Proposal:Expanded Samples Relationship Type

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Status: This page describes a failed proposal. It is not official, and should only be used, if at all, as the basis for a new proposal.

Proposal number: RFC-Unassigned
Champion: None
Status: Failed, due to Officially closed as Abandoned, March 24, 2010
This proposal was not tracked in Trac.

Expanding the SamplesRelationshipType...


A "sample" is a portion of one track which has been included in another track. This portion may be manipulated (e.g. filtering, cut up etc.) but will be used to frame the new track (i.e. it's not a remix (see RemixRelationshipType)) and is used (possibly in part) to create an entirely new track (i.e. it's not part of a mashup (see MashUpRelationshipType)).

Typically samples can fall into two categories

  1. a portion of one song is included in another without manipulation
  2. a portion of one song is continually included in another (i.e. the source portion is looped)

In both cases the sample source can have been manipulated or chopped up (where segments of an original song are selected to create a new loop)

In addition to this a song may sample other sources (primarily films) - in these cases the sample source is ordinarily (but no necessarily limited to) a portion of audio.

Representing Samples in MusicBrainz

As discussed on the mb-style mailing list it can be argued that the current SamplesRelationshipType is an ineffective annotation to make - there are two main failings:

  • MB won't be a good source for this information - other sites do this kind of thing more comprehensively
  • The annotation itself is nonspecific. I don't know what part of the song has been sampled, and where it appears in the target song.

In addition to these problems there is a further problem with ensuring the legitimacy of these annotations since it is much harder to provide evidence of a sample since it requires the moderator to be able to hear both of the tracks in question:

To overcome these problems I think that the following options are available:

  1. We drop this relationship
  2. We add an additional field to give a textual description of what is taken from what
    • e.g. Track X "whoop sound" is sampled from Track Y
    • e.g. Track X "main drums" are sampled from Track Y
  1. We specify where the samples come from
    • e.g. Track X 01:10 - 01:12 is sampled from Track Y 02:34-02:36
  1. We do both of the above
    • e.g. Track X 01:10 - 01:12 "Whoop sound" is sampled from Track Y 02:34-02:36 ""
    • e.g. Track X 01:10 - 01:20 "Vibes Loop" is sampled from Track Y 02:36-02:50 "Vibes solo"

In the case of films a similar approach can be taken, we already have a annotation for linking to the IMDB - this along with an approximate time and a transcript of the speech should suffice e.g. Track X 01:10 - 01:20 "Why I Oughtta" is sampled from FilmNameAndLink 1:10:00 - 1:12:00