> Step by step

7. Mak­ing a jig­saw DIY boot­leg

Computer Music - - Make Music Now / Old-School Sampling -

1 A boot­leg is es­sen­tially an unau­tho­rised remix. Once you’ve iden­ti­fied the track you’re look­ing to boot­leg, grab a high-qual­ity copy of the orig­i­nal, then lis­ten through in your DAW and cut out any sec­tions you feel would work nicely in your boot­leg. Au­di­tion­ing through a fil­ter can help with find­ing good parts that would work af­ter some EQ.

2 You might be sur­prised to learn how many well-known tracks use sam­ples in one form or an­other, and the in­ter­net is a su­perb re­source for find­ing out where any given track took its sam­ples from. Web­sites like WhoSam­pled are a great start­ing point, as are dis­cus­sion fo­rums like Red­dit – or even just a Google search.

3 If you’re boot­leg­ging a track with vo­cals, find­ing the acapella will open up a ton of ex­tra pos­si­bil­i­ties in the pro­duc­tion process. For older tracks, some suc­cess can be had by look­ing on Discogs for a CD or vinyl sin­gle with an acapella ver­sion; and YouTube can be a win­ner for find­ing a rare or newer acapella that’s not been com­mer­cially re­leased.

4 Es­tab­lish­ing the BPM of your orig­i­nal track is help­ful when boot­leg­ging. If you’re lucky, the track will have the BPM in its meta­data, but most DAWs can cal­cu­late the BPM from a one-bar loop. Once you’ve worked it out, turn your metronome on and make sure the parts you’re us­ing sit in time with the click.

5 To make the pro­duc­tion process as fun and straight­for­ward as pos­si­ble, it al­ways pays to as­sem­ble the ma­te­rial you’ve ear­marked for use be­fore bounc­ing it all as au­dio to a new folder. Then, when it comes to ac­tu­ally mak­ing the boot­leg, you’ll have ev­ery­thing you need at your fin­ger­tips, all ex­pertly edited, timestretched and ready to roll.

6 With ev­ery­thing prepped, you can con­struct your boot­leg, tak­ing care to piece things to­gether nicely while fit­ting them to a new tempo. If there’s any­thing you like in the orig­i­nal that you couldn’t cleanly sam­ple (a riff or drum fill, per­haps) then why not try re­cre­at­ing it from scratch? Adding lay­ers to beef up the orig­i­nal parts can also work well.

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