Digital Sampling is the first book about the design and use of sampling technologies that have shaped the sounds of popular music since the 1980s.

Written in two parts, Digital Sampling begins with an exploration of the Fairlight CMI and how artists like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel used it to sample the sounds of everyday life. It also focuses on E-mu Systems and the use of its keyboards and drum machines in hip-hop. The second part follows users across a range of musical worlds, including US/UK garage, indie folk music, and electronic music made from the sounds of sewers, war zones, and crematoriums.

Using material from interviews and concepts from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Digital Sampling provides a new and alternative approach to the study of sampling and is crucial reading for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including music technology, media, communication, and cultural studies.

chapter |14 pages


part I|86 pages


chapter 1|23 pages

Tomorrow’s Music Today

The Fairlight CMI Series I and II

chapter 2|27 pages

Page R and the Art of the Loop

The Fairlight CMI Series II, IIx, and III

chapter 3|26 pages

Technologies of Hip-Hop

The E-mu Emulator, SP-12, and SP-1200

chapter |6 pages



part II|63 pages


chapter 4|16 pages


Akufen and Todd Edwards

chapter 5|14 pages

Appropriation, Additive Approaches, and Accidents


chapter 6|12 pages

Foot Pedals and Folk Music

King Creosote

chapter 7|14 pages

The Sounds of Everyday Life (and Death)

Matthew Herbert

chapter |5 pages