The challenge for up-and-coming producers, though, can be knowing where to find the best vocal samples or sample packs and how to use them. That’s why we’ve put together this list to help you find the best samples to use in your music production.
One way to narrow your focus is to search by way of certain tags. Specifically, use the term that best describes the style of vocal loops you’re looking for. One approach would be to search by genre, like gospel or R&B. Or perhaps by the type of singing you’re looking for: “soulful vocal loops” or “choir vocal pack” are some other examples. We recommend honing in on the type of style that you want in your vocal loop. Keep that intention in mind as you search for the perfect sample library.
What if you’re worried about downloading the wrong sample? Generally, if you’re on a credible site, you won’t have to worry about downloading the wrong pack because pretty much every sample library will allow you to listen to parts of the tracks before you download them.
Your search criteria can be as specific or as broad as you’d like them to be. Some vocal sample packs even differentiate by whether the notes are legato or staccato, or include key-labeled vocals. Needless to say, certain kinds of vocal performances work better with certain kinds of beats, so we recommend keeping that in mind.
Some of the best vocal samples might be free to download but only available to be used for educational purposes and not commercial purposes. In that case, the sample is not royalty free and you could land in some hot water by using it in your release.
For the most part, if you find a free pack on the internet it might be royalty free as well. That means that you are allowed to use it for a release and make some money! It’s worth paying attention to the specific rights of the vocal samples you use—no matter where you download them from.
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to find amazing vocal samples. There are plenty of places where you can get world-class vocal sample packs without spending a dime. Here are our top picks:
When it comes to the depth and quality of the free vocal loops on offer, Cymatics is second to none. They cover a range of styles from trap soul to EDM to dubstep, and what sets them apart is that you can be assured of world-class quality with each download.
Most of the samples on Cymatics are focused on trap, lofi, and R&B sounds. That means—if you’re clear on what kind of music you want to make—you can narrow the site down as one of your reliable sources for vocal samples.
Now, while they do have a premium tier with lots of great sounds, they also run frequent promotions and giveaways where you can find surprisingly amazing vocal samples without paying a dime. We’ll include a download link for one of these packs below.
Premium sites also offer free packs from time to time. If you’re looking to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest offerings from a variety of music production sites, then we can recommend Bedroom Producers Blog.
Whether you’re looking for one-shots, catchy pop vocal samples, or just more loops to add to your collection, you’ll hear about it on their freeware blog. Sometimes finding a great free pack is about keeping your ear to the ground in terms of which sample libraries give away golden nuggets at various times of the year.
Royalty free vocal loops are abundant on the website of Noizz. Their premium offering is based on a subscription model, with which you get access to thousands of one-shots, VST instruments, and beats. But they also have an entire section dedicated to vocal sample packs.
Noizz is mostly good for trap, EDM, pop, and soul, and their packs are loaded with ethereal harmonies and some of the most memorable and catchy phrases we’ve heard in all the sample libraries we’ve listened to. We found a particularly special female acapella vocal pack which we’ll link for download at the bottom of the article.
This is another very reliable and high-quality source for the latest news and offerings in terms of VST plugins, the best free vocal samples, and other software offerings that music production companies have available at different times of the year.
Getting in on a promotion can be the difference between paying a fortune and getting a great resource for a relative steal. Rather than constantly scouring the internet trying to find these deals yourself, subscribe to Music Radar’s email list and get notified weekly about all the different samples as they become available for free download.
Looperman is a surprisingly little-known gem where you can find some of the best free vocal samples on the internet. The site is built around the notion of being a community for producers and other artists to collaborate, share free vocal loops, and gain access to hundreds of thousands of one-shots, loops, and beats themselves.
Each vocal loop that can be found on Looperman has been uploaded by a member of the community who grants the site a non-exclusive license to distribute the sound. All you have to do to get a vocal pack is to create an account and click the download link. Simple as that.
There’s a useful search page that you can use to filter for what you’re looking for according to various tags including genre, key, and BPM. We were able to find some surprisingly catchy phrases that songwriters could easily draw inspiration from for their next songs.
