Audio sample subscription services are now more popular than ever. Gone are the days of sorting through samples on expensive disks you had to purchase, only to come up short. The demand for royalty-free libraries grew sharply after the advent of YouTube and distribution services like TuneCore in the mid 2000s, and seems to steadily increase as more people begin to produce music.
These are the most popular audio sample subscription services on the market today:
What is an audio sample subscription service?
Think of it like the Netflix of loops, one-shots, sound effects, and and other noises for music production and post. For a monthly fee, you can have access to hundreds of thousands of royalty-free samples to add to your collection.
The subscription model is a very popular and successful one these days. Even creative software titans like Avid and Adobe offer subscriptions to their most-used offerings — so it’s a no-brainer that sample services would offer a similar type of content at an affordable monthly rate.
Splice is the juggernaut of audio sample subscription services right now. It’s currently the blueprint for modern sample services, with a super user-friendly format amongst other things.
Splice hosts exclusive sample packs from music production titans like Just Blaze (Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz), MdL (Justin Bieber), Deadmau5, KSHMR (Selena Gomez), Southside (808 Mafia), and Dot da Genius (Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, Lil Nas X) to name a few.
Splice could arguably be one of the best things to happen to modern music production. Their monthly fee starts at just $7.99 for 100 credits — these credits can then be used to purchase individual samples or complete packs (1 credit = 1 sample).
Native Instruments introduced their own sample service a couple years back. Designed for music producers, Sounds.com is a way to access, download, and build libraries of royalty-free samples, loops, and sound packs.
Sounds is fairly similar to Splice, but undercuts the juggernaut in a crucial way. While Splice’s monthly subscription comes with a set number of credits to redeem for samples based on your plan, Sounds.com offers unlimited access and downloads for one flat monthly subscription fee.
A free version lets users explore the interface with the ability to download a small selection of loops and samples. A Pro version unlocks unlimited sample downloads and access to exclusive content that is updated weekly.
Noiiz is a relative newcomer in the audio sample subscription service industry, but is actually an old face in the world of sample library creation — Samplephonics.
Noiiz offers plans that allow subscribers to download their entire library for pennies of its original cost through its Unlimited plan. Even with Noiiz’s monthly plan, the lowest tier, the cost of one of Samplephonic’s single packs would be much more than the monthly subscription.
The Light and Regular tiers are $5 and $10/month respectively, and allow users up to 100 MB or 300 MB of downloads each month. The Unlimited package weighs in at $200/year, but is still much cheaper than purchasing the number of samples available to you individually.
As its name might suggest, Audioblocks is the audio sample portion of Storyblocks — a monthly subscription service offering royalty-free video, images, and sound for all types of multi-media creation.
The Basic Audio package starts at $8.25/month, but restricts music downloads to just 3. The Unlimited Audio plan isn’t much more expensive at around $12/month, and offers unrestricted access to music, sound effects, and loops.
While perhaps not as useful for music production as the others on this list, Audioblocks is great for post-production, video content creation, and the like.