The only thing better than good samples are good free samples or free loops. And I'm here to hook you up! I’ve done the digging for you to find the best sites for free samples & free loops.
Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links.
Of course, samples and loops can be expensive. And that’s not to say that they’re not worth it. I’ve pick up some absolutely amazing sample packs over the years that were worth every penny.
But sometimes money is tight. Or maybe you don’t feel like you need an entire sample pack, just a sound or two. You can also save money by resampling your own music into unique loops!
That said, sometimes you just want to be inspired by some fresh loops. That's why I put together this list of the best websites for loops. Whether you’re looking for a song starter, a banging drum loop, or some horn samples, this list of the 8 best sites for free samples and loops will get you making music in no time.
Some of these sites are a little on the obscure side, but if it sounds good, it is good.
The 13 Best Sites for Free Samples & Free Loops
Below I've rounded up the best sites for free loops & samples. Each site offers something unique, and all are worth a visit. That said, my two favorite sites are LoopCloud and Splice. If you want to find out more about these to juggernauts of music sampling, check out this review post: LoopCloud vs. Splice.
Some of these sites of sample packs, others allow you to individually download music samples. Please be sure to check whether you're downloading royalty free samples - not every site guarantees that.
🏆 Loop Cloud - The Best Loop Website 🏆
Loop Cloud, by Loop Masters, is the ultimate tool for musicians making sample-based music. It keeps track of ALL of the samples on your computer, lets you sort by instrument, style, key, bpm, and more. And it comes with 1GB of royalty free music samples, plus a bunch more free samples each week! With tons of fresh content, it's one of the best sites for free loops and samples downloads.
Loop Masters - The Grandaddy of Music Samples
Loopmasters.com – Loop Masters sells some of the best sample packs out there, with a huge variety of styles. The quality is professional grade and you can find just about anything. If you sign up for its mailing list, you get
500 mb 1 GB of free samples (Updated Oct. 2019).
Bonus tip: many of the Loop Masters sample packs allow you to download free demo versions with about 15-30 samples and loops. So if you just need a few trap hat samples, browsing the individual sample packs for demos is the way to go!
🏆 Citizen DJ - The Library of Congress' Collection at Your Fingertips, FREE
Citizen DJ - An incredible project by Brian Foo at the Library of Congress to make a massive amount of the Library's archives available for sampling and remixing. It includes samples everything from old government films to vaudeville performances, available for free! Note: Citizen DJ is currently in beta. I only expect it to get beter. Citizen DJ is now out of beta and offers an incredible wealth of sounds to sample. While it doesn't have much in the way of free loops, or musical samples, it includes tons of spoken word, foley, and found sounds to add ambiance to your music.
Waves - Sample Management Software w/ Huge Free Sample Library
Waves launched its Cosmos, its AI-powered sample management software, in 2022. It's not quite as full featured as LoopCloud (yet?), but it's still a really efficient sample management tool. And the best part is that it's free.
But the even better part is that the free Cosmos sample manager also comes with 2,500 free samples!
When you download Cosmos you'll get access to tons of great free one shots and loops that you can use to create all kinds of cool tracks. And if you don't enjoy Cosmos, you can always delete it and keep the samples.
Sample Magic - Magical Sounds for Inspiration
Sample Magic – Sample Magic also makes incredibly good sample packs (I’m in love with the samples and loops in the Sunset Sessions!). If you click on the “store” tab on top of the page, you’ll see a link to “free downloads.” There you can find about a half dozen high quality free packs.
Producer Loops - Free Music Loops... With a Catch
Producer Loops – Producer Loops has one of the biggest collections of free samples & loops available. And the library of these free loops is really easy to navigate. But… there’s a catch (there’s always a catch). You can get 2 free sample packs for each sample pack that you purchase. Still, it’s a pretty solid value.
Free Sound - Free Samples & Loops... From Dubious Sources?
Freesound - A massive database of every sort of free sample you could imagine. But please beware! These samples are all uploaded by users, and there's a decent chance that some of them may violate copyright. Don't risk using them in a song you're trying to sell or license, or you may face a nasty surprise.
Looperman - Free sounds for sampling, but beware!
Looperman - Similar to Freesound, Looperman is a massive collection of user uploaded samples and loops, available for free. Again, you have to be careful with clearing these samples, but it's a huge database full of fun samples to chop.
Big Fish Audio - Great Free Sample Packs!
Big Fish Audio - Big Fish Audio, maker of some of my favorite loops and instruments, has six free loop packs available on its website. The free loops from Big Fish Audio cover everything from Cinematic to Urban to Country. These free samples total several gigabytes of high quality content!
