Back in 1998, Matthew Yost and Jason Donnelly (aka DJ Puzzle) were working at Sonic Foundry putting loops onto discs. That early-stage experience was the start of the pair’s 20-year journey into the understated world of background sounds, sonic libraries, and sound loops.
Today, their company, Soundtrack Loops, is powering sound libraries for major platforms and companies like Antares, 1010Music, Acoustica Mixcraft, Roland Cloud, Recording Academy Grammy Museum, and Storyblocks. You may not know the name, but if you’re in music, you’ve probably encountered their sonic creations.
Donnelly recalls the pair’s early days at Sonic Foundry as a ‘fun time,’ adding, “We were cutting and editing loops for products, and that’s kind of how we got introduced to everything. Back then, producers had to rip audio discs to edit the loop off of them. We were part of a revolution that was going to change all that by burning loops to data discs and selling them for affordable prices.”
Yost remembers what it was like before streaming MP3s surfaced. The pair had to use Real Player because that was the best way to stream audio for demos. “I still remember making MP3s and it being like a big thing,” he adds.
Donnelly and Yost went on to build the first platform that allowed artists to listen to loops before paying for them. That way, buyers knew what they were getting, and users no longer had to order CDs with sound loops that arrived in the mail — hoping they liked the collections. By 2005, the duo were also among the first to offer downloadable packages instead of physical CDs.
Fast-forward to 2023, and Yost and Donnelly have been in the game for over two decades. With an extensive catalog of audio loops, Soundtrack Loops has crossed major milestones during its evolution, forging partnerships with producers and tech manufacturers.
The modern day music loop business is vast and multi-faceted. Artists, producers, and even app developers have unique sound requirements to fill their sonic scopes. Most are burnt out trying to bake music into the endless nooks and crannies of their productions.
Providing solutions for that problem, Soundtrack Loops offers expertly formatted royalty-free sound packs for productions in a multitude of genres and formats. The company just concluded a three-year tie-up with Berlin-headquartered music hardware company Native Instruments for their product Sounds.com. Just recently, Soundtrack Loops joined forces with DMN to further broaden their imprint.
Speaking about more current partnerships, Donnelly explains that technology company 1010Music provides samples and loops within its digital audio products, and Soundtrack Loops is the force behind it. “Soundtrack Loops designed all the presets for 1010Music’s Razzmatazz drum synth,” Donnelly relays, adding, “Their Blackbox comes with a bunch of our samples and loops in it. Then there’s Lemondrop and just-realized Tangerine — more 1010Music hardware devices that feature our sounds.”
Soundtrack Loops also tied up with Antares Audio Technologies, a company best-known for developing Auto-Tune — the professional standard for pitch correction. Antares Audio creates a range of hardware and software solutions, backed by Soundtrack Loops’ libraries, to bring musicians and artists creative audio tools for production.
Earlier this year, Soundtrack Loops paired up with Soundware, a provider of VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins for music producers.
Furthermore, Soundtrack Loops’ partnership with Audiokit, a swift audio synthesis, processing, and analysis platform, has resulted in Donnelly and Yost’s craft appearing in several iOS apps. Donnelly further added, “We also licensed a bunch of drum samples to keyboard player Jordan Rudess for his new iOS app, Jam With Jordan, an immersive audio-visual synthesizer that you can play on your phone or tablet.”
Soundtrack Loops’ entire catalog is also fully compatible with Apple’s digital audio workstation Garageband, ‘to take advantage of all metadata and formatting that you receive in the Apple looping utility.’ Jason adds, ”These prefab loops are widely used in compositions by artists.”
Discussing the company’s abundant and significant partnerships, Donnelly reveals they have also licensed tens of thousands of loops to Mixcraft — a digital audio workstation for Windows. Soundtrack Loops’ audio is now bundled within Mixcraft’s workstation.
The company also just launched their new brand, Array Sounds.
According to the duo, Array Sounds will bring an additional suite of services to artists. The brand’s first product is a VST synthesizer called Double Scoop — interestingly themed with pastels and desserts as its core motif.
The Double Scoop release comes alongside the launch of an AI-focused platform stuffed with usable loops and sound effects. These sounds will be pre-cleared for use by machine learning and AI developers to train AI music creation software — without infringing on copyrights.
If a producer or artist looked under the hood of their music today, there’s a high chance they’ll find a loop from one of Soundtrack Loops’ 300+ sound packs.
The company currently provides multiple formats to suit creators, producers, and app developers, with their catalog containing 70,000+ loops, or wav files — compatible across all DAWs.
The duo behind Soundtrack Loops has made an incredible entrepreneurial journey — from clipping audio for loops to building a company that’s trusted by mega-giants in music tech. Before Soundtrack Loops, Donnelly also founded Peace Love Productions in 2001. Collectively, the duo says they’ve offered ‘slinging loops and sound design since the very early 2000s.’
According to Yost, one of their most critical company goals remains fundraising and charity work — giving back to the community.
Soundtrack Loops is also an integral part of the ‘Sonic Playground’ installation at the Grammy Museum in LA. Hip Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit is a 50th anniversary celebration of hip hop that launched on October 7th, 2023, and will run through September 4th, 2024.
As part of the exhibit, attendees at the Grammy Museum will be able to experience loops and samples by Soundtrack Loops. “We loaded up four iPads with 42 loops on each using Ampify’s Launchpad app. We chose iPads and Launchpad because it just seemed like the easiest solution for our needs,” Donnelly said, adding, “Participants can choose from Boom Bap, Old School, Trap, and G Funk. They can mix and match loops to create their own instruments on the fly right there in the Sonic Playground and we think that is way cool.”