What is WhoSampled Crates?

WhoSampled Crates is a platform for exclusive, high quality sample packs and pre-cleared albums, built and hosted by WhoSampled, the world’s leading destination for sample-based music, serving tens of millions of users every year.

How is WhoSampled Crates different from other sample pack stores?

On WhoSampled Crates you will find sample packs containing only the highest quality samples alongside pre-cleared albums from leading artists, producers and musicians. By purchasing a sample pack from WhoSampled Crates you are able to effectively collaborate with world class talent and share royalties in a way that is transparent and fair to both you and the pack creator.

What does a sample pack contain?

A sample pack sold on WhoSampled Crates contains at least 10 unique and original recordings of compositions, curated and written with sampling in mind. In some cases there may be more than one version of each composition (for example with or without drums). 

A sample pack might also include bonus royalty free one shots, stabs or drum sounds. In such cases these will be clearly marked.

How do I buy a sample pack and what do I get?

Packs are purchased for a fixed price which includes pre-clearance for you to use the samples in your tracks. No subscription is required, but you will need to create a user account.

What does pre-clearance mean?

When you purchase a sample pack, the samples are provided on a pre-cleared basis. This means you have assurance that you can release a track containing one or more of the samples, provided that you comply with the simple terms and conditions included in the pack.

How does pre-clearance work?

You are free to edit, chop and otherwise manipulate the samples in any pack you purchase and use the samples to create new tracks and release them. Before releasing a track containing a sample, you must notify us by completing a simple form with details of the release. WhoSampled Crates will then issue you with a license containing simple, pre-agreed terms.

Do I have to get approval to use the samples?

Pre-clearance means that approval has already been given for the samples to be used in your tracks before they are made. In limited circumstances, the sample pack creator may have specified conditions e.g ‘no religious references’ so we suggest that you always read the summary contained in the pack. 

Do I have to pay any advances or fees to clear a sample?

No advances or clearance fees are payable, ever. The only money you will spend in advance is to purchase a sample pack. However, if you create a track using a Crates sample and it crosses the specified threshold of income, streams or is signed or licensed to a major label (or a major label subsidiary) then earnings and ownership of the new musical composition are shared with the sample pack creator on predefined terms, details of which are described below.

How is the royalty split for tracks using Crates samples decided?

Royalty splits are determined according to a fixed rate card which specifies the percentage of the royalties apportioned to the sample pack creator depending on the length of the use of the sample. A finished track is effectively a collaboration between you - the producer - and the sample pack creator as musician, writer or co-producer. Royalty splits reflect the contribution of both parties to the finished product, much as they would if you’d worked in the studio together.

The rate card is as follows. Percentages shown relate to the sample pack creator’s share:

  • 25% for the sample playing for over 30 seconds of the new track (typically forming the main looped composition in a track)
  • 15% for the sample playing for a total of between 10 and 30 seconds of the new track
  • 10% for the sample playing for a total of 10 seconds and under

The royalty rates specified above are a percentage of the following:

  • For master use: the total aggregate earnings payable to the songwriters, performers, artists and producers of the new track.
  • For publishing: the total publishing (100%) of the composition embodied in the new track.

When and how do I need to pay royalties?

The obligation to account for royalties kicks in only if your track achieves 1 million streams or $1,000 in gross income, or if your track is released by or licensed to a major label (for these purposes, a major label is Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group or any subsidiary thereof). Below this threshold the use of the sample is royalty free. This threshold ensures that if your track has reached the specified level of success, royalties are shared fairly with the sample pack creator, and removes the administrative burden of accounting for those tracks which are yet to do so. Your sample license agreement explains how to pay royalties if your track passes the specified threshold.

When and how do I account for publishing royalties?

If your track achieves 1 million streams or $1,000 in gross income, or if your track is released by or licensed to a major label (for these purposes, a major label is Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group or any subsidiary thereof), you will be obliged to register the new composition with the relevant collection societies. This is a straightforward process and notes on how to do this will accompany your sample license agreement. We will guide you in the process if necessary as it’s important not only to ensure that the sample pack creator is paid, but that you are receiving your share too! 

Both you and the sample pack creator then receive your share of publishing royalties directly from your rights society according to your registered shares or your publisher or administrator, if you have one.

Can a track that uses a Crates sample get used in sync placements and what happens if it does?

When you create a new track using a Crates sample, control over certain forms of exploitation of the track is shared between you and the creator of the sample you have used. Sync placements in ads, movies, TV, video games and so forth therefore require the agreement of both you and the sample pack creator. In the event that you are offered such a placement, you must notify us so that we can refer the request to the sample creator for approval.

What happens if I use more than one sample in a track?

In any case where you use more than one royalty-bearing sample in a track then you will need to notify us of all samples used when submitting your track to us to obtain your license. If you have used more than one sample, whether from Crates packs or a third party royalty-bearing source, we’ll negotiate the splits with you on a case by case basis in a manner that is fair to all parties.

What other benefits are there to WhoSampled Crates?

All new releases created using Crates samples will be listed on WhoSampled.com and actively promoted to our audience of tens of millions of visitors.

Behind the scenes we will be listening to all the new music submitted for clearance and promoting the work of the most talented new producers not only to our audience, but also our network of contacts in the industry.

How can I sell my sample packs on Crates?

We’re always on the lookout for the best talent to contribute to the Crates library. If you are interested in selling a pack on Crates, email us at crates@whosampled.com with a link to relevant examples of your work and we will get back to you.