Splice, the 'cloud' based sample library platform offers a unique take on sample pack curation and usage.
A question we often see is is splice worth it?
To understand Splices worth to the music producer, let's explore the key points of what splice is and what it can offer.
Splice offers cloud based samples. It utilises a desktop app that also works as a plugin within your DAW, allowing you to search for samples on a number of criteria from simple things like 'techno sample' to more specific queries such as synthwave melody in a#.
Sounds are also categorised so you can browse based on this criteria.
Sample audition is available from within the app and you can drop chosen samples straight into your DAW whether it be Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live or Studio one.
This offers a great amount of flexibility and allows browsing, discovery and finding sounds you might not have previously found or thought would fit in your productions.
Furthermore, Splice claim to offer over 2 million individual wav samples so there's likely to be something more all but the most esoteric of music producers.
Additional, being cloud based there's no reliance on saving huge libraries of sample packs on your own computers, which after a while can soon rack up to lots and lots of gigabytes of used storage space.
What are the downsides of Splice?
With upsides, often comes downsides. Here's the balance.
With Splice being an online sample service means an active internet connection is required both to check an valid membership exists for the user but also for browning, searching and downloading any samples (obviously..). Many producers and studios like to keep an offline, non-internet based computer for production use, so this presents a barrier to making use of a service search as Splice.
Whilst any samples that are already downloaded will remain in your projects even if your membership expires technically the license will not exist for using those samples and you'll be hamstrung by not being able to use any more or access the original you've applied some changes to the samples you've downloaded.
You won't get access to a whole world of 'other' sample packs by using splice.
Not every producer, creator, studio or musician sell their sample packs on splice, in fact many choose not to, so whilst Splice provides instant access to a whole range of sample packs if your only source is Splice you're cutting yourself from a the majority of sample packs available outside of its ecosystem.
You're at the mercy of Splice servers. If the servers, company or go down whilst you won't have access to any samples, ever except any you may have already saved in existing projects.
Sample library curation becomes a thing of a past. This is not inherently a good nor bad thing but many music producers enjoy sample pack collecting and build packs specifically around their genres and styles. There's also a feeling of having more 'ownership' of the sample pack if it's saved in its entirety on your computers or DAWs. Musicians often enjoy this feeling.
Whilst Splice offers royalty free samples, loops and drums with industry standard licensing there are reports of people suggesting they've found content they believe to be 'ripped' from other sources and question the sample clearance obtained to use and resell on Splice.
Whilst we haven't an opinion on this either way nor have we been able to verify this there does seem to be a number of producers reporting this so it's one thing to bear in mind.
Because it's harder to see the source content creator of Splice samples it's arguably easier for ripped samples to be passed off as original content by a rogue creator.
As the producer using the sample it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure that samples you're using in your projects are licensed and cleared for appropriate usage so technically you could end up in a sticky legal situation should a copyright claim by made against your track for samples you used in good faith from Splice.
But how much does Splice cost?
Splice costs $7.99 per month - whether you deem Splice worth it for your sample pack needs is down to your individual needs as a producer but with the above Splice breakdown you'll be more informed and able to make the right decision for your music production needs.