Rhythmic Robot Jennings Mk 2
We really dug RR’s emulation of the Jennings Univox valve-based synth, and the sequel (also for Kontakt 4/5) “abandons historical accuracy” with the addition of two more main oscillators - the second introducing regular analogue waveforms and effects - plus a sub oscillator.
This interesting, unique and great- sounding synth is now more flexible - and cheaper.
Sample Magic Mainroom Deep House
At the more commercial end of the dance music spectrum, this well-produced library covers the gamut of modern house/garage sounds, from drum, bass, synth and FX loops, through 20 mildly useful mini construction kits, to a cheeky folder of Korg M1 piano riffs.
It’s a quality collection of sounds, MIDI files and sampler patches, for sure, but it feels a bit pricey.
Loopmasters Top 100 DJs Signature Sounds Massive Presets Vol. 3
“Inspired by the latest DJ Mag Top 100 DJs and Producers poll,” this bank of 100 patches for NI Massive is packed with great tones and makes good use of the synth’s Macros. We could happily forego the unnecessary demo samples for a tenner off the price, though.
Mode Audio Undercover - Found Percussion Samples
Ten drum kits for Live, Reason, Logic and FL Studio built on 230 samples of non-musical objects being struck, shaken and scraped - bottles, boxes, keys, coffee pots, scissors, etc. A lot of effort’s clearly been put into the recording and kit construction, and the price is right.
Native Instruments Paradise Rinse
UK bass gets the Maschine Expansion treatment with this bouncy, funky collection of 12 Projects, 47 Kits (617 samples, 60 Massive presets) and 35 Drum Synths, produced in conjunction with Loopmasters.
While the majority of the sounds are very much on a garage tip, the deeper, housier side of the genre gets a look-in, too, and the production is simply superb across the board.
A resoundingly successful collaboration, it would be fair to say.
Sample Tools by Cr2 Berlin Techno
A smorgasbord of audio, MIDI, synth patches and tutorial videos from Cr2 at a great price. The stemmed drum loops (of which a few full-mix versions are missing), basslines, synth riffs and FX are dark, low and rumbling, if not hugely inspirational, while the one- shots are workmanlike and useful. But perhaps the best things here are the 170 Sylenth1 and Massive presets.
Niche Audio DnB Skyline
13 atmospheric DnB projects for Ableton Live and NI Maschine, each with its own 16-sound Group or Drum Rack, comprising drums, basses, chords, pads, FX and more. You also get five extra kits (drum loops, basses and FX), and 38 Simpler presets with the Live version.
It’s beautifully floaty, breaksy stuff, and with this much material onboard, it has to be called a bargain.
Zero-G Whoosh Designer
The follow-up to Impact Designer is a 743MB Kontakt 5 instrument for the creation of ‘whoosh’ and ‘rush’ sounds. A patch comprises three crossfaded stages - Attack, Peak and Decay - each based on a separate sample. 165 themed presets are included, but making your own is easy, fun and endlessly productive thanks to the parameter controls and effects.
Sample Magic Synthwave
A 1.1GB collection of '80s-flavoured loops, one-shots, MIDI files, mini construction kits and sampler patches. Synths, samplers and drum machines both old and new were used in its production, but the retro vibe is spot on throughout - we’ve rarely heard a more era-evocative library, in fact.
With far more content than Mainroom Deep House (above), Synthwave feels like better value.
Heavyocity Master Sessions: Ethnic Drum Ensembles Collection
The second in the Master Sessions series for Kontakt 5 is similar to the first (Ensemble Drums, 209, 9/10), building two immensely powerful scripted instrument and loop libraries on six masterfully captured ensembles of up to 12 drums each.
A little lighter and less cinematic than the first, this is actually our favourite of the two.