ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : IntellectualProperty

Quora Answer : Is it sampling if you recreate a synth sound and use it in another track, for example, Saturday sandstorm lead on a different melody?

May 13, 2020

It's not technically "sampling" if you aren't using a recording of the original sound.

It's not "copying" if you aren't using a recording or a copy of the parameters.

If you are using your ears and recreating something on a synth you have that sounds like a synth someone else has, that is not sampling.

HOWEVER ... lawyers are evil bastards[1] ... and that doesn't mean that someone won't try to make the case that if your synth sounds very like a well known and popular synth, that you aren't "copying" in some other sense.

Evil lawyers have recently managed to convince courts that very short fragments of melody or even a riff with a particular vibe ARE copyrightable and that someone reproducing them is violating the copyright.

Now I think that's totally wrong. Pretty much every musician and musicologist thinks that this is totally wrong.

BUT ...

lawyers are evil bastards[1] and they ultimately shape the law. So you can't rule out that they wouldn't try to sue you for reproducing the Sandstorm synth riff, or couldn't bamboozle a stupid jury into accepting it.

[1] Note that perhaps lawyers are not evil bastards in their personal lives, but a good heuristic is to assume that in matters of copyright they are. ( IANAL and this is not legal advice. )

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