List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album

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This article is about the various sample sources used on Depeche Mode album tracks and official remixes. For sample sources used on Recoil works, see Recoil sample sources. For sample sources used on Martin Gore works, see List of Martin Gore sample sources by album. For sample sources in the live arrangements of Depeche Mode songs as they were performed on the various concert tours undertaken by the group, see List of Depeche Mode live sample sources by tour.
Glossary
Terms used in this article

In audio production, sampling refers to the use of a portion (or sample) from a sound within another recording. As pioneers of the electronic music genre, Depeche Mode are among the most prolific acts to utilise sampling technology within a traditional pop music format. Among the many original samples recorded and utilized by Depeche Mode to enhance the atmosphere of their musical output are many that originated elsewhere, including brief passages of musical recordings by other artists, snippets of audio from television shows, radio broadcasts, films, environmental sounds, and more. Analysis of these sample sources and how they are manipulated is a popular topic of discussion amongst fans of the group.

Key
Official
The sample is confirmed to have been used in the specified song by a past/present member of Depeche Mode, an individual involved in its production, or band archivist Daniel "BRAT" Barassi.
Confirmed
The sample is independently confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Likely
The sample is likely to have been used in the specified song but has not yet been confirmed.
Unconfirmed
The sample is not yet confirmed to have been used in the specified song.
Disproven
The sample is confirmed to not have been used in the specified song.
Unknown
It is unclear if the sample was used in the specified song.

Information

This page documents all verifiable sound sources for many of the musical parts used by Depeche Mode in the production of their studio albums recorded between 1981 and 2023.

Due to the manipulated nature of the samples described in this article, there is unavoidable potential for error or sample misattribution. To ensure accuracy, this article strives to use verified quotes from band members and recording personnel with citations wherever possible, audio examples, and independent research voluntarily contributed by Depeche Mode and Recoil fans worldwide. This article provides an interesting document on this topic in a tabular format that is organized, well-researched, and reasonably accurate. Please bear in mind that due to the limited number of relevant quotes for each sample from band members or associates involved in producing the music described on this page, audio samples that lack official confirmation are not guaranteed to be accurate.

This article differentiates samples by origin: Self-made samples, which describe any material initially recorded by Depeche Mode, and Sourced samples, which describe samples not initially recorded by either group. In addition to confirmed samples, this article also covers samples commonly misreported as having been used but directly refuted by a member or associate of Depeche Mode.

If you notice an error or wish to contribute or request the removal of information contained within this article, please feel free to contact us.

Studio albums

Speak & Spell (1981)

Speak & Spell is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

A Broken Frame (1982)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/A Broken Frame

Construction Time Again (1983)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Construction Time Again

Some Great Reward (1984)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Some Great Reward

The Singles 81→85 (1985)

"Shake The Disease" - Depeche Mode
1985
Self-made samples
Sample Notes Audio
Celeste-like bell A celeste-like element is layered with a variety of other musical parts (including a separate bell sample and synthesized parts. This distinctive sound would also see use in several other Depeche Mode songs recorded during this era, including "It Doesn't Matter Two" and "But Not Tonight") to form a melodic part audible during the post-chorus sections of "Shake The Disease".
Metallic percussive element A percussive element with a high frequency is used during the post-chorus sections layered with several other parts and processed with reverb. The sample is re-triggered to play in time with the bell melody, and is played in two ways: one where the sample is re-triggered in time with the bell melody and then allowed to play out (or allowed to play from beginning to end) on the seventh keypress, and one where the sample cuts away on the seventh keypress without playing in full. Notably, this sample is also used in several other songs recorded by Depeche Mode between 1984 and 1985, including "It Doesn't Matter".
Verse melody synth layer A sample featuring audio derived from a synthesizer originally recorded for use during the verse sections of "Everything Counts" is layered with a separate sample to form the eight note melody performed throughout the first half of each verse section. This sample is also used to subtle effect throughout the chorus sections of "Here Is The House".

Click to display/hide audio example

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Middle eight melody Yamaha DX7 factory ROM #1 Bank B: "CALIOPE"
Confirmed
A manipulated calliope-esque sample derived from the Yamaha DX7 factory Rom #1 program "CALIOPE" is layered with a series of other instruments to form the layered melody performed during the middle eight section of "Shake The Disease".

