Splice VS. Tracklib VS. Sample Focus: The Pros and Cons of Three Sample LibrariesSplice VS. Tracklib VS. Sample Focus: The Pros and Cons of Three Sample Libraries


Splice VS. Tracklib VS. Sample Focus: The Pros and Cons of Three Sample Libraries

Most music producers have at some point wondered about the best place to get samples for their tracks. Beyond the days of crate-digging, online sample libraries like Tracklib, Splice, and Sample Focus offer easily accessible ways of browsing, downloading, and licensing samples. But which of these sample libraries is best suited to your style of music production? In this article, we compare each music service and give our recommendations.




April 30, 2024

What is Splice? How does Splice work?

Splice is an online music production marketplace selling everything from sample packs to plugins. Regarding samples, Splice's sound library allows subscribers to browse a wide range of loops, sample packs, and one-shots from some of the most renowned producers and music services in the game. With Splice's subscription model, you will receive a certain amount of credits per month which can be spent on individual samples or expansive sample packs. They also allow you to filter through their library by genre, instrument, BPM, key, and sample type.

Is Splice royalty-free?

Producers will rejoice at the fact that all music sold on Splice is 100% royalty-free. Unlike traditional sampling—where the producer must go through the arduous process of finding the rights holders and negotiating a sample license and royalty splits. This is partly because Splice sells pre-made loops, one-shots, and samples that are designed specifically for royalty-free use.

However, the royalty-free nature of Splice is a double-edged sword. Things got messy in the past with content ID conflicts and licensing issues between producers who used the same one-shots or loops from Splice. Watch the video below for more on that:

Sample quality: Splice

Splice provides premade samples created by well-respected producers in the game. On their easily-navigable sounds library, users can find loops and one-shots from major services like Loopmasters, CAPSUN ProAudio, and Sample Magic as well as exclusive audio by major artists like deadmau5, KSHMR, Medasin, and Lex Luger. The sample library includes more than 700k audio files.

bob james samples tracklib

How does Tracklib work?

Tracklib is a music service that allows producers to sample real, original records and clear the samples for official use. The catalog offers over 100K originally released records, library music, and exclusive multitracks. Tracklib has been endorsed by acclaimed music producers like De La Soul’s Prince Paul, EPMD’s Erick Sermon, and rappers J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.

On top of that, in early 2024 the launch of Tracklib Sounds was announced: a complete and complementary offering of royalty-free loops, one-shots, and sample packs.

What is Tracklib?

Tracklib was founded in 2013 with the aim to help producers bypass the hassle surrounding sample clearance. The platform makes licensing and clearing samples easy in a matter of minutes. The bigger picture is solving legal and ethical issues surrounding sampling and music clearances: a royalty-fair model for original musicians, rights holders, and new music creators alike.

Sample quality: Tracklib

Unlike other sample libraries, Tracklib offers an entirely unique experience. Tracklib's samples are completely original, pre-released, authentic pieces of music from the annals of music history. Whether you're looking for vintage soul, iconic pop, or obscure traditional music from across the world, Tracklib has you covered. Additionally, if you're looking for individual instrumental and acapella multitracks from a song, Tracklib provides this too.

"Release your music on streaming platforms, press on vinyl, sync to videos or advertisements, and get Content ID proof to share your music publicly. Tracklib's sample license covers it all."


What is Sample Focus?

Sample Focus is an online platform to find—and share—sounds for sampling. All tracks are made and uploaded by their own community. The platform is free to use based on weekly free download credits. Users can browse through the library of thousands of sounds by genre, mood, or instrument. The audio samples are categorized that way, in order to find the right royalty-free samples. Sample Focus is designed to cater to DJs and producers of all levels.

On their website, Sample Focus acknowledges how difficult it can be to stay in a creative flow when you’re spending most of the time searching for the audio files you need. That’s why their catalog of samples is categorized and tagged in detail. Think of aspects such as Type, Timbre, Genre, Articulation, Emotion, and Character, to categories from breakbeat drums to upright bass, and from acapellas to Rhodes piano.

How does Sample Focus work?

Sample Focus is designed to be browsed enjoyable, clearly, and quickly. Each week, users get a free amount of download credits to use. As an incentive to receive more credits, users are encouraged to create and upload audio for sampling—and thus contribute to their community-based platform. In return, more download credits are earned to download and sample royalty-free audio.

Sample quality: Sample Focus

Sample Focus' enormous library hosts loops, one-shots, and sounds that are provided by the community. Thus, as it is a largely unregulated forum for sharing audio files, the quality of individual samples can vary quite a bit.

