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  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1545 posts
    sampling digital synths


    please note,

    do NOT upload non-changed samples, sampled from digital synthesisers (I.e. preset sounds, drum hits, etc). This is a grey area in copyright law and we do not wish to get into trouble. Older analog synthesisers are probably safe to sample as there is no such thing as a 'preset'.

    To be more precise,

    - You are not allowed to post samples from PCM drum machines( TR-707, TR-909(cymbals and hi-hats), Linn Drum, Boss DR 550 etc...). Same goes for the sample based drum sounds from your workstation keyboard.
    - You are not allowed to post raw samples from PCM synths, especially from the synth's presets bank. Same applies to the raw waveforms set from these synths(PPG Wave waveforms, Wavestation waveforms etc...)

    Please respect these terms. If you do not, you are jeopardizing the very existence of this project.

    thank you,

    - Bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    58 sounds
    6 posts


    I have a real bad childrens style keyboard i've borrowed from a friend to do some comedy cheese samples, its a Yamaha PortaSound PSS-140. There is 100 sounds in the voice bank akin to most sounds on cheap, beginner/childrens keyboards. I was wondering if I would be able to get away with posting the multisamples im about to make on here? If so, I have an old crappy Casio I would also like to share the sounds of.

    If im not able to use these sounds in their raw state, how little could I get away with to be able to post them on here? eg add a smidgen of chorus/delay or something.

    Either way, id like to know what I can get away with.

    Any help would be great.

  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1545 posts


    I am not a lawyer.

    I think you can't get away with much as far as the law is concerned.
    Multisamples definitely is a no-no. If you record a sample and -you yourself- can say, "I can still recognise this as the original" then it's a no. Reverb and chorus don't change much, so I think that's a definite "no".

    Some people have posted samples of casio keyboards gone mad either through too little battery or through circuit-bending. That should be OK

    bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    12 sounds
    17 posts


    I think you are not correct in your concern. Look, you can use the synthesizers to create your songs. The song can be as short as 1 sound ;P. Basically, if you own it, you can create the sound with the preset and do with it what you want.

    However, it is easy to tweak presets a tad ;P - also the use of compression and mixer effects are great to add something to the mostly boring preset.

    Cheers, Kai

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    3 sounds
    3 posts


    I'm with the above. You hit the keys, you used the microphone, you set it all up. The only thing they did was make a little ADSR sample.

  • avatar
    258 sounds
    355 posts


    i think you two missed the point.

    you can't take the simple 808 bass drum that comes with your 808 post it here and say

    "oh i made that"

    that's what bram's getting at. because the fact is NO YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT YOU SIMPLY TRANSFERED IT FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. what is legal is if you create your own kick, snare-whatever. many machines allow you to do this.

    what you two mean is more so...you made a bassline with that 808 bass that has patterns.

    but don't sample sounds from a triton and claim they are your's

    because they aren't.

  • avatar
    0 sounds
    2 posts


    Actually, it's kinda complicated and kinda funny in a not so funny way.

    Literally, according to DCMA (digital millenium copyright act), it's illegal to play a PCM-based synth and use it to record any music. (That's the "funny in not so funny way" part.) Practically speaking, though, you won't get arrested for this, and the keyboard manufacturers won't go after you for it either. So you're safe.

    The reason it's illegal is that each of the samples is implicitly copyrighted. Unless there's text in your keyboard manual releasing the samples for your use (which I've never seen!), the samples are the manuf's property and you can't record them (even after modification) without their permission. Stupid but true, as far as I'm aware.

    Of course, any keyboard manufacturer that sued folks for recording music using their keyboards would be committing suicide. And if it did come to court, the defendant would be able to claim that they were using the product as implicitly intended, and would have a leg to stand on.

    Sampling a PCM-based keyboard to make a soundfont is another matter entirely. They could go after you if they wanted. You would have no protection. If you want to stay 100% legit, don't do it. If you want to do it anyway, just be sure to fly under the radar. (Hosting sites probably need to take more precautions.) The good news is that this isn't a multi-billion dollar industry losing (or thinking they're losing) billions from file sharing; it's a fringe area. So it's probably not in a manufacturer's best interests to go after anyone unless there's a very popular clone for a very popular keyboard.

    Sampling a drum unit or keyboard to create a "loop sample" falls somewhere between these two. I suspect it's more like making music than replacing the instrument. The fancier the loop (and patch programming) the less it's a replacement for the instrument. The more generic the loop, the more it is a replacement for the instrument, but still not nearly as much as a soundfont. This is definitely a gray area.

    Strangely, you can record a real piano or an analog device, because there's no recording being used to create the sound. The extra protection that PCM-based keyboard manufacturers get wasn't intended by the legislation, it just came out in the wash of trying to protect recordings in general.

    PS: I'm not a lawyer, but my father is an intellectual properties lawyer and I've discussed the issues with him, and I've studied a lot of material on the US government website (www.copyright.gov). So, consider this an informed but inexpert opinion. If there were recent precedents in the matter, I wouldn't know.