Click to display/hide audio example

Verse melody Emulator II factory library disk #04: Grand Piano - Preset #1: "Piano #1"
Confirmed
"Shake The Disease" utilises a series of edited samples derived from Emulator II factory library disk #04 "Grand Piano". As is common practice with multi-sampled instruments, the samples are keymapped onto separate sections of a sampler keyboard in accordance with their pitch to approximate the differences in tone between notes of differing octaves on a traditional piano, and are subsequently layered with a guitar-like sample to form the melody performed in the latter half of each verse section.

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, Emulator II factory disk #04 "Grand Piano" is compared to a selection of audio from the "Remixed Extended" remix of "Shake The Disease" (played out of phase to more clearly expose the verse melody) to demonstrate the similarity in tone between the Emulator II contents and one layer of the verse melody.
Chorus synth melody layer Synclavier II Resynth Library Disk #4 - 4464 Harp
Confirmed
A harp-like synth pluck sound derived from the "Harp" timbre of Synclavier II Resynth library diskette #4 is layered with a separate sampled sound to form the lead melody heard during the chorus sections of "Shake The Disease".

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, a selection of audio derived from "Shake The Disease" is compared to the source sound as produced by the Arturia Synclavier V, a Synclavier VST emulation (Resynth timbre "4464 Harp" courtesy of Synclavier co-inventor Cameron Jones via "Timbre Share" Facebook group).
Post-chorus bell melody layer Synclavier II Timbre Directory Diskette #3 - 2337 Chimes #1
Confirmed
A bell-like chime sound derived from the "Chimes #1" timbre of Synclavier II timbre directory diskette #3 is used to play a basic two octave seven note melody layered with a series of other sounds to form the bell melody heard during the post-chorus sections of "Shake The Disease".

Click to display/hide audio example

Note: In this example, a selection of audio derived from "Shake The Disease" (played out of phase to more clearly expose the sound in question) is compared to the source sound as produced by the Arturia Synclavier V, a Synclavier VST emulation (Resynth timbre "2337 Chimes #1" courtesy of Synclavier co-inventor Cameron Jones via "Timbre Share" Facebook group).
Drum elements, open hi-hat, closed hi-hat, snare drum, bass drum Yamaha Corporation - Yamaha RX-11 digital drum machine - 1984
Confirmed
A series of bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat samples derived from the Yamaha RX-11 programmable drum machine are utilised throughout "Shake The Disease".

"It's Called A Heart" - Depeche Mode
1985
Self-made samples
Sample Notes
Sampled guitar-like loop "It's Called A Heart" makes sporadic use of a looped guitar part during the instrumental breaks following each chorus section. This sample would later famously be used to form the lead melody heard throughout "A Question Of Time".

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes
Bass elements Emulator II factory library disk #06: "Bass, Synth, Drums"
Confirmed
"It's Called A Heart" utilises a bass guitar sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #06 "Bass, Synth, Drums".
Choir elements Emulator II factory library disk #12: "Voices" - SAMPLE 3
Confirmed
A choir pad audible throughout the intro and verse sections of "It's Called A Heart" features a sample derived from the "Voices 1" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices". Notably, this sample is also used throughout "But Not Tonight".

"Flexible" - Depeche Mode
1985

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Bass elements Emulator II factory library disk #06: "Bass, Synth, Drums"
Confirmed
"Flexible" utilises a bass guitar sample derived from Emulator II factory library disk #06 "Bass, Synth, Drums".
Choir elements Emulator II factory library disk #12: "Voices" - SAMPLE 3
Confirmed
A sample derived from the "Voices 1" preset of Emulator II factory library disk #12 "Voices" is utilised throughout "Flexible".
Banjo elements Emulator II factory library disk #23: "Accordian & Banjo" - SAMPLE 7
Confirmed
A looping sample of a strummed banjo derived from Emulator II factory library disk #23 "Accordian & Banjo" is audible throughout "Flexible".
Cello, violin elements Emulator II factory library disk #37: "Cello & Violin" - SAMPLE 11, SAMPLE 12
Confirmed
Two samples derived from Emulator II factory library disk #37 "Cello & Violin" are utilised sporadically throughout "Flexible".

