When it comes to cloud-based sample services, there are so many that it can be difficult to decide which is best for your needs as a producer. And, if you're on a budget, all these monthly subscription payments can begin to add up.
Because our last comparison article Loopcloud vs Splice was so popular, we decided to delve into the world of Tracklib and give you a full overview of which service is best: Splice or Tracklib.
In this article, we're going to answer the question: “Splice vs Tracklib – Which is best?”. We've extensively used both programs, and are going to cover how both services compare on value for money, sound quality, workflow & interface use, what the key differences are, and whether either is worth your hard-earned music bucks.
Tracklib vs Splice – Which Is Best? (Quick Verdict)
Tracklib provides a library of stems, for copyrighted tracks that have been cleared for use, and is best if you're a sample beat maker. Splice is a library of royalty free one shots, loops & presets, and is a much more versatile tool. It's best for producers who create from scratch.
In all honesty, you can't really compare the two services together. They're entirely different platforms that offer entirely unique services. It's best if you get both, and use them together with each other.
However, if you can't afford both, and only want to get one, it's probably more likely that you're going to end up using Splice a lot more than Tracklib.
You get access to a lot more credits for sounds, and you get to keep each sound you download over your usage period.
Tracklib offers 5 credits/month on its low priced plan, and this is for stems. You don't get anywhere near the same amount of sounds, but you do get access to stems from copyrighted tracks that might just help you create a sample-based banger.
What is Tracklib?
Tracklib is a library of copyrighted tracks that can be easily cleared for use in your beats. You can find full tracks in genres from soul to EDM, and you can also find the stems of tracks. That means you could find one of your favourites' vocals, or just the synth line etc.
It's a really great service for producers who make beats predominantly from sampling old records, and it stops you from having to dig for hours in a record store, and then go and manually find out how to clear your song.
With Tracklib, you can find your ideal track, make a beat out of it, and clear it within a matter of moments using the simple interface.
You can also do some extra stuff like loop sections of the audio to see where you'd want to maybe loop your sample, all in the simple, online interface.
✅ Access to a library of copyrighted music, for use in your own personal, private beats
✅ Extremely easy, a transparent pricing system that makes sample clearance a breeze
✅ Access to studio acapellas & stems from a wide range of popular tracks
✅ Intuitive user interface, that you can even choose 1-16bar loop sections from your sample in
✅ Huge library of sounds
❌ Monthly subscription is pretty pricey for the number of track downloads you get. $29.99 gets you 35 tracks for instance.
❌ The samples aren't royalty-free, you have to pay a commission, and a fee to clear them
What's The Sample Quality Like?
The samples on Tracklib are fantastic, and they all come from professionally recorded, mixed and mastered records. You can find anything from vintage, old Jazz numbers to modern EDM music.
One of the things that make Tracklib stand out from Splice is the fact that you can get individual stems from already released tracks – which is something that if you've been a producer for a while, you'll know is extremely hard to do.
This is especially useful for vocals. Of course, you could always take the DIY approach to acapellas, and create your own make-shift acapella, but it won't sound anywhere near studio-quality like Tracklib's do.
What's The Interface Like?
The interface in Tracklib is a dream to use. It's simple, bright, and very easy to navigate + see where you need to go to grab tracks or find out more information about tracks.
You can search Tracklib's library using a number of factors including:
On each track, it will give you the information you need such as: the artist, the track name, the year it was produced, the key, BPM, & genre, and it will also give you the licensing information.
This makes Tracklib a breeze to navigate and find what you want, and also makes it extremely transparent about licensing and how much you'll be paying for that.
On each track you have a great playback mode, where you can scrub through the track, listen, and even loop sections to see if they'd work in the context of a beat.
And, on the loop section, you have options for – 1bar, 2bars, 4bars, 8bars & 16bar loops.
Are Tracklib Samples Royalty Free?
Tracklib's samples are not royalty-free. They are free to use in private beats, but you will need to license them for public releases. This means you can sell them on something like Beatstars, but once sold, the artist must pay the licensing fee before distribution.
P.s. we are not legal experts, please seek legal advice for this. We are just musicians that like making beats.
