Studio 54 minus the velvet rope: Sampling a faux 70’s disco recording.

Producing music based on pre-existing recordings can be inspiring and great fun. But it can also be legally complicated and expensive (look up the legal troubles of the Beastie Boys, Biz Markie, Negativland, MC Hammer, Notorious B.I.G., and The Verve to name a few). In order to sidestep the legal issues of sampling, one can produce homegrown faux recordings of songs/bands that never existed and use them as “samples” for producing new tracks.

On a collaboration with singer/recording artist Javier Bernard, a fictitious disco record was created to sample for the track “Situation”. It wasn’t necessary to create an entire track to sample, just a main section with some variations and instrumental breakouts. The main section contained string, guitar, and bass parts. Drums were not included in the fictitious sample so they wouldn’t conflict with the new track’s drums parts. This underscores a benefit of this technique: you can really control the material to fit what you are working on.

After the section was composed/programmed authentic EQ, compression, and effects were employed to achieve the correct sonic vibe. Check out the audio of the main “sampled” section and variations. Then hear how it was used in “Situation”.

the fake disco recordings:


as used in “Situation”:


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