Maks aka Histibe is a multi-genre music producer, visual director, sound designer and creative director with a wide list of projects featured on Behance galleries, Vimeo Staff Picks, Complex, JAY Z’s Life+Times, Webby, DJ Mag, UKF, Dezeen, and BBC.
In 2014, Maks set out to make a name for himself in the sample pack space, and has since put out projects on many of the leading sample pack companies, including Loopmasters, Output, Arturia, Audio Imperia, Twisted Tools, and 5Pin Media.
Given his success and experience with creating sample packs, we thought it would be a great idea to catch up with him and conduct a deep dive all about sample pack creation.
Hey Maks, what’s new in your life right now?
Hi! Aside from being a music producer and DJ, the past three years has seen me dive headfirst into video direction, art direction, and design. I’ve effectively transformed my music label ‘Mask Movement’ into a creative label not only for music but also for video and design.
I took a little break from music production to find inspiration in other creative and art fields. It’s helped me to better apply my music and sound design in new styles and forms!
How did you get involved with creating sample packs? What inspired you to start?
I started creating sample packs around 5 years ago. I guess it was a natural transition, given my music production background. Over the past four to five years, I’ve created around 15 sample packs and sound design projects for various companies such as Loopmasters, Output, Arturia, Audio Imperia, Twisted Tools, and 5Pin Media.
This year I also started my own sound design label “Mask Movement Samples” in cooperation with Loopmasters.
Congratulations on those incredible achievements. The partnership with Loopmasters is particularly interesting… what’s the story there?
After making sample packs for various companies, I felt like I needed more creative freedom for my own sound design ideas. I had a lot of personal unreleased sound design projects. All this motivated me to start my own label.
Once I finished the branding and concept for a new sound design label, I put it all together and offered it to Loopmasters, who is of course — the most successful boutique for electronic music samples today.
The process was not easy, I wanted to create the whole project myself, including artwork design, logo, and branding as a self-expression of my visual ideas. So, it took a lot of time and effort.
However, Loopmasters team liked the results and we signed an exclusive partnership and distribution deal. Now I can do whatever I want in terms of sound design with their great support and marketing tools from them.
Talk us through the process of how you conceptualize a sample pack… what’s your process with coming up with ideas?
It’s a similar approach to my music and video. I want to create something special and I see if I can bring something fresh to the table at this moment of time.
In my opinion, it should be quality in terms of the technical side and fresh in terms of the creative side.
I know that ‘Loops’ and ‘One-Shots’ are especially useful for music producers because I am one myself.
Every library has its own little story and the approach can vary. However, mostly it’s a mix of virtual instruments, analog synths and field recording put together inside FL Studio which is my main DAW for many years. It has an infinite number of possibilities for modern sound design and music production.
Do you have a goal in mind when you start creating a sample pack?
First of all, I choose genre and targets in terms of mood and artistic direction, then it’s a freestyle and experiment. The goal is to design new sounds which will inspire producers to create new music. Also, it could be used as creative elements for sound designers in film
What do you enjoy most about the process of creating sample packs?
The process itself is enjoyable because of its unexpected results! When I’m making a sample pack, you’re essentially giving birth to new ideas, and these ‘newborn’ sounds can inspire producers as a starting point for new music which further inspires people all around the world who dance and listen to it. I believe it can have a profound impact.
How long does it take to create a sample pack from start to finish?
I create all components myself since it’s more like an artistic project, rather than a ‘commercial factory’. It takes anywhere from 2 to 3 full weeks, and that’ll also include artwork design, banners and demo tracks, which showcase the sounds and loops from the sample pack.
Then, if I need a promo video, that can take up to another month on top of all of that. Sometimes I can work on it in at the same time as other projects.
Do you ever make sounds that were originally intended for a sample pack… but then you love them so much that you end up keeping them for your own projects?
When I feel like I like the sound so much that I want to create a track based on it, I could keep it for my own music production or album. But it doesn’t mean I reduce my creative ideas for sample packs. I rarely do this when I focus on sample packs, but, yeah it does happen sometimes.
Have you heard any songs which use your samples in it?
I don’t check this much, to be honest. However, I know some skilled music producers who are using with my sample packs in their studios.
In the past few months, I’ve heard positive feedback from Robert Babicz, Cooh (Balkansky) and Mervin Mathew who made music for trailers for films such as Avengers and The Maze Runner.
I also believe there are more young and creative producers who will find a lot of fun with my recent sample packs!
What tips would you give producers out there who are looking to start making sample packs?
Self-expression and freedom to create are very important. I would suggest to not limit yourself with genres and always experiment.
If it’s your first sample pack, it would be great to find a mentor or label who can help you to put it all together and support the project.
In fact, I am planning to sign new artists for the next season, so feel free to get in touch at email@example.com
P.S. I wrote a complete guide/checklist on how to create your own sample packs for Ask.Audio, which I recommend you check out if you are looking to get started with making sample packs.
Sean: What do you have planned for your label, Mask Movement, over the next few months?
Mask Movement is a digital company and we will continue to push the music label, creative studio for video production and design, and our sound design label ‘Mask Movement Samples’. Definitely give us a follow us on the pages below to stay in touch with our news.