In an age dominated by laptop-home studios and experimentation, sample packs are essential.
Sampling, although popularized fairly recently in the mid-1980s, has become a staple in pop, trap, hip-hop- you name it. However, sampling originated from the niche Techno genre, which is now used as a general catch-all term to describe electronic music.
With so much evolution, it can be tricky to find the best techno sample packs out there on the market. Luckily, we’ve done our homework, and have compiled a list of 10 of the strongest contenders.
Let’s go back a decade or two, and explore the sounds that made sampling what it is today.
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Our Top Picks
Techno music is characterized by futuristic sounds and hard, percussive hits. A lot of techno samples aren’t super melodic but have some degree of tonality. Techno is generally in a 4/4 time signature, with powerful, repetitive kick patterns. While it would be difficult to truly come up with a “best list” of sample packs, these are our favorite 10 packs from the internet that represent the genre well, and should give you a great headstart in finding that sound you need.
Hypnosis by Ghost Syndicate
Hypnosis was certainly named well, by listening to its samples, you get an eerie, guttural reaction perfect for creating ambient soundscapes within the techno genre.
Inspired by the UK electronic music scene of the 90s, this pack is full of drum loops drawing parallels with the famous Roland TR 808 and 809s. Many of the one-shot hits are not easily distinguished, keeping your listener intrigued.
All samples are rendered at a 24-bit rate, and loops range from 125-128bpm. Although this range is small, Ableton and other standard DAWs have easy warping tools to match your samples to any grid, so this setback is hardly hindering, if at all. Sounds in this pack are very resonant and sound as if they were created in a large, industrial room. To add to its anti-melodic nature, hypnosis also has over 40 fxs built-in. To counteract the pack’s somewhat deliberately sporadic sound theme, Hypnosis gives 13 different bass options to give your track some structure. Based on user reviews, producers are nothing but favorable- and for the minimal price, this pack knocks it out of the park.
If you’re looking to create techno music that has a deep, underground feel, this is the pack for you.
Techno Elements Bundle by Audio Boutique
This pack is a true classic. Recommended by techno legends including Adam Beyer and Monika Kruse, it is sure to please. The pack is sampled directly from coveted analog drum machines and synths- The Roland TB-303, Moog Minitar, and Dave Smith OB6 to name a few. In this way, the techno elements bundle gives you the best of both worlds by giving you top quality sound without the enormous price tag of acquiring multiple music devices.
There are over 1700 different samples, so regardless of what subset of techno you’re going for, you can certainly find something that works for you. In addition to the standard one-shot, percussive, and kick hits, techno elements includes a couple of vocal samples to add a little spice to your project. Moreover, if you want to do some additional modulation to the samples, Techno elements come with patches for Abelton, Logic, Kontakt, Battey, and Apple loops. This is a great tool for anyone- Especially DJs, who may need quick access to their samples on the fly.
If that wasn’t enough, Audio Boutique throws in 20 different midi samples. For the diversity alone, this sample pack is super affordable and worth the purchase.
Detroit Techno by Noiselab
If you’re looking to pay some homage to where techno began, Detroit techno by Noiselab is a great place to start. Noiselab created this pack drawing heavy inspiration from techno pioneers Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, and Derrik may. It’s heavily centered around the creation of the 909- The Drum samples/patterns reference sounds of the Roland 909 drum machine.
This pack was created from a collection of analogue equipment, to give you that retro feel even in the genre that prides itself around futurism. Noiselab has embedded 300 different samples to choose from. Notably, it contains a couple of MIDI patches as well- So even if you don’t have access to traditional or other digital instruments, you can use this pack and DAW alone to get working. Detroit Techno is super affordable and does exactly what it claims to-
That being said, if you’re looking for a sample pack with a more modern techno sound, or at least the option to explore it, you may be better off with a different pack. Detroit Techno is super powerful, but it is in fact, niche. It prides itself around having all samples 100% royalty-free, so you can be sure that your music won’t get flagged and deal with that extra headache.
