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The US Library of Congress has released a huge archive of recordings made over a 100 years, royalty-free for sampling. Citizen DJ is the work of Brian Foo, the library’s Innovator In Residence.
Foo was inspired by the sample use in the golden age of hip hop production and hopes that by allowing these recordings to be accessed for free, producers and musicians will “invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.”
First reported in Music Tech, the recordings include soundtracks, public service announcements, classical recordings and spoken word, plus tracks from the Free Music Archive, which are also royalty free. Users can listen to samples on websites sequencer and even add classic drum machine beats. Once you’ve found samples you like, you can download them individually or as part of a larger sample pack.