Creating Musical Scales from Sounds in Beatmaking: A Guide to Sampling Techniques


Creating musical scales from sounds through sampling is a crucial technique in the art of beatmaking. This process involves several basic steps, each contributing to the production of unique and expressive sounds. Here’s a guide to help you master this creative process:

1. Sample Selection

First and foremost, choose the sound source you want to sample. This could be anything from the sound of an instrument, natural sounds, a segment from an existing song, or any recorded audio source. The choice of sample lays the foundation for the uniqueness of your beat.

2. Trimming the Sample

Once you’ve selected your sample, the next step is to trim it to the part you want to use. Most beat-making software displays audio waveforms, allowing you to easily trim or cut the desired section. Precision in this step is key to getting the exact sound you need.

3. Pitch Adjustment

Adjust the pitch of your sample to match the desired musical scale. This is where your creative input really starts to shape the sound. Most Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and sampling software come equipped with pitch adjustment features, making this step both essential and accessible.

4. Mapping

Map the adjusted sample across different keys on a keyboard or a MIDI controller. This mapping enables you to play the same sample at different pitches, adding versatility and depth to your music.

For example, in Ableton Live, you can use ‘Simpler’ to map samples and play scales.

One method involves the different modes available in Simpler. Using the ‘Classic’ mode allows you to map a sample across the entire keyboard, enabling you to play scales.

In ‘Slice’ mode, the sample is divided into different slices, each assigned to different keys on the keyboard. However, ‘Classic’ mode works differently. By selecting ‘Classic’ mode, you can map a single sample across the entire keyboard and play that sample at different pitches. This enables the creation of melodies and harmonies using the sample, much like a piano or synthesizer.

This method expands the creative use of samples, opening up new possibilities in beatmaking and music production. Utilizing the ‘Classic’ mode in Simpler significantly broadens the flexibility in sampling, allowing beatmakers and producers to more easily create their own unique sounds.

5. Processing and Applying Effects

This stage involves applying effects and processing to the sample to achieve the desired sound quality or atmosphere. Common effects include reverb, delay, and compression. These effects can significantly alter the mood and tone of your sample, providing a personal touch to your beat.

6. Incorporating into a Beat

Finally, incorporate your newly created sample scale into your beat or track. This is where you consider and adjust for elements like rhythm, harmony, and melody, ensuring that your sample fits perfectly within the context of your music.


While the specifics of this process may vary depending on the software you use and your particular goals, the fundamental idea remains consistent. Sampling is an incredibly creative process. Through experimentation and practice, you can create sounds that are not only unique but also rich in expression and depth. Embrace the process, and let your creativity lead the way in beatmaking!

Discover more from Hiphop Beatmaker Blog

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Copied title and URL