Warehouse Techno by Noiselab
Noiselab does it again with warehouse techno. These sounds are comparable to Ghost Syndicate Hypnosis, with their quirky, ambient feel. Similarly, Noiselab cites Drumcode Records as one of the pack’s major influences.
There are the standard 808 and 809 samples, along with a couple of surprises mixed in- Warehouse techno does a great job at weaving in deep, wide delays to add a bevy of depth to your soundscapes. It includes 100 one-shots and 163 loops, which is more than understandable for such an affordable pack. Warehouse Techno also includes a couple of vocoder samples, which is great for adding future feel without a whole lot of labor.
The pack also has sampled pads to layer against your deep, booming bass and subs. For your transitions, Noiselab has manipulated many common everyday sounds such as trains pulling into the station, to give you edgy texture in all of your track. Warehouse Techno certainly has a bit more flexibility than Detroit Techno, but as a result, is less focused around creating techno music that echoes its most pure form. It’s slightly more modern, a little less melodic, and does a superb job at creating tracks that make you feel a little off-kilter, but nonetheless, ready to groove.
Torched Techno by Noiselab
Here is yet another pack by Noiselab playing to another intricate faction of techno music. The creators must be doing something right to have their packs meet the list not once, but 3 times! Torched Techno is the cheapest of the three packs (not to say that the other Noiselab options aren’t affordable because they are) however its depth and quality are anything but diminished.
Torched Techo is characterized by deep, dark sounds that do not carry a melody or easily digested tonal pattern. However, its lack of lines/runs is made up for by the dense rhythmic samples splattered all over the pack. Torched Techno is made for the dance floor, with thick 808s and one-shots that are undistinguishable, but nevertheless, captivating. If anything else, this sample pack could definitely be added to tracks outside the techno genre to give easy dimension to any mix. It’s loaded with 150 loops and over 70 drum-shots.
With Torched Techno’s unusual, not easily identified nature, it’s a perfect fit for film score creators as well.
Modern Techno 3 by Samplestate
Modern Techno 3 is the perfect pack for anyone trying to build up a techno drum library and is okay with a more evolved sound. It’s built with over 500 different samples, with an impressive loop library. Whereas other packs typically only include a couple of drum loops, modern techno 3 has arp, pad, and synth loops made to give your track more of a melodic nature, subsequently expressing modern techno tones. Moreover, modern techno 3 is heavily suited to DJs with over 46 different sampler patches, including those built for Kontakt and Halion.
Unique to modern techno is its selection of 10 different white noise patches, so you can guarantee that your transitions are full of life and hold a great deal of anticipation. The main drawback to this pack is its contemporary nature- Producers looking to reinvent music with more traditional sounds may have a tough time finding sounds that are more barebones resembling the direct sampling of the Roland 808. However, with amazing reviews and a super affordable price point, Modern Techno is hard to beat, and a great package for the modern reviews.
Techno by Bullet Dodge
BulletDodge is known for bringing together techno music giants and harvesting their signature sounds. The collective has released works by Pig & Dan, Carl Cox, and Ben Sims. That being said, the pack is focused mainly around ambient/industrial techno. It’s a great pack for beginners as it has 6 different loop types alone, making it easier than ever to plug and play into your DAW of choice.
In addition, these loop packs come in different corresponding bpms, so if you’re not super comfortable warping, or you’re a DJ needing to make seamless transitions on the fly, this feature is extremely useful. Bullet Dodge’s Techno is packed with over 350 audio files with all of the basics- Deep bass, lead lines that stand out in the mix, transition fx to add texture and vibe to a mix and tons of one-shots. For its class, it is super affordable and allows anyone to experience techno- From novices and pros alike. However, this pack may not be the best fit for someone looking to create a more niche subset of techno (i.e Detroit, Torched, etc.)
The general approachable nature of all of the sounds makes it very accessible, even to those creating music outside of techno, but it can be limiting for those looking for a very specific sound. All in all, Techno by Bullet Dodge is a great kit and starting point.
Techno Atmosphere by House of Loop
Techno atmosphere certainly lives up to its name. In this pack, you’ll find deep pad samples to really give you that futurism feel that techno was founded upon. This is certainly one of the standout features of the pack as there are over 300 pad loops included, much more than the typical pack.
