I ran across this pretty cool post on the site “First and Foremost” about clearing samples for song use and at the end it has some easy to find 45s that are most likely resting in your local swap meet. It’s a pretty informative post and could probably put you on the start on the right track of sample clearing. The list of swap meet tracks is a pretty spot on list. I’d add a little more to it if I could, but it’s a good list for anyone who is into collecting 45s. I’ll post some of the article here but if you want to read more, you’ll have to hit the jump.
Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys contains 105 samples, with 24 individual samples coming on the the final track, “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” alone. Amounts differ depending on the source, but it cost about a quarter of a million dollars to clear the use of the samples after Capitol Records and The Beastie Boys themselves were sued by different groups. So with limited funds what is the local producer/musician/DJ supposed to do in order to have fun, innovative, and self reflective excerpts in his or her unique collage? First let’s break down some industry fallacies, then get into how to acquire rights to a sample, then lay out a few fun samples found on the cheap at the local flea market.
There are a lot of myths about sampling. Some say if you only use 3-8 seconds of a track it is fine without permission from the label or artist. Others assume that if you bury the sample in filters, slow it down/speed it up, or make it different enough from the original that you may use it. These are dangerous myths that can get you sued. A better thing to do? Find some gems at the local flea market, contact the artist, and ask to use the tracks for free! It really works. At the junction of this article I have contacted 5 artists and all of them said it was fine. I did not contact the label because I was using the master tapes. I chose to do this because if I used a sample straight from a 7″ or an LP I would need to contact the record companies that produced the physical record, which would add another step in the process. Finding the master tape copy is not always easy, so if you do not have access to that, make sure you contact the label. The process can take many months, but it is worth it if you want to make money off a track you are producing.
Like what you read? Then go visit the First and Foremost website for the rest of the article.