Orchestra Hit! – History of the Infamous Sample

Today we wanted to share a video with you produced by Vox that features a history of the infamous sample, the Orchestra Hit. This sample can be found in songs spanning across decades since its origin in a composition written by Igor Stravinsky in 1909 – Firebird. It was originally sampled by the creator of the Fairlight CMI, one of the most influential and innovative pieces of music technology to be created in the last century. The Fairlight was the first synthesizer that could digitally sample, digitally synthesize, and have a visual (touch)display to sequence music on. Stevie Wonder was the first professional musician in the United States to gain access to and use it. Peter Gabriel was using it across the pond. The synthesizer deserves its own post so we won’t drag on too much about it, but it was integral to the widespread use of the ‘Orchestra Hit’ now found stock on almost every sampler out there. Watch the video below to learn some cool history of a classic sample.


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If you’re interested in playing around with some of the original sounds on the Fairlight CMI you could buy an emulation iOS app from the App Store for $9.99.


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