  • avatar
    1134 sounds
    284 posts


    @ learjef: that is a very clear explanation!

    Life is probably good
  • avatar
    231 sounds
    28 posts


    I totally agree with learjeff but hears my 2 pence worth on the subject 2:

    I use and hear unchanged preset sounds in songs and tv theme tunes and background noise/notes/effects/atmospheres etc all the time. I never have had to get clearance to use these "copyrighted samples" and have never heard of anyone else having to. If you bought the equiptment you are within your rights to use and compose and do with what you please with those sounds and presets even in a commercial way, except make a sound library or sell those sounds so somebody else can use them without having to pay for the equiptment.

    as for sample cds, they differ from one to another, some give full clearance others grant clearance except in commercial uses where the companies name must be mentioned of thanked, and others are only for personal use. However nearly all state not to be used to compile another library or sample cd or sample bank.

    so it is definatly better not to upload unchanged presets onto this site unless they form part of a composition that is artistically unique.
    so presets on their own made available to others for free is not ok.
    mixed and played around with and layered with other sounds to create new sound is ok.

  • avatar
    163 sounds
    135 posts


    Doesn´t it be enough if you just resample a digital sound? I other terms, this means you record it. Afterthat it is no more bitwise - identical. The question is: Does a exact definition exist how much a samply have to differ to be called a different sample. I think this is a strange situation because you are allowed to record natural instruments. Why you are not allowed to record digital instruments, it´s also an instrument, isn´it ?

    -erdie

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    258 sounds
    355 posts


    because you didn't program it or record it in to the software to begin with.

    recording a real instrument is totally different.

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    15 sounds
    135 posts


    So if you do something that barely changes the nature of the synths does that make it legal? Like barely raise treble or bass?

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    258 sounds
    355 posts


    i'd say yes it does (make it illegal). you'd have to tweak the sound competely. but i'll assume your question is open to interpatations

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    15 sounds
    135 posts


    Does this also mean we shouldn't post any samples that are played by synths? Like say I put up a two note musical sample created via synth and the samples were unmoddified but I played the two note sample in a rhythmic way.

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    258 sounds
    355 posts


    that should be all good because youre doing something with it.

    but if you just sample a one shot of the sound you used. then you're probably in violation. make sense?

  • avatar
    15 sounds
    135 posts


    LS
    that should be all good because youre doing something with it.

    but if you just sample a one shot of the sound you used. then you're probably in violation. make sense?

    The problem I see in doing that is if someone just takes a single note sample from the sample I posted. Then they are unwittingly taking the sample.(which is the very thing we're trying to stop) Like say I play a 3 note loop and one of them has a half note duration. The 3 note sample could be called original but someone who just likes the way one of the notes sounds and uses just that tone has unwittingly just taken the unauthorized sample.

  • avatar
    258 sounds
    355 posts


    yes and no.

    yes because you have a problem with it-but no because you arent famous enough to sue them..lol.

    i hear what your'e saying. say for example you put up a kick off an 808 machine..you'd be stealing because somone copyrighted it long before you did and they now own it-now i personally say it doesn't matter because you hear one (style) 808-you've heard them all. my personal opinion on that is that normally no one should be allowed to copyright a drum kick,snare hit etc-and even if they did that's just down right stupid of someoen who allows them to copyright it..because drum patterns aren't infinte..so basically some drummer out there that has his shit copyrighted and bitchs about it is doing so thinking he invented that style or that particular pattern.-AND THAT SHOULD BE CRIMINAL....but hey this crazy world has it backwards (money money moooooooooney...mooooooney). the same can be applied to your sample i suppose. if you wanted to be like those fuckers and copyright your shit and then get upset about it (you have everyright to) then it makes sense. but most people aren't tripping unless they are the madonna's and likes of this world.

    but when you take something from a machine-say what every keyboard you have now-and simply post one of the sounds..with no alterations to it -then the copyrighted person then feels YOU OWE THEM FOR IT CUZ YOU DIDN'T PAY OR THEY BITCH BECAUSE YOU STOLE IT. and technically you did....i don't agree but the law tells us you did.

    thats why we say tweak it out so it doesn't sound like the REAL SOUND. then you don't get in trouble for it.

    but if you play a 3 note loop (make it into a sample) with a particular sound from your keyboard..that's not the same as stealing.

    it makes no sense i know-but people take a lot of pride in designins these sounds for use to make 3 note loops with. so they get upset.

  • avatar
    163 sounds
    135 posts


    Annother question related to this topic:
    What´s about child toys which have included some sample based sound effects? Are i am allowed to pick up them with a microphone?

    -Erdie

  • avatar
    258 sounds
    355 posts


    I think with those you can sample. they are -i believe now-non copyrighted hassel free samples. i've wondered about that one for some time-because i have a young son with lots of really cool toys which make great sounds i've been wanting to post. i would say that its okay-but maybe not if you are sampling stuff from say like the sesame street-sampling emlo (like the beat nuts once did) probably is a no no.

  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1545 posts


    [me not lawyer]

    I think as far as it's beeps and squeeks you're safe. if the toys make music, more difficult I think.

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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