Welcome to the Library of Congress’s free Hip-Hop sampling tool

You heard that right, the Library of Congress are making a world of new hip-hop sampling available to everyone for free.

This new tool allows you to explore a wealth of free-to-use sounds from orchestras to choirs, piano pieces to discussions. All of the sounds are completely free to search through, take and mix together from the US Library of Congress’s collection.

The free to use sampling tool is available in preview with a full launch expected later in the year. The tool doesn’t just present with thousands of sounds to choose from, in an easy to explore sound board, but has a built in program made for combining and mixing samples into beats.

The samples are split into collections of various content types like: Inventing Entertainment which features early motion pictures and disc recordings, Free Music Archive which is full of rights-free music, The Joe Smith Collection which features over 200 famous singers, musicians, and others talking about their lives on tape – and many more!

You can check it all out completely free here.

SoundCloud are giving away music gear every day for the next week!

SoundCloud have launched a contest to give away quality equipment from Native Instruments, Fender, Pioneer DJ, ROLI, and many more.

A new gear giveaway contest from SoundCloud gives you the opportunity to win some incredible new gear to get you creating whilst we’re all at home. The competition is running until the 28th April with winners announced every day on the SoundCloud Twitter account.

Prizes include music equipment from Native Instruments, Fender, Pioneer DJ, ROLI, Serato, Roland, iZotope, PreSonus, and Dolby. Upgrade your music production space – all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to send a picture of your home studio setup on their daily Twitter threads.

Every day they’ll announce the winner’s at 3PM EST. To take part you just need to submit your home studio set up and be a legal US resident over the age of 13.

View the official rules here.

Is this the worst cover of a Nirvana song ever?

Puddle of Mudd were kind enough to grace Sirius XM with a live session recently and amongst their own songs they did… this.

To give them their props, the rest of the session is very good – if you’re a Puddle of Mudd fan it’s a good time. But even fans of the band surely can’t forgive this display.

Kurt, we apologise on behalf of Wes Scantlin.

Music Giveaways: Great free apps, sample packs, and software for musicians during self-isolation

Whether it’s for some musical inspiration, the building blocks for your next big song, or just for some fun we have collected a bunch of great free stuff for musicians to discover.

We could all use some entertainment and cheering up during the present situation. If one good thing has come from the Coronavirus it’s the bundles of music goodies that are being made available for free.

This is a list of the things we’ve found so far and we’ll keep adding content here over the coming weeks/months. Let us know any great free things that you find in the comments or get in touch at jacca@routenote.com.


Roland’s cross-platform mobile DAW
Cockos offering free REAPER DAW licenses
Serato launch free version of their DAW made for DJs
Apple Logic Pro X ups free trial to 90 days
Steinberg offer Cubase, Dorico, Wavelab and more free for 60 days
Free DAW streaming for collaborators
Collaborative online music studio and DAW

Apps and plugins

Our 4 favourite synth plugins
Free apps for songwriters
Our 5 favourite mixing and mastering plugins
Serato Play free for all of May
Loudness and level mastering for streaming services, TV & Film music
5 unique and weird effects plugins
Balance your tracks in seconds with this free app from Sonible & Focusrite
Guitar shredding mobile app
Synth apps from Korg & Moog
Ableton offer free packs and production book
3 month free subscription to Melda plugins
Free plugins, sounds & tutorials from Loopmasters, iZotpe, Plugin Boutique, Loopcloud, and Producertech
Valhalla’s Supermassive reverb and delay plugin


Library of Congress’s new sample collection and remix tool
500+ samples, one shots + more from Jon Sine
200+ Roland TR-909 samples
Electric and Acoustic Guitar sample pack
1000s of free samples, MIDIs, presets + more from Cymatics
Samples and Loops from Jack Antonoff – more to come!
100+ free quality drum samples with huge endorsements
UNDRGRND Sound’s Label Sampler Vol 4
Huge free sample library from Producer Spot
Kraftwerk inspired sounds


SiriusXM Premier free until May 15th
Audible offering free audiobooks


Guitar lessons, tips and tricks from Fender and MusicRadar
Drum Channel giving away 1000 memberships to lessons from pros

Learn guitar whilst isolated at home with free lessons, tips, and tricks for beginners to pros

With more free time on your hands and nowhere to go why not dust of your guitar and emerge from quarantine a serial shredder.

There are loads of great resources online for everything from learning your first chord to fingertapping ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ at 200 BPM. There are two we want to point your attention to that are equally great resources in different ways.

The first is Fender Play. It’s an interactive app from the guitar-making legends and shows you how to play songs on guitar, bass and if you wish – ukulele. The interactive app is full of video lessons to guide you through, song tabs for reading and playing with, even backing tracks to play songs along with once you’ve learnt.

The app makes learning guitar interactive with progression levels to reach and goals to achieve with each lesson. To keep everyone learning whilst we’re stuck at home Fender are offering 3 months of free online lessons for the first 500,000 people who sign up so don’t delay and sign up today:

Fender Play learn guitar lessons teach tutorial guide app application mobile beginners guitarist

Then there’s MusicRadar. MusicRadar are a fantastic website for so many reasons. They have all the latest and greatest music news, updates, info and music tech/instrument insiders. They also have a fantastic source of hundreds-of-thousands of samples free to download and use in your music at SampleRadar.

