“Citizen DJ” is a program from Brian Foo, the 2020 Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress. Visitors to the “Labs” section of the Library website can select many and various samples, easily manipulate them, remix them with pre-loaded drums, and download the results. Or, visitors can download the raw samples and work on the files using their own software.
The Library describes accessing the material in these ways:
- “An interface for quickly exploring a particular collection by sound and metadata
- A simple music-creation app that lets you remix collections with beats
- ‘Sample packs’ that you can download which contain thousands of audio clips from a particular collection that can be used in most music production software”
Visitors can start with a collection, say, “Free Music Archive” (Foo has an explainer video at the link), and from there can move to the “Remix” tab and the “Browse & Download” tab, at the latter of which the bulk downloads are available. There’s also tips for attribution.
Foo is presenting this project through the lens of hip-hop in a compelling way, but D.U. imagines that musicians and producers from many genres and backgrounds might also want to take advantage of the Library’s samples and software.