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Huge wax cylinder sample archive, perfect for adding retro vibes to your music

Huge wax cylinder sample archive, perfect for adding retro vibes to your music


The UC Santa Barbara Library of California has taken on the mammoth task of archiving and digitising as many wax cylinders as they can lay their hands on.

Now, colour me predictable, but the thought of an enormous, beautifully categorised and curated library of old-timey sounds makes me think of some sort of retro version of Native Instrument’s Komplete. To be honest, I wasn’t far wrong!

Looking at the “discover” section on the website, you can find a century-old recordings categorised by genre, instrument, ethnicity or topical subject. Looking for a retro firebrand sermon to stick in the middle 8 of your doom metal track? Look no further. Needing a crackly marimba loop for your deep house set? Easy. Want to stretch out 20s Irish skit comedy by 1000% and create some ambient textures? You’re in luck!

Check out the archive here.

Now, just a quick word about legality: all of the samples are available under a Creative Commons licence for personal, non-commercial use, but if you were to sell your release featuring any of these archived samples, you’ll need to clear the use and pay the fees. Fortunately, there are clear instructions on their “licensing” page. Remember: if you’re wanting to make some money out of someone else’s time, do the right thing and tip the bartender.

Good luck, music makers!

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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