Due to its spacey theme, the techno atmosphere may be best suited for creating warehouse/industrial type techno, since this subset is typically very wide and roomy. However, the pack is huge, at a whopping 1.3 GB, you’re bound to find something in here that works for your mixes. Outside of techno music creation, it could be a great reference for pad generation, purely based on its extensive collection.
This pack is made to be used in conjunction with others, since its only focused on adding atmosphere, meaning you’ll have to go somewhere else to find drums/bass/vocal samples. For some producers, this may be limiting, but for those wanting to commit to unique atmospheres in all of their mixes, this pack is the fix. It’s super affordable, and there’s no doubt you’ll find the pad of your dreams somewhere in Techno Atmosphere.
Melodic Techno by PML
Melodic Techno was sampled from the legendary Arturia Mini V3. These sounds were crafted with Techno, underground dance, and melodic techno in-mind. So if you’re looking to create techno that pays homage to the classics, this may not be the pack for you.
However, if you want a modern, refined sound, look no further. Melodic Techno includes over 100 midi presets and drum loops and gives the producer more control as they are able to fine tweak their sound instead of editing a pre-existing sample. If you happen to have an Arturia Mini V3, Melodic Techno comes with many patches to get you your techno sound efficiently and effectively. Moreover, this pack is well-suited to Ableton users, as it has a couple of patches set up specifically for the DAW.
All and all, the pack is of great quality and is pretty affordable- There’s also 3 different tiers of pricing, each one with an increase in features, so it’s certainly accessible to budgets all across the spectrum.
Analog Techno Synth Shots by PML
The title here is pretty self-explanatory. This pack is based around its 137 different bass shots, making finding the best one-shot for your track simple and highly exploratory. Moreover, Analog Techno comes with a bevy of atmospheric pads, drums, and FXs, so you can plug and play where you see fit.
The pack is self-sufficient in this manner and can be used in any DAW. However, since the samples were created with synths, the samples may have more of a melodic nature, making it difficult to create more retro techno sounds. However, for those looking for a modern sample pack that has everything you need in it to get started, this is an excellent option.
The pack’s pricing is very reasonable, and also has a similar tier structure to Melodic Techno by PML, ensuring that anyone can access its powerful hits and deep underground aura.
In order to make the most informed purchase with a techno sound catered to your needs, it’s vital that we understand where techno comes from and how it has evolved into what it is today.
Techno Music: A brief history
Most attribute the start of techno to be parallel with the conception of Cybotron records, a small indie label composed of Juan Atkins and Richard Davies. The two had a unique style of merging Italian Disco and SynthPop genres, producing a futuristic, highly electronic signature sound. Inspired by synth pioneers such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, the duo set out to create minimal, hard hitting, ambient, electronic music that could be played in clubs across the world.
With the advent of Grandmaster Flash’s revolutionary sampling techniques, the sampler weaved itself within the genre, eventually establishing itself as a staple in techno. As time went on, the sound spread from Detroit to Chicago to New York to the rest of the world. As the underground techno scene reached Europe in the late 80s, it flourished- Electronic, House, and Techno genres boomed in the UK whereas they never cultivated mainstream recognition in the United States. Likely, this was an easy transition for Europe to get behind being the birthplace of ample synth and electronic music. Overtime, the genre has evolved into multiple subsets )ambient, trance, and acid to name a few) to give us infinite micro-genres which we all experience today.
What makes Sample packs so important in Techno?
Techno was born largely around the sampling of the Roland TR-808, TR-909 and TB-303. These pieces of equipment, although quite cheap, ended up shaping the deep bass lines and splattered FXs/Textures that make the genre what it is today. In general, techno is classified by minimal drums, minimal melodies/if any at all, sharp one-shot hits, and deep bass. Techno music lives in the 4/4 time signature and usually has a bpm of at least 120. The genre often goes hand in hand with DJs due to its ideal club environment and emphasis around sampling. To give techno the respect it deserves, a sample pack is essential, since it is the very pillar of which the sound was founded upon.