When it comes to downloading samples, presets, and loops, Splice is undeniably the most popular option. They’ve got a huge library of one-shots, drum loops, and synth presets to explore. But is Splice worth it?
What’s included with your subscription?
At a price of $9.99/month, Splice’s “Sounds+” plan costs about the same as the cheapest Netflix subscription. Included in the “Sounds+” plan is 100 credits to use toward samples, loops, and presets, plus use of the Bridge plugin.
Samples cost 1 credit, and VST presets (synth patches) cost 3 credits. Splice credits roll over, so if you don’t spend all 100, you won’t lose what you don’t use. You can choose to download entire sample packs all at once, or individual sounds and presets.
The Bridge plugin is a way to connect your DAW with Splice, automatically sorting your results to include only sounds that match the BPM and key of your song.
How good are the samples?
The library of samples on Splice is practically endless. That means you will sometimes have to sort through some mediocre sounds to find what you want. However, I don’t mind this, because each search will give you a large selection of sounds to choose from. This is in contrast to something like That Sound, where you only have a few different samples to pick from in each category, but they’re all high quality.
Often times, I’ll recognize sounds from popular sample packs when I hear songs by other producers. However, with Splice, it’s a little easier to dig deep and find something unique for your production.
Overall, I find the Splice sample library to be full of mostly useable samples and loops, with a decent amount of what I’d consider “great” samples to pick from. However, their sample library biases heavily toward pop and EDM. In my opinion, their biggest weaknesses are acoustic drums and cymbals. I typically use their electric drum sounds, shakers and tambourines, uplifters and downlifters, and bass drop/808 samples.
There are lots of sample packs from popular artists and producers, like KSHMR or Oliver’s Power Tools. Once a sample pack hits critical mass, you start to hear their loops in other’s songs. Typically, I will avoid using loops or anything melodic from those more popular packs. The reason for this is two-fold. First of all, I don’t want to have recognizable loops in my songs.
Secondarily, a lot of sync music libraries have outright banned their creators from using loops off of Splice. This is to avoid controversy when it comes to who wrote what. For example, if a commercial wanted to just use the drums from a song, something that actually happens somewhat often, but those drums are a Splice loop, multiple artists can in theory have the same “song”.
How good are the synth presets?
In my opinion, this is where Splice really shines. My main music project, Night Winds, is an 80’s inspired, synthwave project. I’ve used countless Serum and Massive presets from Splice in my songs.
Browsing presets is simple enough on the website, and being able to listen to a sample of the sound before you download it is super helpful. The presets are organized by genre and by keyboard type (ie: brass, synth, bass).
If you use Serum, Splice will automatically import them into the “Splice” presets folder within the plugin. This is super helpful for keeping your downloaded presets at your fingertips. Just like the samples, you’ll need to do some listening to find the right sound for your song, but the presets are generally high quality. You can also tweak them within your synth plugin, which is useful for getting the most out of your downloaded presets.
App Interface and Usability
Splice is an easy app to use. When you search for a sample, you can easily audition the sounds, purchase them directly from the search results, and quickly drag and drop it into your DAW. This makes it super quick to add tracks to your song without much hassle.
I personally adore the “old” version of Splice’s app. The beta version they have available to try is a little clunky.
The new version has this giant waveform that takes up almost the entire width of the samples menu, which in turn cuts off the name of the sample. I find this to be horrendous UI. I personally don’t think that the waveform of the sample is that useful compared to the name of the sample you’re looking for.
Overall, if they fix that one glaring issue, the new Splice app is basically just a graphical refresh of the old one. It feels a lot like Spotify, which I suppose is a good thing.
One under-appreciated aspect of Splice is their rent-to-own plugin store. It’s very simple to try plugins on Splice, and you can rent them on a month to month basis. There have been times when I need a single plugin for one specific project (audio repair, opening a session with a plugin I don’t own), and being able to pay for a single month of the plugin has been uber helpful.
I bought Serum and RC-20 this way, and the payments are small enough that you barely notice them. If you don’t like a plugin, you can always pause the payments, and then resume them later if you change your mind.
Overall, Splice is a great option…
if you’re someone who likes making beats, writing songs, or producing music.
Is Splice worth it?
I would say that Splice is indeed worth the money. Considering the low price and massive sample/preset library, Splice is the best value for producers looking for samples, loops, and presets.
you can check out their plans at www.splice.com!