The Sample Journal

The Origin of Samples From Mars

Posted on August 11, 2023 by Samples From Mars

10 years ago I created this business and 10 years ago I made my first sample.

Yep, I started Samples From Mars before I’d ever sampled anything (other than a record), with only a few pieces of gear to my name. The preceding decade I’d tried just about everything - playing in bands, producing, engineering top 40, DJing….

I loved it all, but was tired of not being able to afford the gear that made the sounds I craved. I figured most other producers were facing the same issue, and thought - if I can somehow get my hands on these machines and sample them, these iconic sounds that have defined so many old records can become much more affordable and define so many new records!

Of course I didn’t come up with this idea. But I felt that through the recording process I’d developed producing and engineering, I could provide my own take on these machines…. learn their story, how they shaped history, and how we could continue that story, together.

So I borrowed a car, drove to New Jersey, rented a few drum machines and frantically sampled them over the course of a grueling weekend. (For reference, now we'll spend about two months sampling one drum machine!)

I had no clue what I was doing, but processed the machines with the same passion I'd harnessed while producing music. Twisting every knob I could lay my hands on, I recorded to the MTR-12 tape machine I'd gotten for free after James Murphy had thrown it away. It's one of the only pieces of gear that has been here throughout the years and is a big part of our sound (see if you can spot it in the pic at the top of this post): 

The results, although technically imperfect, were full of vibe. In fact, even though we've updated these packs, we still keep the Legacy versions available, because we never were able to recreate their character, born out of the blind passion and rule-breaking only a beginner possesses. 


Next, I hacked together an ugly Wordpress site, and Samples From Mars (a "temporary name, until I find something better" was born! With product titles like "808 Samples Library", it was not the SFM world as you know it today, but it was good enough 🙂. 

Now, I needed to become an expert. Sampling was gruesome (still is) - a dark art I’d have to teach myself; something that required a level of detail nobody should be forced to succumb to.

But I was happy to do it - anything to live that drum machine life! So I spent all of my free time creating and releasing more packs - I was not precious about them and I put them out before they were perfect (and I strongly advise you to do the same with your creations). 

For the next 3 years every day was a GRIND. Samples From Mars, as it was written about on the website, did not exist in real life. It was not a big Brooklyn studio full of rare gear, but a 10'x12' bedroom that I would sleep and sample out of every day.

I couldn’t afford to get sick, and I was willing to miss rent trying to perfect the next sample pack. I was still trying to understand what packs did well and why (oh nobody wanted Minilogue samples? Cool...tell that to my landlord!). 

Was this a dream or a nightmare? I debated moving out of NYC. I debated finding another job.

But I didn't give up - I kept testing new strategies. And getting kicked out of studios for being too loud. 

Until finally, in 2017, I decided to break every marketing rule (except “test everything 😉”). and offer every pack we'd ever made for one shockingly low price. 

People thought I was going out of business, but really I’d just underestimated how broke musicians are. These samples had to be even more affordable than I'd originally anticipated. And to me, cheap no longer needed to mean low quality. I’d created something of real value (which is an absolute necessity for something like this to work), and the market dictated just how low the most successful price point was.

Fortunately, the deal exploded and I was able to build into existence everything I'd been dreaming of. From 100% customer sales - no outside investment - I was able to get all the gear I had rented, sold, or never had access to in the first place. More importantly, I could hire amazing employees like Ben and Ryan, and build a new studio! Here's what the first set up looked like: 

I felt legitimized and my imposter syndrome slowly started to dissolve because I'd become an "expert" from the sheer amount of time I’d put in. 

So if you've ever purchased a pack, or even downloaded a freebie, or followed us on Instagram, or are reading this - THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to dedicate my life to this! 


Looking back over the past 10 years, it seems I’ve had the most success with the thing I was least precious about. It’s CRAZY how much fear holds us back, and disguises the excuses we make (often in the guise of perfectionism).

So I urge you - if you have a goal, a dream, of any kind - figure out how you can act on it in small, incremental steps, and bring your creations into the world before they are “ready” and before they are the “best” they can be.

Immerse yourself in the process (what you can control) and learn from and be ok with whatever the outcome is (what you can’t control). Refine and repeat. Always be a beginner - admit you don’t know everything and you will know more. Nobody really knows what they’re doing, and you don’t need to either!

Here's to seeing what the next 10 years brings us 🥂



$2,067.00 $99.00

Every Samples From Mars Pack in Existence All The Samples From Mars is a 62 GB collection of 75 sample packs, created over the past 10 years by extensively sampling our favorite (often...

Every Samples From Mars Pack in Existence All The Samples From Mars is a 62 GB collection of 75 sample packs, created over the past 10 years by extensively sampling our favorite (often...