Session Loops - Cutting Edge Technology for Remixing Loops
Session Loops uses a cutting edge technology (sorcery?) to allow you to take preset chord progressions and chop them up endless in ways that wouldn't seem possible. Including substituting different chords in the progressions, adjusting timing, and adding inversions.
Currently the site is focused on guitar loops, including nylon string acoustic guitars, and I honestly haven't found a better source for realistic guitar chord progression I can manipulate naturally. The site offers a free trial with plenty of downloads. After that, you can earn free downloads by sharing your unique chord progressions with the world.
Loopazon - Lots of Free Samples and Loops, But Lots of Duds
Loopazon is a site full of free loops and samples. But it means that the quality of the loops varies tremendously. There is some good stuff on there, and some bad stuff. It will take a fair amount of your time to find the good stuff.
Splice - Great Samples, but Not Much for Free
Splice is one of the best sample libraries out there. Unfortunately, their free trial leaves a lot to be desired. It last for 14 days and allows you to make some downloads, but it requires your credit card information to sign up. If you don't cancel within the 14 days, then you'll automatically be billed for a monthly subscription.
Unison Audio - Free Loops, Samples, Patches, and Midi
Unison Audio is has lots of bite-sized free packs, from Midi for Hi-Hat rolls to bass loops to patches for major synthesizers like Serum. All of these free music production tools are super usable, and it's clear that Unison Audio isn't holding the good stuff back. While the total number of downloadaables isn't massive, the quality and diversity is really noteworthy.
Bonus Site for Free Samples & Free Loops
Hip Hop Makers – Hip Hop Makers offers a lot of great samples and loops for free download in the hip hop genre. It also offers a great community for producers looking to get into the hip hop music production game, including a section on how to sell beats!
Updated 2/1/20 - It appears that Rubber Tracks recently went offline. I'm leaving the link up here in the hopes that this amazing resource comes back to life. Converse Rubber Tracks – Converse, the shoe company, has created an absolutely amazing royalty free sample library. Which is weird. But let’s not look this gift horse in the mouth. As of June 2016, it had nearly 40,000 free samples, made by some of the best producers in the business. Free samples by the likes of RJD2, Com Truise, and the Gospel Choir All Stars. There are samples in dozens of genres. The only real downside is that samples are very well organized, and it can take a while to find what you need.
History of Samples
In the early 60s, avant-garde composers started experimenting with musical loops to create other-worldly creations. The Beatles first popularized this technique in their groundbreaking song "Tomorrow Never Knows," which featured samples whizzing by forwards and backwards.
Since rap exploded on to the music scene, the use of loops and samples has become ubiquitous in all genres.
Whether we’re talking about pop music, rock, hip hop, or EDM, there is always a place for samples.
For example, in rock recordings, producers often layer the sound of real drums with sampled kicks and snares. Electronic music has relied on vocal samples and percussion loops since nearly the beginning.
Best Sites for Free Samples & Free Loops FAQ
Is It Wrong For Producers to use Loops?
The use of loops and samples is perfectly acceptable for both professionals and amateurs. You should definitely rely on them as producers. Loops and samples have been an integral part of music for nearly 60 years.
At the same time, over reliance on loops and samples will only take you so far - in the end you have to learn some music theory and write your own melodies / songs.
If you have taken these free samples as far as you can, or couldn't quite find what you were looking for, be sure to check out this list of the 10 best drum loops and samples.
What is Sampling?
Sampling is a way to reuse part of another recording for your own song. The hip-hop genre got its basis from sampling - the first hip-hop producers broke the old funk / soul record and created new compositions with it. If you want to manipulate these samples after you download them, I'd recommend checking out the best sampler VSTs.
Is sampling illegal?
If you're grabbing samples from commercial recordings and the sample isn't "cleared" from the copyright owner, you're probably infringing on their copyright. Even if it's not "illegal" in the sense that you're going to prison for it, you could get yourself sued by the copyright holder if the song starts to make money. In fact, most of your profits could go down the drain.
How do I make these Free Samples & Loops Sound Better?
One of the ironies of modern music is that working purely in the digital realm sounds too clean. Thankfully, there are a bunch of plugins that can help you capture that vintage sound. Here are some of the best Lo-Fi plugins.
What's the difference between a sample and a loop?
A sample is a pre-recorded sounded, that can then be manipulated and used creatively to create other music. A loop is a sub-type of sample that can play on repeat smoothly.
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