You will have to pay a percentage to the original artists
Tracklib has 3 different categories for licensing, and it will show you next to the track you are playing. Most of the tracks are in category C, which costs $50 to license, and there are varying percentage points for how many seconds of a song is used.
The percentage points are for royalties earned on the released track. We go into this, in detail, in the pricing section of this.
Who Is Tracklib For?
Tracklib is for beatmakers who are already getting paid to make beats for artists, and also for anyone who wants studio-quality stems for remixes/music. The subscription model and the licensing fees make it costly, and not worth your while if you aren't earning from music.
It can really be for anyone who wants access to a huge library of old – modern music, that they can use in their own private productions. Then, if sold, want to license it easily and quickly.
However, in our eyes, it's not worth it unless you're earning from music.
When you create music, you want to release it, and you want people to hear + share it around. With Tracklib beats, you'll always have to pay a licensing fee and a percent on royalties earned from the final track.
Tracklib is pretty expensive and has a confusing pricing model. However, they're pretty transparent about the costs of tracks on their website. When comparing the price to Splice, Tracklib is insanely expensive considering what you get.
There's also a free trial that you can check out, which lasts 14 days.
Splice's lowest plan gets you 100 credits/month for $9.99, which you can use on presets, loops or one-shots.
Tracklib's lowest plan costs $5.99 and gives you 5 track downloads. You then need to license these tracks to whichever category they are.
Tracklib's 3 monthly pricing plans:
All plans include the exact same features. The only difference is the number of track downloads you get per month. Other than that, it's the same.
- Essential ($5.99/month) – 5 track downloads, 2 featured track downloads.
- Standard ($13.99/month) – 15 track downloads, 2 featured track downloads.
- Professional ($29.99/month) – 35 track downloads, 2 featured track downloads.
Tracklib's 3 license categories pricing & royalty split percentages:
When using tracks, you'll have to license them by paying a one-time fee, and you'll also have to pay royalties on any earnings from the released track. When adding this up with your music distribution charges, this can get expensive. So, make sure you're with the right music distribution service too.
|Category||License Cost||Royalties ≤ 2s||Royalties ≤ 15s||Royalties ≤ 60s|
What is Splice?
Splice is a cloud-based sample service that gives you access to an unlimited library of loops, one-shots and presets. It works using a monthly credit system that you can use to purchase samples and use them in your music. All samples are royalty-free.
It's a great service for producers who make beats from scratch and is better for electronic music producers & people who want to find loops for inspiration, and one-shots to re-sample, or use in drum kits.
Splice is entirely different to Tracklib, as it offers royalty-free sample packs in return for your monthly subscription. Tracklib offers copyrighted tracks, and a way to license them and use them in your beats.
In our opinion, Splice is the better pick for most music producers and is much better for electronic music.
(It's not limited to electronic music, it just had better sound for it than Tracklib. Splice has a fantastically huge library of high quality sounds for every genre you can think of – even Otacore!)
Splice is great because it also has some extras including community features that allow you to collaborate with other artists across the internet, access to project files from big producers, and also offers cloud storage so you can back up all your files.
✅ Great, 100% free, royalty-free samples for a low price per month
✅ Cloud storage to backup project files to, and share with artists to collaborate
✅ Fantastic UI & search, that can help you find the exact sound you're looking for
✅ Selection from presets, loops or one-shots
✅ You get to keep all the samples you purchase, even without a subscription
✅ Great rent-to-own subscription model for plugins that are expensive
❌ It's hard to use all the credits you get per month. Would be better as pay as you go service.
❌ Annoying to constantly flick through samples & download. You can only use them from the splice UI, which is also a drawback
What's The Sample Quality Like?
The sounds in Splice are staggeringly good. There's a huge collection to choose from and, as a bonus, there is a tonne of packs from artists exclusive to Splice. Each sound goes through a rigorous vetting process, so the quality of Splice's sounds is above the mark.
When comparing the sound quality to Tracklib's, Splice samples might sound clearer, because Tracklib predominantly provides old school tracks from the 50s and beyond.
However, it's not a case of Splice is better than Tracklib – it really depends on what you need as a producer.
