your sounds and plugins. You should create a separate folder for plugins and samples in your fastest HDD or SSD, and then set these to your defaults.
Once your defaults are set, whatever you'll load into this folder should appear within the file browser of your DAW. Some DAW's might require a restart, for any new files to appear, but either way, it's always good practice to restart after file changes.
And voila, you have your new sample pack all set up and ready to be utilized in your next production.
Are Free Sample Packs Any Good?
Yes, there are many free sample packs that are extremely professional and that sound fantastic. Some free sample packs are better than other paid ones you can find online. You will likely find more quality in paid packs, but that doesn't discredit the amazing free packs available.
While there might exist a stigma, against using free samples, something being free should in no way dissuade you from using it in your music. Free things in the music world get a bad rep for being low quality, noisy, and just not up to par with the “professional” sample packs and drum loops.
On one hand, yes, some free sample packs are just not good, and aren't worth a download, but there's so much awesome stuff available for free, that you could have a career for 300 years and never run out of free samples to use.
Free Drum Samples for example, are always a solid bet, with a little sound design, the grungiest of drum sounds can be made into grammy-winning instruments.
It's not about the tools, as much as it is about the way you use them!
Whether you're looking for one shots, free drum loops, hip hop bass loops and drum kits, or anything else, there's probably a free sample pack out there for you.
No matter if you're into house, edm, trap or experimental techno, the amount of stuff you can find online is vast.
So you better start digging through the milk crates of sample packs and get yourself making that next great EDM banger!
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out some of our other awesome lists, reviews and tutorials!