Stop Using Royalty Free Loops!

Hello guys,
hope you all had a great week!

I have a good topic today for you to discuss and think about…

I am talking about buying/using royalty music loops. You can get them from sites like: Loopmasters, Splice, etc. (the list could be updated later).

Yesterday I’ve read about this topic on Facebook, which was created by Dan Graham, who is the owner of “Gothic Storm”, production music publisher. He said that they’ve had an incident lately. One of their composers, who is in the pool at GS, used a pre-made loop in one of his compositions (melody-loop). They have published the track and after a couple of month they’ve had troubles because the loops was used in a huge hit song as well. (I think that he didn’t mention which one…but it doesn’t matter anyway)

What’s the problem? The problem is, that these big publishers use special tracking systems to indentify their track. It’s based on AI, similar to Shazam. However the software has troubles recognizing music, which has the same loops and sample-phrases. “I found track A, but actually it was track B…”

After a lot of discussions, they had to remove this track from the library.

It wasn’t great for the library, as this goes back to their reputation, and the composer’s work is questionable as well. How many others tracks did he compose like this using loops, which others use as well?

I know we had a bigger discussion here about using loops. But this is actually a great “real-life” example! As we have discussed earlier, it’s fine to use percussion loops, risers, booms, etc., but using melody-loops, which you don’t even cut in pieces, manipulate or whatever is really questionable.

As a composer you are not inventing the wheel. You use the same 12 notes, which others use as well. But when you use pre-made melodic-loops, you are not showing the right role as a composer in my opinion. I remember when I’ve started composing years ago with “Magix Music Maker”…small program/DAW where you stacked pre-made loops and made your “own” compositions. But even as a beginner back then, I’ve realised that the 2nd track had the complete same elements as the first one. There was no point to use this program at all.

So, if you should use this method, consider that actually 1000s of others are using the same loops, and you did’t make your track/music special in anyway. The best thing you can do in my opinion, is making your own samples, recording weird stuff, manipulate, etc. and making music with recordings which no one heard before, even if you use only one sound. It will make your track more special. Junkie XL is doing that all the time. It’s crazy, as it takes a lot of time, but at the end of the day, he really made real art.

What do you think about this?

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:


I am no expert but I would like to say for me at lest and I do want to learn just not sure how
but anyway to learning how to create and crave out the sound that I am after And blended them as seamless as I learn
I do record sounds on my phone

Now if I did find a sound or I sample A audio would only use pieces or Manipulate so much it would not be recognizable it to create a different sound etc…
But I have never as of yet use a or sampled a melody loop
That sounds to me like taking from another artist
Like if I got a sample of the melody from
Queen “we will rock you”
And use this in a music piece and said that mine
So melody loops I stay away from

If I want a melody I pick up my midi keyboard or guitar and Lord Willing find one


It’s very tricky to draw the line of creative copyrights, and I personally don’t use loops from these sites. But what about textures from sample libraries, or Stylus RMX grooves in REX that you manipulate…it’s a very complex issue, and these things you bring up makes it ever more important for us to be cautious as composers. Thanks for bringin it to our attention Alexey.


It’s like saying “Don’t use the Amen break” :wink: I don’t think they were “forced”, but rather they chose to. Ofcourse, we have to keep in mind that we have no context. If you buy a royalty-free loop, slap your name on it and publish it, it’s likely you’ll run into trouble…
Like everything in your mix, it should be discrete. If you are using a factory preset from Serum, some producer friend will likely inform you of that. If you use loops from loopcloud, producers will recognize it as they have likely heard it before. But if you use your loops creatively and give it your “own spin”, the average listener is not likely to pick up on it. I think this is more a “makeshift concern” among the producer community. And anyway… At the end, in all likeliness the sample (especially melody/lead/arp samples) won’t fit your production and you end up using it for reference when making your own lead. But using a loop that you paid for, won’t get you into any more trouble, than if you used the “Amen break”

In My Humble Opinion,
Aron (ONE ABE)


Aron sorry what is that sound like can you post a sample?


Interesting read.

I think in that instance that specific composer was being a little lazy perhaps… now I don’t use loops In my compositions… not that I would never consider it because if someone’s already made a sound that I’m trying to recreate then sure I’ll use their if I hold the rights to use it… because time is a huge contender in the music composers world.

Usually what happens when composers do use loops in the right way is they manipulate them to make them sound different from the original loop. Giving it a signature sound that they’ve created… this is a great way to use loops because if then changes the loop from being a “cheat” into a tool. Much like a pencil is a tool for writing, or the DAW is a tool for sculpting, when used right a loop can be the basis for a new sound…

So it sounds like this mystery composer has took the loop for granted and slapped it on there without thinking of the repercussions.

This story is a tricky one though as if it’s a free loop that you have the rights for and an algorithm has picked it up because it’s in a song… then surely the song doesn’t hold the rights to the loop, technically making the composer A-OK??? On that premise I think the library are just being cautious. Which is probably a good thing.


Well said, G… I think if you use a loop and turn it somehow to usable part of your song, it “sounds like you” and whether sampling is being lazy or not, I think is a question of personal perspective… I’ve heard some Lo-Fi producers pitch up and stretch and repeat for like a 100 times to get that grain feel their going for and just bitcrushing one sample may take a whole working day… In the end, what comes out is music. People like it or they don’t.
There are three aspects, I feel, are being discusssed here:.“Is sampling lazy?”, “is sampling legal?” and “Does sampling make for bad music?” - The answer to all of which, is “it depends…”


Very recognizable samples are the most “risky” on all those 3 aspects you mention in my opinion. Vocals especially. But also melodic riffs, hooks etc. However, a percussion loop? Probably not that risky especially if you twist it into your own. :slight_smile:


Well, I use loops as well, for example now for that Spitfire contest, however, you need to make them sound unique, even if you put a bit-crusher to make the loops sound more spicy. Whatever you do, you need do something with them. It’s not a crime to use loops, it has a great bonus if you use a loop to work from, but I remember when I have heard the same loop of one orchestral library on another track a couple of month ago…and I was like…man that’s so annoying if I hear the same loop over and over again in more than one track…

What would a client think if he hears the same thing in another track of another composer? For me it’s like taking the font of Coca Cola and just type in your brand name. :smiley: That’s not professional, however, I don’t want to judge anybody for that. Do whatever you think is right for you, but being a little bit more original is always better than copying what is already there…