If you like to make things from scratch and don't want to pay royalties, or for licenses, then Splice is the better pick. There's also more to choose from, and there are some fantastically good, high-quality instrument loops/compositions that can be found on Splice.
By doing enough digging, you'll be bound to stumble across similar sounding samples to Tracklib. But, if the old school sample sound is what you're going for, Tracklib wins.
The presets available to download are also pretty good. We've used a lot of presets for Serum, and they're decent, but sometimes they're a little too basic and it feels like the sound design has been rushed.
They're definitely no match for exclusive, 3rd party Serum packs like the Redd Velvet Hyperpop Sample pack.
The user interface on Splice is clean and easy-to-use. However, you have to browse samples in your browser, and then open samples from a desktop application. This is a huge bottleneck, and you'd have think it would have been solved by now, but it has worked this way since release.
You can search for samples using criteria like:
It's got a nice preview section, but when comparing Loopcloud vs Splice (another cloud based service), it really lacks in creativity and what you can do with it.
You can't change the pitch, or even change the BPM. You can't add FX, and unfortunately you can't preview what it would sound like amongst the rest of your masterpiece (with Loopcloud you can do all this).
But all in all, Splice's interface is really nice. It's easy to use, and you'll be able to find what you're looking for with it. When comparing with Tracklib, Tracklib wins because it has more options for search and is easier to navigate. You also don't have to download any software to put your samples in your sessions.
Are Splice Samples Royalty Free?
All of Splice's samples are 100% royalty-free to use for profit on beats, music, films etc. You can't download and redistribute packs, but you can use packs to create something entirely different and then distribute as your own.
(We aren't lawyers though, so please get some legal advice if you're gonna release a pack)
As long as you're being creative with your samples, or putting them in tracks surrounded by other elements, you won't have to worry about using a sample or preset from Splice.
Who Is Splice For?
Splice is for music producers who like to create things from scratch and need a library of sounds at their fingertips. It's also great for producers who don't want to buy full packs or store everything on a hard drive. Everything works on the cloud and all your projects back up automatically.
It's for all music producers who want access to high quality sounds and presets instantly. The basic plan will have more than enough credits for your use monthly too, so it's really cheap considering.
Picking it up is also a good choice if you're in the market for a VST plugin that you might not be able to afford. With rent-to-own plans, you can purchase Serum at $9.99/month for instance, and pay 0% on your purchase.
You can also grab a free account and back-up all your projects using the cloud space. This is something I've been doing since it came out.
Personally I periodically buy the subscription when I want new sounds/inspiration. It seems like most artists do this too.
Splice has 4 different plans to choose from:
- 100 Credits – $7.99/month. 100 credits per month, community access, back-up projects, download, share & collaborate.
- 300 Credits – $13.99/month. 300 credits per month, community access, back-up projects, download, share & collaborate.
- 600 Credits – $21.99/month. 600 credits, community access, back-up projects, download, share & collaborate.
- 1000 Credits – $29.99/month. 1000 credits, community access, back-up projects, download, share & collaborate.
What Others Say About Splice vs Tracklib
Splice vs Tracklib – Which is Best? (Verdict)
It's difficult to compare these two services, because they're fairly different in what they offer. And, it really comes down to what you need as a producer.
To give you a quick verdict:
Tracklib provides a library of stems, for copyrighted tracks that have been cleared for use, and is best if you're a sample beat maker. Splice is a library of royalty-free one-shots, loops & presets, and is a much more versatile tool. It's best for producers who create from scratch.
We'd personally recommend Splice. There's a lot more to the platform, and you pay a couple of dollars more for 100 credits/month. This can get you a lot of samples and presets to use in your music, and the licensing costs of Tracklib are a major drawback.
You don't get the same old school samples with Splice as you do on Tracklib, but you can find loops on Splice that are pretty similar sounding, that won't take any royalties or make you pay to release your tune.
If you're more of a sample-based producer who samples vinyl tracks, cassettes etc, then Tracklib is obviously the way forward for you. It's not the same as crate digging, but it's a really streamlined, nice process that will get you great-sounding samples in a matter of seconds.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. They both have a free trial, so why not try them both out and see?
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.