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Transmission Loss and Found: The Sampler as Compositional Tool

Harkins, Paul



This article explores the use of the digital sampler as one of the studio tools that forms part of this creative process and focuses on interviews with a group of Edinburgh musicians called Found who successfully combine the writing of pop songs with the sampling of found sounds. Much of the academic literature on digital sampling within popular music studies been skewed towards its disruptive consequences for copyright law and, while legal and moral questions are still relevant, this article focusses on the processes of music making and the aesthetic choices made by composers and producers in the studio. Recent ethnographic work by Joseph Schloss has centred on these questions in relation to hip-hop and it’s important to examine and understand how the sampler continues to be used by musicians and producers in a wide variety of genres.


Harkins, P. (2009). Transmission Loss and Found: The Sampler as Compositional Tool. Journal on the Art of Record Production, 4,

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2009-10
Deposit Date Jan 26, 2017
Journal Journal on the Art of Record Production
Print ISSN 1754-9892
Publisher Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Keywords Digital sampler, studio tools, found sounds,
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