So you want to take the next step and start churning out melodies and testing out your creativity? Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. You won’t need much more than what you’d typically need for music production.
First, you’ll need the highest quality microphone that you can afford. It doesn’t have to be very expensive, because budget picks can also be mixed to sound great, but if you can get something better then you definitely should. For a budget option, we recommend the Audio-Technica AT2020. For a more premium microphone, you can take a look at the Neumann TLM 103. We’d always recommend using a condenser microphone to create your sample.
Next, you’ll need an audio interface. Here’s where price makes less of a difference. What matters most with this is how many channels you want. Of course, if you’re just using it to get started with vocal samples, you won’t need more than one channel. The Focusrite Scarlett is one of the most tried and tested brands on the market—and it won’t break the bank either.
For setting up your home studio environment, you’ll need a microphone stand and a pop filter to help reduce plosives and any unwanted noise from handling the microphone. If you can afford an acoustically treated room, it’s worth investing in acoustic panels to tackle various issues like echo or reverberation in your recording environment.
The budget option would be to take a couple of blankets and put them in your closet, and set up the microphone stand so that you’re singing in the direction of the blankets. From here it’s just a matter of your creativity and making sure the vocals sound as clean and polished as possible. This will involve vocal comping. That means recording multiple takes and choosing the best parts of those takes to go into your final vocal sample. A supertake, as that's called.
Finally, know that there’s a distinction between wet and dry recordings. A wet sound is one with various effects and processing already applied, such as reverb and delay. The term dry sounds means unprocessed with no effects whatsoever, aside from some potential pitch correction.
Back in the day, the production process was all about finding open spots and isolated parts for sampling methods like loops or vocal chops. In this day and age, DAWs, audio software, and plugins create new ways for vocal isolation. Even though this has proven to be tricky, as vocals span a wide range of the frequencies the instruments are also part of. Think of overlaps with the bass in the low-end, or certain harmonies in the high frequencies.
That means it's challenging to find a flawless method. We recommend iZotope's RX-9 suite, online tools like Vocal Remover or the free, open-source platform Stemroller to isolate tracks. The latter is based on Facebook’s state-of-the-art AI/machine learning research project Demucs.
The best method however would obviously be to get the original multitrack take, in other words the accapella. You can find an abundance of original vocal multitracks on Tracklib by using our advanced search filters. This allows you to, for example, find only 70s soul accapellas!
When we think about creative ways to use vocal samples, one of the most catchy EDM melodies of the past ten years comes to mind: “Where Are Ü Now” by Skrillex, Diplo, and Justin Bieber.
Bieber’s chorus from his 2015 song “The Most” was pitched up by 24 semitones from its original key until his lyrics were inaudible. But the vocal still transformed into an instantly recognizable hook. The lesson here is that even though you might be sampling an original song, you can play with the speed, change the key, or even add in your own harmonies.
Some licensing is more tricky to acquire than others. But the possibilities become limitless when you think creatively about vocal sampling. Voice notes, for example. Whether it’s your ex-girlfriend who left you a voicemail to end things, the sound of church choirs, or even your college professor saying something totally useful: unique vocal samples can be recorded anywhere.
Another iconic Kanye West song is “Ultralight Beam,” where a viral video of a four-year-old girl saying a prayer was sampled. This is how creatively you should think about the vocal sampling process.
Tracklib remains the only place where you can legally sample and download original songs without having to jump through the usual legal hoops that can make this process difficult. Tracklib is also the best way to sample just the vocals from a song: that’s because you also get access to many previously unreleased multitracks for you to choose which parts of the music you like the most.
There are plenty of reasons to use vocal samples. Whether it’s because you want to add soul to a production, or to come up with new ideas for your beats: sometimes getting rid of writer’s block is about drawing from other great directions out there. Finding the right vocal sample comes down to knowing where to look for your own needs. Whether you’re remixing a song or creating original beats; our list of the best places to find vocal samples covers all the bases.
We are unfortunately unable to offer support in the comments. If you have any questions, reach out to us here!