Using Splice samples – is it problematic?

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  • #38310 Reply

    And a lot of work coming to us these days is problematic because of the licensing of the sounds & beats used, which is a totally different issue from the simple (in comparison) non-exclusive library merry-go-round.

    I am totally fresh to the music library scene here so pardon if this question is already answered somewhere – but I saw in Crucial Music’s submission form that they asked if the track contains samples from a “buyout package”. Is this what you’re referencing? Also, I use “royalty free” samples/loops from Splice in some tracks – could those potentially cause issues? I’m smart enough not to sample released music from the last 5 decades but I’m still not 100% on all of the nuances of sample-related copyright. Any advice/guidance?

    #38328 Reply
    Michael Nickolas

    Is this what you’re referencing?

    I think they may have been referring to licensing issues. For example, most licenses state that the sounds may not be used in isolation, they must be combined with one or more other elements. Some licenses state that compositions using their sounds cannot be placed in music libraries at all. Composers breaking these agreements make problems for publishers, libraries and etc.

    And yes, samples/loops from Splice could potentially cause issues. Read the Splice licensing agreement closely and always work within its parameters.

    #38330 Reply

    Read the Splice licensing agreement closely and always work within its parameters.

    Thanks for responding! The Splice terms are exactly what you said – that they can’t be resold as samples used in isolation but are free to be commercially exploited if combined with other elements in a production.

    #38362 Reply

    Yes. Some beats and sounds packages allow you to use them for your personal purposes (music you make for wedding videos, etc.), but don’t allow them to be used commercially.

    Others, like Soundation, allow you to use them in your recordings, with no limitations on your ability to sell the tracks in any form (download, CD, vinyl, etc.); HOWEVER, you’re not allowed to resell the beats or sounds themselves as separate entities. Basically, it’s a simple “OK to use these sounds, but don’t try to sell the sounds outside of your recording.”

    Problem is, a lot of folks don’t pay attention to the licensing agreements, but just click on the “I Agree” button (there’s a South Park episode about this. πŸ˜‰

    That’s pne of the reasons why supervisors want to carefully vet their music sources.

    #38369 Reply

    Hi Folks
    I’ve been considering a subscription to Splice to try and freshen up and modernise my sound palette and also to hopefully speed up my work flow.
    My Daw is cubase pro 8, I haven’t yet done a trial of Splice but have a feeling that cubase’s groove agent will have many similar drum sounds to those on splice (although I know splice has a lot more than just drum samples.
    Aside from the above questions my main consideration is whether the splice licence agreement could be potentially problematic with regard to music libraries and film /TV licensing. I have been reading around the topic and see that although the EULA seems similar to many other traditional sample suppliers there seem to be differences that lead some writers and libraries to steer clear of Splice.
    Any thoughts or experiences would be really useful to read. Many thanks. JD

    #38374 Reply
    Art Munson

    Moved Splice replies from topic that went off topic.

    #38376 Reply

    There is a very lengthy discussion about Splice, their legal terms, real world problems and the like on another forum started by a AAA music library exec who is very knowledgeable about copyright issues. He is very connected in the music library industry. His post and following discussion outline multiple problems that they are having with Splice samples in relation to copyright and ownership of masters. I can’t go into all of it here, but be assured that the bigger libraries are aware of Splice, and many are not happy about Splice samples being in music they are receiving – whether it be exposed, tucked in, or outright buried. As they say – buyer beware.

    #38377 Reply

    Thanks everyone for your helpful comments, I will stay away from splice as it sounds like a potential legal minefield.

    #38379 Reply

    I’ve read the thread LAwriter is referencing.

    The strange thing is that one of the major libraries is offering a 2 month free trial of Splice right now for its writers. I’m not sure how that ties in..

    #38380 Reply

    I just signed a track with a library that wouldn’t accept any melodic/ harmonic phrase samples from any samplebanks.

    Another library was ok with their use as long as they were modified to sound like “your own” creation.

    I used melodic samples or chord progressions when i was uploading to RF libraries… Since shifting focus to exclusive libs, ive only used them for one shots/ “top” perc loops and transition fx.

    #38522 Reply

    Be careful if the library wants you to provide stems for possible licensing – e.g. if you used a drum loop and that’s your entire drum stem then that might be a violation of the sample seller’s agreement.

    #38534 Reply

    I think the problem mainly arises when phrases are used in their entirety and are exposed in the track. In such a scenario the problem for libraries arises when the music is registered with the likes of AdRev / YT content ID as it will pick up on the exposed sample elements. Anyone else subsequently using that sample phrase may get content Id claims on their piece, even if the phrase is buried.

    I use splice, but try to avoid phrases. I tend to mainly use one-shots, transitions, and chopped vocals (which could be a risk, but no problem so far.). I am even dubious about recorded chord sequences as they tend to be easily recognisable. Although there is no copyright on chord sequences, there is a copyright on the recording. Sometimes I use splice to get inspiration. I will find a phrase and then recreate it with my own sounds by playing it into the keyboard to avoid the recording recognition problem.

    I would say, be aware of the terms and limitations but make them a very small part of your production relying mainly on your own compositions skills.

    As a library owner, we get offered so many lazy tracks where it is a drum loop, a couple of phrases and a vocal chop, often all from the same sample pack. These are the risky ones imho, they have no composition and are just an arrangement of naked samples πŸ™‚

    #38540 Reply


    #38559 Reply
    Ryan Harrison

    Isn’t this a problem with using sample packs in general and not just specifically spllice?

    #38560 Reply

    If you use Kontakt, NI, Heavyocity etc…they are a bunch of samples alot of other composers use….we could debate for days… I have been around and around on Splice and I will tell you to at all cost’s avoid complete full loops….even though you are allowed to use them it can be a hassel with the libraries also do not use vocal phrase’s and try to alter any sample that may have a melody of sorts …Pads should be fine…..just use common sense and know the boundaries as a stay out of trouble..check out the article on Justine Beiber….
    here is an example of one of my emails from Splice…..

    Abbie (Splice)
    Jan 3, 9:26 AM PST
    Hey there!

    Thanks for writing in. If you wish to submit your work to a production music library you can, but you do have restrictions to providing the samples you’ve used in isolation. This means that the samples you use need to either be edited to the point of it not being recognized as the original sample or include it in a combination of other sounds.

    For this particular example, you cannot provide stems of the samples or a template of your project because this would cause the sample to be in isolation.

    Please let us know if you need help with anything else!

    Keep Making Music,

    Splice Customer Experience

    I only use Splice I personally would not use any sample packs from another source to me splice is crystal clear on where these samples come from and what you can do and can not do with them. Remember you don’t own them Splice does……

    hope I have helped clear up the murk some …….

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