Sample Focus VS. Tracklib: Pricing & Plans Compared

Sample Focus:

  • Free registration with access to premade sounds.
  • Download credits model (5 new credits are added to each account on a weekly basis)
  • It’s not possible to buy more download credits. Users earn 4 credits with every upload.
  • By referring a new user to Sample Focus, you both earn 30 credits.


  • Free registration with access to all-original music.
  • You can start a free trial including 50 free track downloads.
  • Subscription model. Two plans even include unlimited sample clearance!
  • By referring a new user to Tracklib, you earn 250 download credits.


  • Free registration with access to premade sounds.
  • You can start a free trial of two weeks. No download credits included.
  • Subscription model (with three plans starting from $12.99/month with 100 credits per month.
  • No additional benefits or download credits for referring a friend to Splice.

Sidenote: Tracklib recently upgraded the number of download credits and launched Sounds: a new extra section featuring loops, one-shots, and sample packs.

What's the interface like?

When considering a site's interface, the most important question is: How intuitive is it? In order to use a music service to its fullest potential, the user must be able to navigate through it with ease. Thankfully, Tracklib, Sample Focus, and Splice all make things incredibly simple for users. With a clear layout and various helpful filters for organizing samples, all services are ideal for users of all web-navigating abilities. However, be aware that mobile devices are not supported at Sample Focus.

Are Sample Focus, Splice, and Tracklib royalty-free?

All audio tracks on Sample Focus and Splice are premade as samples, which means all material is royalty-free. So as a user, you are allowed to remix, transform, edit, reproduce, and build upon anything off their site for any purpose—even commercially or for client work. No attribution is required.

However, keep in mind that you don’t own the sounds. Ownership remains the property of the Licensor. That means you cannot license, sublicense, sell, resell, or redistribute the licensed material or a derivative work based on that. Think of offering it as part of a sample pack or sharing the licensed material in a downloadable format. This is not allowed according to Sample Focus' Standard License, for example.

What type of license is required to sample music from Tracklib?

All music on Tracklib is pre-cleared. That means you don’t have to worry about any copyright infringement or clearance issues if you use the service.

Most songs on Tracklib are part of Category C, which comes down to a sample clearance fee of $50. If you go for a Premium or Max plan, that even includes unlimited sample clearances at no additional fees! In addition, all material in the Sounds library is royalty-free and can be used freely.

Plus: all music creators get paid via Tracklib. From the original composers to today’s producers, to master and publishing rights holders. Everyone gets their share. This makes Tracklib royalty-fair, not royalty-free. That’s how a product like Tracklib strives to change the music industry for the better.

close-up of native instruments machine mk3 controller sampling

Why do you need a master license for sampling?

To simplify the sample clearing game: licensing essentially means getting an agreement and permission to use a piece of music for specific purposes. This relates to sampling as well as for other use such as derivative works, interpolations, mash-ups, and the use of music in television or film.

Usually, clearing samples and a master license are negotiated from scratch; a process that can tend to get complex or confusing. With a Standard License via Sample Focus or the 100K+ pre-cleared, license-ready records on Tracklib, you can create music without a sample clearing headache. On Tracklib, even ownership of a sample license can be easily transferred to record labels or another artist via a novation agreement.

Splice VS. Sample Focus VS. Tracklib: the final decision. Which one is the best sample library?

Sample Focus, Splice, and Tracklib essentially serve the same purpose: finding audio for sampling. But the offering is worlds apart.

For royalty-free, community-made sounds, Sample Focus is a good source. Registering to Sample Focus is completely free. A con of Sample Focus, though, is that mobile devices are not supported to play or download audio tracks.

Splice also offers a wide range of pre-made, 100% royalty-free samples, one-shots, and loops. Their library is more carefully curated than the community submissions on Sample Focus.

However, keep in mind that by downloading sounds from libraries like Splice and Sample Focus, you don’t own the material. There are limits to the ownership and usage, as detailed in our comparison.

For originally released music to sample, Tracklib is the way to go. It’s free to start a trial. After 3 days, you can then decide on your subscription plan starting from $5.99 per month. As opposed to Sample Focus, Tracklib is mobile-friendly—even for special, custom functionalities like the Loop Player and Beat Player.

In short: are you looking for royalty-free, premade sounds? Or do you want to sample the spirit of existing records by original artists? Share your preferred workflow and material of choice in the comments below.

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