The Art of Digging!!!

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There was a time when those of us who sample couldn’t rely on technology for an advantage. These were the days that you actually had to go dig for records. The more extensive your collection the more access you had to extremely good samples.

These were the days when sometimes you had what I call “diggers luck”. Quite simply diggers luck was finding a record buying it and taking it home to listen to it to only realize that you found the sample for a popular song. I think most diggers would agree that discovering something Pete Rock and DJ Premier used was like seeing a boob for the first time in your life! (I’m sorry but that is the best analogy I could think of to describe the feeling…lol)!!!

Sometimes you may own a record for years and never know what you have until after you have used the pieces you wanted. Then one day you go back to the record and listen to it again looking for something else to sample and low and behold out of no where you hear the sample someone else used!

One of my favorite techniques has always been to listen to the song all the way through to find the parts that don’t stand out. Many people use the beginning of the song because it is by nature the easiest part to sample. To find pieces in the middle or near the end is a way to trick other diggers into missing what you sampled. There is one song that I sampled on my first solo album “A Fifth of the Gift” that sounds nothing like the song I sampled. It isn’t until the very end of that song that they do a complete change up and take the song in an entirely different direction. I wonder how many producers past up the sample just because they didn’t listen to the entire song.

The point of this particular blog is to simply state that technology has changed the compassion for digging for records. Now all you have to do is google who sampled what or go to the “whosampled” web page and not only do they play the song from the sampler they put the original song right beside it and tell you when the sample starts.

It’s a good thing on one hand but it is a disadvantage on the other because not knowing who sampled what indirectly helped you to discover samples of your own. In our day the closest thing we had to this information was the credits given. Even then all you knew was where the sample came from and you had to go find it and purchase it before you could hear it. In order to buy that record for that sample you had to be amongst other records and quite naturally why buy one record when you could buy as many as you could afford. Not only were you able to get the sample you wanted you also had more records to add to your collection for you to find your own samples!!!!

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