But here we want to look at their wealth of tuition content which they have all available from their website for free. There are pages and pages of guitar tutorials with notation, videos, sound clips galore to guide you through anything from a funky lick, the style of your favourite guitarist, new jazzy chords to try and so much more.

Use their search bar to search for some guitar lessons that suit what you want to learn, or just explore their Tuition pages for loads of great and fun lessons and tips. There are also posts on tricks for bassists, producers, and more so find their free content now at:

This new quarantine game lets you play with friends from home + your smart speaker

This party game sets you the task of talking to your Smart Speaker in just the right way to win this new quarantine game.

Hey Robot is a game that’s been building support on Kickstarter and is yet to launch in full. However it’s lovely creators saw everyone getting bored whilst stuck at home self-isolating and have launched a rough version early that is free to play.

You need either an Amazon Alexa or Google Home speaker, they say it doesn’t work so well with phones. You place that near to your computer and call your friends to bring them in and you’re off in one of the two game modes.

To play Hey Robot, you have to make your Smart Speaker say a word or certain phrase without saying it yourself. It’s like taboo with a robotic and sometimes nonsensical player who also happens to have a hell of a lot at their disposal.

There are two game modes: versus and co-op. In the first you battle your friend, or friends, to be the first to complete enough words and phrases to earn 14 points. In the other you work together to complete the words and phrases in 15 turns.

You can head to the online game’s website here.

The creators commented on releasing a free, stripped down internet version, saying: “We’re all socially isolated and in great need of some anxiety-relieving conntection, we thought we’d make a version to play with Zoom or Skype and as many friends as you can fit on your screen.”

The full edition of Hey Robot comes as a board game with gorgeous Pop Art design and 850 “lovingly-curated” words. You can pre-order that, which is expected to ready in June, here: everybodyhousegames.com/heyrobot.html

Endless offers a virtual hang out for collaboratively jamming out music with loops

Endless is the perfect companion to those itching to get creative with others but stuck socially distancing themselves with only a smartphone for company.

Jamming with people around the world has become shockingly plausible with the internet and there are many ways to go about achieving this in entirely different and creative ways. One that has been newly brought to my attention is mobile app Endless.

It offers a loop-based creative space that allows its users to collaborate in jams together. Using drum shots, melodious notes, effects and more contributors can bring their additions in the form of loops for others to riff off of or as their own segment of someone else’s jams.

You can link up with friends and jam together or explore Endless’s wider community and discover new creators. It’s simple to hop into but excitingly broad in its potential under your control. It can be connected up to Ableton Link for use with external instruments as well.

If you’re really into what you’re creating then there’s an export option that uses .aiff files to convert it to your DAW of choice. The app is free and is available to enhance with many more additional sounds and effects for a monthly subscription cost.

The app is available for iOS devices now and is hopefully coming to more platforms soon.

Peter Hollens’ “Epic Hand Washing Parody” helps raise money for coronavirus relief fund (video)

Featuring parodies from the likes of Billie Eilish, Luis Fonsi, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars, The Epic Hand Washing Parody is a fun video to help you stay entertained while washing your hands for 20 seconds.

“All revenue and proceeds from this song will be donated to GlobalGiving’s Relief Fund. Go donate here.”

This Spotify soap dispenser makes sure you’re washing your hands right with your favourite tunes

You should know by now the importance of washing your hands for 20 seconds, but who wants to sing Happy Birthday every time?

The Scrubber project is getting people washing their hands with real jams to accompany them. It shows you how to create your own mini speaker which connects to Spotify to play 20 seconds of your music when you use and attach it to a soap dispenser.

It’s a fun DIY project that also helps you ensure you’re doing the right thing to prevent Coronavirus infection. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi W Zero, Adafruit speaker bonnet, a few inches of thin wire and a tiny bit of copper tape to create your personal hand washing anthem machine!

Find out more and instructions on how to do it here:

Audible are making audiobooks free to keep self-isolators entertained

With so many people around the world locking down, working from home and self-isolating Amazon are offering up free audiobooks to everyone.

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen shut downs across the world and the US could well be soon as schools across the country shut down and workers try to stay home as much as possible. Self-isolation can seem like a very daunting thing so companies are coming out of the woodwork to help us all get through this together.

The latest to bring us free entertainment to keep us busy for the next few months stuck at home are Amazon who are offering free audiobooks. A lot of what’s on offer is directed to children to keep them entertained and educated whilst schools are closed.

Content spans story books and songs for the littlest of children to teen fiction novels to keep the teenagers occupied and ingesting. Free audiobooks aren’t only for young ones as there are also a bunch of literary classics available featuring works from the likes of Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare and many others.

There are also foreign language books available – so if you’re learning a language or, you know, speak that language then there’s content for you too. Audiobooks are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

Monthly subscription fees to Audible can cost $14.95 to $22.95 per month but with many people struggling for cash, especially now, these free audiobooks will be a major boost to many people’s home-life as they are willed to stay there as much as possible.

Audible promised that “for as long as schools are closed, we’re open”. Find your free audiobooks here: