Genre-less Sample Packs

Deep in the internet rabbit hole the other day, I stumbled across an article on Ableton Live 10. The article was mostly about the packs that come with Ableton Suite, and I thought it was interesting how they’d come up with the idea.

“We actually tried to stay away from genre because what we find is more important is the sonic theme than the genre,” Dylan Wood, Ableton’s Product Owner for Sound, tells me. “So rather than making a kit that’s aimed at one genre – minimal tech-house [for example] – we looked at what sounds get used a lot and tried to find ways to make sure that a pack represents the kind of sounds people needed. What we found is that certain sounds stick around over a long time – the genre might change, but the sounds or the elements that you actually need to build those styles usually stay quite similar.”

I’ve been exploring these packs and I wonder why Ableton don’t push that angle more, since most sample libraries focus heavily on genre. They have a double benefit because you are forced to move outside your usual suspects and explore different sounds. But you also get to learn from each pack because each sound also comes with processing tools added so you can see how pro sound designers work.

What do you reckon. Is this a better approach than something like Splice where you focus on a specific genre? Aside from mega packs like Samples from Mars is anyone else doing this kind of thing?


The main reason I usually avoid sample packs, and a lot of sampling stuff in general, is the focus on genre.

I feel like it limits my imagination. But that could just be a lack of imagination on my part to begin with.


I’ll shamelessly plug one of my Digitakt Sample Packs that focuses on a very hyper-specific genre of music: Coldwave and related styles:

However, I agree that if it’s too styled for the genre, then it narrows your creative flow toward a certain direction. What I did to avoid that with this pack was to use the original hardware from the golden era of this genre, but at the same only polish the sounds, not reshape them. The result was just a damn good sound of versatile samples that can be used for most any genre, but it’s particular strength is music that used the following hardware: Roland TR-707, Boss DR-55, Kawai R-100, Acidlab Drumatix, Roland R8, Yamaha TX81Z, Nord Lead 1, Roland SH-09.

and here’s a free Ableton drum rack I made that focused on the hardware but not genre specific:

Hopefully that makes sense… I tend to ramble after a strong cup of coffee and a cannabis edible ;o)

I found the ALM squid sample packs to be some of my favorite, although slightly annoyingly you gotta order them as USB drives

I love using samples meant to be for other genres to do my kind of minimal house music.

Personally, I’ve been trying the reason+ which comes with something they call soundpacks; these are a small collection of patches that go well together, like the ingredients, to make a song in a particular style. Which is a brilliant idea i haven’t seen anyone else do. And since they are patches and not audio files, they can be used in whichever way you want, so you play the notes and can modify the sound if you want as well. Genius. So what I’ve been doing is picking sounds i like from various packs meant to be for example for “RnB” or synth wave, or EDM, and turning those into tunes of my own style. :+1:

Yeah I can see why stuff like lofi-hip hop and R&B could be turned into house-ish type stuff.

this one…
its got all you need to make any electronic music genre…
I should know, I made it :v:
works in Ableton live 11 Suite only…

Extended Sounds | Ableton?


You work with modeselektor?

I have a basic Noiiz plan and will download some samples from time to time. I just search for the kind of sound I’m looking for. Don’t limit yourself by saying “I can only make techno with this because the label on the tin says techno.” It is only our own thinking that puts that limit in place. Think beyond the marketing.

I did a free Digitakt sample pack awhile back, just for shits and posted it on here. Goal was to make it pretty much genre free, although that’s completely subjective. It’s not going to win any awards, but I had fun doing it. They are raw, and not ‘mastered’ in any typical sense, so keep that in mind.

Link to the thread on here:


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Ah! I was looking at this one. Will give it a demo spin.

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yes… I m their sound/studio/live engineer…

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