Black Celebration (1986)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Black Celebration

Music For The Masses (1987)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Music For The Masses

Violator (1990)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Violator

Songs Of Faith And Devotion (1993)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Songs of Faith and Devotion

Ultra (1997)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Ultra

The Singles 86>98 (1998)

"Only When I Lose Myself"

"Only When I Lose Myself" - Depeche Mode
1998

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Synthesizer elements Roland Corporation - Roland JV-1080 - PR-A (Preset A Bank) - 023 Psycho EP - 1994
Confirmed
A synthesized electric piano sound derived from the Roland JV-1080 factory patch "Psycho EP" is utilised throughout "Only When I Lose Myself".

"Surrender"

"Surrender" - Depeche Mode
1998

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Ambient elements DJ Shadow - Endtroducing..... - "Stem/Long Stem" - 16 September 1996
Confirmed
A manipulated section of audio derived from "Stem/Long Stem" by DJ Shadow is performed across two octaves to form an ambient pad utilised throughout the chorus sections of "Surrender". The sound as it is heard on "Stem/Long Stem" is itself a sample originally derived from "Variation III" by Osanna as featured on the 1972 soundtrack album Milano Calibro 9 for the 1973 film of the same name.

Click to display/hide audio example

Ambient elements Warp 9 - It's a Beat Wave - "Light Years Away" - 1983
Confirmed
A series of manipulated sections of audio derived from the intro of "Light Years Away" by Warp 9 are utilised sporadically throughout "Surrender".

Click to display/hide audio example

Synthesizer elements Roland Corporation - Roland JV-1080 - PR-C (Preset C Bank) - 060 ORBit Pad - 1994
Confirmed
A synthesized warm pad sound derived from an edit to the Roland JV-1080 factory patch "ORBit Pad" is utilised during the intro and chorus sections of "Surrender".

Click to display/hide audio example

Synthesizer elements Roland Corporation - Roland JV-1080 - PR-C (Preset C Bank) - 060 ORBit Pad - 1994
Confirmed
A synthesized organ-like sound derived from an edit to the Roland JV-1080 factory patch "ORBit Pad" is utilised during the latter half of each verse section throughout "Surrender".
Drum elements, bass drum Roland Corporation - Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer - 1980
Confirmed
An 808 bass drum audible throughout "Surrender" is derived from the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

"Headstar"

"Headstar" is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

"Only When I Lose Myself (Dan The Automator Mix)"

"Only When I Lose Myself (Dan The Automator Mix)" - Depeche Mode
1998

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Orchestral elements Giuseppe Verdi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Milano, Maria Chiara, Lorin Maazel - Aida - Aida / Act 1: Ritorna vincitor! - 1989[footnotes 1]
Confirmed
A manipulated section of audio derived from a performance of a scene from Giuseppe Verdi's 1871 opera Aida by L'Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala with lyric soprano Maria Chiara and Lorin Maazel is utilised sporadically throughout "Only When I Lose Myself (Dan The Automator Mix)".
Synthesizer elements Roland Corporation - Roland JV-1080 - PR-A (Preset A Bank) - 023 Psycho EP - 1994
Confirmed
A synthesized electric piano sound derived from the Roland JV-1080 factory patch "Psycho EP" is utilised throughout "Only When I Lose Myself (Dan The Automator Mix)".

Exciter (2001)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Exciter

Playing The Angel (2005)

Main article: List of Depeche Mode sample sources by album/Playing The Angel

Sounds Of The Universe (2009)

Sounds Of The Universe is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Delta Machine (2013)

Delta Machine is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Spirit (2017)

Spirit is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Memento Mori (2023)

Memento Mori is not yet known to contain samples from any identifiable sources.

Other works

Until The End Of The World (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack)

"Death's Door"

"Death's Door" - Depeche Mode
1991

Sample sources
Sample Source Status Notes Audio
Drum elements Angelo Badalamenti - Music From Twin Peaks - "Freshly Squeezed" - 11 September 1990
Confirmed
A manipulated sample derived from Angelo Badalamenti's instrumental "Freshly Squeezed" as featured on the 1990 Twin Peaks television series soundtrack is utilised throughout all versions of "Death's Door".

References


Notes

  1. Recorded December 1985 through January 1986 at Studio Abanella, Milan, Italy.