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Library of Congress to release an open-source hip-hop sampling tool | News | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Library of Congress to release an open-source hip-hop sampling tool

A preview already available, full release coming in summer 2020

We already learned that the Library of Congress (LOC) is becoming very hip, but now you can really add a hop to that. As Consequence of Sound (COS) reports, this government institution is set to launch an open-source hip-hop sample tool.

LOC named it Citizen DJ and its preview is already available on a specially designated site. The full service is set to launch in the summer of 2020.

COS points out that potential users will “have access to a massive audio collection that dates back over a hundred years, almost to the invention of the phonograph.“

LOC itself notes that “there will be three ways to access these sound files: an interface for searching by sound and metadata; a simple music-creation app that easily allows the collection to be remixed with hip-hop beats; and various ‘sample packs’ full of thousands of clips from particular collections.”

The program is curated by Brian Foo, as COS calls him, “innovator in residence,” who is a data visualization artist at the American Museum of Natural History.

He issued a statement concerning Citizen DJ in which he says the following:

“Today, collage-based hip hop as it existed in the golden age is largely a lost (or at best, a prohibitively expensive) artform. I believe if there was a simple way to discover, access, and use public domain audio and video material for music-making, a new generation of hip hop artists and producers can maximize their creativity, invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures, and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.”

Any visitor to the Citizen DJ site can help LOC beta-test the program “by spending about 15 minutes playing around with the preview.”

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