Montreal dream-pop producer MUNYA’s latest release Delmano channels her signature dreamlike grooves and breathy, floating vocals into the catchiest of tunes with plenty of hooks.
Her Strawberries sample pack exquisitely echoes the mellow moods of her productions with a rich combination of groovy basslines, acoustic guitar and her tuned soprano voice.
We caught up with MUNYA to ask her about her inspirations, the process behind her pack and how samples fit into her own creative workflow.
So what does your Strawberries sample pack include?
It’s got some bass synth and a lot of percussion too. And obviously my voice!
What was your process behind creating your pack?
I started with a synth arpeggio riff and then I built a song around the pattern. I wanted to include the parts of a groovy song but also something very melodic so I added pads and organ.
How do you use samples in your own production process?
I use samples all the time, I love samples. Sometimes you're stuck with an idea when you're writings songs and samples give you other ideas to build on.
It always depends, sometimes I get samples that give me the ideas to create a whole song. But then sometimes I’ll create something but I need something else, so I’ll use samples to find the sound or idea that I have in my head.
I'll try to look through samples to find something similar, but most of the time I end up using something completely different. And that gives me even more ideas! It's like a web of so many ideas.
Do you have a favourite sound, or group of sounds in the Strawberries pack?
I do! Everything I did with my Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano—so mostly the SFX group.
Often in sample packs the SFX samples are more subtle and you don't really notice them. They're just ambient sounds in a track, but they can bring so much to it! I just love the Pocket Piano for that.
It's the first one they made, the Pocket Piano. It's my favourite little toy that I use in all my songs. I want to get the Organelle eventually, they're so cool and fun to use!
What makes a sample pack 'good' or 'useful' for you?
Personally I love sample packs that have a combination of electronic stuff and acoustic sounds from real instruments.
With electronic sounds it can be hard to tell if something's coming from a plugin or a real synth, but good organic samples can really make a sample pack stand out.
I really love guitar samples too. I sampled some real guitar riffs for my pack and I think when real instruments are in the mix it makes a pack really good and useful.
How does sampling fit into modern music production? Why does it work and what does it provide that other approaches can't?
That's the interesting thing about sampling. You can take one sound and give it to 10 different people and they'll all make completely different things.
That's what's so nice about a community sharing sounds. I sampled my voice and I feel like people are already reaching out to me saying, "I found your sample pack on LANDR, here's a song I did!"
It's so cool to see how people do something so different with the same samples.
What advice do you have for a producer just starting out with sampling?
If I can give any advice, I'd say try not to judge your own ideas too hard. I feel like sometimes we stick with an idea that we end up fighting with. When it doesn't work we have to change gears...
To me, creating with sampling and sample packs is all about going with the inspiration of the moment and trying to be open to ideas.
Sometimes we say, "oh I really want to create a groovy song" but then we end up using samples that bring it closer to chill vibes than grooviness. And that's OK.
It's good to create as much as we can. We have so many tools and possibilities. We should take advantage of it!
With sampling, it's such a great way to get better as a producer. I learned so much by remixing and using other people's sounds and samples. But I always ended up making something that was my own.
How do you keep your samples organized?
I try to keep all my stuff organized! [laughs] I separate my files by instrument—drums, bass, guitar synth, etc. I have a favourites section as well. Sometimes I sort them by type of music as references. I just try to keep it organized so I can understand where everything is!
What's the first thing you do after you get a new sample pack?
I have my own effects presets in Ableton that I start with when I get a new pack.
Sometimes you download some samples you really like, but adding effects can really bring another dimension to what you like about them. I think everyone should make their own presets, it's such a great way to take a sound and make it your own.
I use things like overdrive, ping-pong delay, reverb and some lo-fi and vinyl type plugins. I tend to start with the pads or guitars or any melodic samples I like and build a track around that.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about Strawberries?
When I made the pack I was listening to a lot of Giorgio Moroder because he was just announcing a tour.
I wanted to make something really groovy in a 70's Giorgio Moroder style that people could still use to find their own sounds.