Today, I want to do a comparison of Splice vs LoopCloud by Loopmasters. These are two really good pieces of sample management software and also sample libraries that innovative designs to get you sample management easier in 2020, but we need to address which is the best of the best! This article also covers a few other choices: Sounds.com and Arcade by Output.
If you’re just straight up looking for the best free sample libraries, check out this list.
Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.
The first thing I want to say is before we go any further if you have any questions or comments or if you’ve used some other library like sounds.com or something like that, leave a comment down below with your experiences with them. I’m always interested in learning more about how people are experiencing these.
Note: that video reviews LoopCloud 4.0 vs. Splice, but LoopCloud 5 was recently released, and it's even more powerful (you can see a review of it at the end of the article). So now the battle of Loopcloud vs. Splice is even more in Loopcloud's favor
Why You Need to Download LoopCloud
Also, I’m gonna cut to the chase already. The conclusion of this review is that you absolutely need to get LoopCloud because it’s free and it’s amazing. Download it!
I’ll explain why in a sec.
The other thing is Splice is really really good for certain people, but based on the fact that it is using a subscription model that you have to pay seven or eight dollars a month for, I wouldn’t recommend it for people who don’t produce a lot of music. All right, that’s the recap or the summary.
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The Differences Between Splice and LoopCloud
Now let’s get into the differences. This section is going to cover the differences in: software, the quality of the samples, and pricing.
LoopCloud’s Software is Incredible and Every Musician Should Download it. It's the Best Sample Management Software Available - and it's FREE!
So the first thing I want to talk about is the software. LoopCloud is hands down the winner. It is an amazing piece of software and I would say probably one of the best free pieces of software for music period. Everybody should go download it because what it does is it manages your entire sample library.
It categorizes your samples in this incredibly intuitive powerful database where you can search by type of instrument or key or tempo, and it can adjust key and tempo on the fly so that everything fits together with your song. And this works with every sample you own, whether you downloaded it for free from one of these sample libraries, bought it from Splice, or made it yourself!
It also has a powerful sample tweaker/chopper/resampler built into it so you can deconstruct your own loops before you drop them into your song and it’s just a powerhouse that lets you access your samples and new and interesting ways. Highly recommended! LoopCloud 5 makes things even easier, as the LoopCloud 5 review makes clear. It's an incredibly powerful way to find cool new creative ideas.
The Splice app is good, but all it does is it manages the samples that you download from Splice. It lets you search through them, sort them by key, tempo, by different types of instruments, that sort of thing… and that’s helpful for managing your Splice samples, but only does the Splice samples.
If you want to get a sense of just how cool LoopCloud is, watch the LoopCloud review video below.
Splice Has the Better Sample Library
Now, let’s talk about the quality of the sample libraries. The samples on Splice are the best in the business. And it’s got tons of exclusive, unique libraries.
So it used to be that Loopmaster’s loops and samples were available on Splice, but they’re no longer available on Splice. So, now we’re really comparing apples to oranges.
Splice I think has a better size library and it has a much vaster array of unique sounds. So, as a producer trying to do electronic music or something… if you’re looking for a bubble sound or 80 different wooshes or a shattering glass or a rifle shot or a crazy trumpet or a lot of normal things… a lot of normal good sounding things, vocal chops, I think Splice has a much wider variety of sounds.
The quality of the sounds on Splice is excellent.
The quality of the sounds on Loopmasters is excellent as well. But, in terms of variety, Splice totally wins. In terms of the quality, they’re both equally good. I think it’s just that there’s more on Splice.
Now, we’re going to turn to pricing. Splice pricing starts at $7.99 a monthly subscription for 100 downloads (you can cancel any time). You can download one sample here, one sample there à la carte from all of the sample packs they have. So if you’re the type of producer that has an extensive sample library that you’re drawing from, and you just need to fill in the blanks here and there, that monthly pricing is a really good choice. Splice frequently adds new samples, so it’s also a great way to constantly stay inspired.
Another cool aspect about Splice is that it’s got a lot of incredible plugins that you can rent-to-own. For example, you could get Serum for $9.99 a month and own it free-and-clear after 19 months. Or you could stop after a couple of months if you don’t like it!
LoopCloud has a free version that gets you 5 free samples a day! And so I think in that respect, it’s a no brainer to at least download LoopCloud and get what you need when it’s available.
For $7.99 a month, you can subscribe to LoopCloud and get access to a lot of additional samples to download, as well as unlock more powerful features for your LoopCloud 5 software.
The Best Bang For Your Buck
I think it’s a better value if you’re still in the stage where you’re building up your catalog to buy full on sample packs from LoopCloud or from Sample Magic or from anybody, not this à la carte stuff. It’s much cheaper when you’re building up your library to just buy full-on packs and buy five or six packs in areas that you’re interested in.
So, like if you’re into lo-fi hip hop, buy five or six different packs that are sort of adjacent to that and that’s going to be a much better value. Drop those all into LoopCloud, have that manage your samples and then from there, and maybe consider a subscription.
Should You Download Splice or LoopCloud?
So I think there’s slightly different value propositions. I think you have to get LoopCloud if you’re a musician making music in 2020 and I think a lot of producers get something out of Splice just because of its vast library and the ability to find exactly what you’re looking for every time you need it.
But Loopmasters library is also really exciting, so you may want to see if they are more likely to have the type of samples you want before deciding which service to subscribe to.
I mean how many times have you bought a full sample pack for $40 and only use 5 or 6 samples? So to pay eight bucks a month for that even if I just downloaded five or six samples – if it was the exact sample I needed – is actually a great value. That’s more for like production music If you’re producing at a high and fast clip.
But it's not necessarily an either or with LoopCloud or Splice! For example, you could download the LoopCloud sample manager, buy the occasional sample from Loopmasters, while subscribing to Splice. You could still use LoopCloud to manage all your samples that you get through Splice.
Other Alternative Sites for Samples and Loops
LoopCloud and Splice aren't the only players in town. Sounds.com by Native Instruments and Arcade by Output offer some interesting options as well. In this section we'll layout the pros and cons of Splice vs Arcade and Sounds.com. But are any of them better than Splice?
Sounds.Com vs. Splice
Sounds features over a million samples from some of the top producers, like Diplo and Kid Capri. There are two big differences in Sounds.com vs Splice. The first is Sounds.com's integration with Native Instrument's hardware, and the second is price and selection.
First, Sounds also has a nifty sample management platform, based on Komplete Kontrol. Komplete Kontrol allows you to search by samples and tags, and quickly drop the samples into any DAW. It works even better if you're using Native Instrument's own DAW & Hardware, like Maschine and Komplete Kontrol keyboards.
Sounds.com $9.99 per month for 150 credits. So while it is arguably a better deal per sample than Splice, if you don't need 150 samples a month, it is going to be a little more expensive than Splice or Loopcloud. I still think that you're better off with a combination of the Loopcloud software and either Loopmasters samples or Splice samples.
Arcade vs. Splice
Arcade by Output is a more radical interpretation of a sample library. Arcade is actually an instrument that you use in your DAW. It includes preset packs with builtin custom effects for loops. Each kit includes 15 curated samples with loop editing easily available.
The kits are accessed by a powerful cloud based browser that lets you easily find the loops and samples you're looking for. You can also add your own samples to the Arcade sampler and use all of its onboard possibilities to tweak and chop.
Arcade also has a unique pricing structure. For $10 a month, you get access to unlimited kits, which are constantly updated, and any session that you've built will work forever, even if you cancel.
If you're trying to figure out where to spend your money in a battle of Output Arcade vs. Splice, I'd personally recommend Splice, because it has access to so much more content. That said, a big factor in the decision to go with Splice or Arcade might be unique content - and Arcade comes loaded with unique sounding instruments playable out of the bag.
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