Loopmasters Reso - Drum & Bass Intelligence
The musically deft Hospital Records star hits the right mark with his debut sample pack by keeping things simple and true to his particular sound.
Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, it’s the stemmed drum loops and basslines that make this one a winner, especially the more tech-style basses, which are utterly enthralling; but the synths, pads and atmospheres are ace, too.
Despite only consisting of 189 loops and 138 one-shots, D&BI comes in at 1.17GB, due to the lengths of its loops.
Toontrack The Progressive Foundry SDX
Are you a digital drummer with 63GB of free space on your samples drive? Then you have to find a hundred quid and fill it with Progressive Foundry.
Recorded at Sing Sing Studios, Melbourne, this rock-orientated (but actually more versatile than that suggests) Superior 2 expansion consists of five full kits by DW, Ludwig, Pearl and Yamaha, plus loads of extra individual elements. The whole thing sounds phenomenal, plays and mixes beautifully, and deserves to go down in music technology as one of the finest virtual drum kit collections ever made.
Diamond Samples Future House Wobble
Fusing future house and wobble (as the kids are wont to do right now, we’re told), these 440 drum, bass, piano and FX loops (125bpm) and hits are fair crackling with energy.
The highlights are the “wobble” bass one-shots and loops - it’s just a shame there aren’t more of the latter (and arbitrarily putting a third of them in a folder named Bonus Bass Loops won’t fool anyone). We also like the 25 processed Amen breaks.
A fun and well put together library at a very fair price.
Sample Tools by Cr2 Festival FX
Another “builds, drops and breakdowns” pack from Cr2, this time of the ‘large format’ EDM and house variety. The 287 samples (you also get 29 Sylenth1 presets and 40 minutes of tutorial videos) include risers, falls, sub drops, drum fills, crashes (forwards and reversed) and more, as well as eight mini construction kits.
The production can’t be faulted, and neither can the value for money, but if you already own Mainroom FX, you’ll feel more than a touch of deja vu with this one and can probably pass.
F9 Audio Grid v1.0: 80s Future Retro
The first in a set of three libraries from F9, Grid v1.0 contains 451 '80s-inspired loops and 176 one-shots, along with a multitude of fully-developed sampler patches (including the intriguing Snare Drum Designer and the overhyped ‘Riffmatic’ instruments) and REX files. It’s 4.5GB in total, with the actual samples taking up 1.1GB.
Drawing on a what’s-what of vintage synths and beatboxes, tastefully programmed and processed, this is a very well produced and confidently presented pack that gives you an awful lot for your money.
Loopmasters Dubwise Vol 2
Dubsalon’s second outing on Loopmasters delivers 1GB of classic-style dub loops, hits and multis in various formats. All the expected instrumentation is present and correct - drums, percussion, bass, guitars, brass, melodica, keys, FX and vocals - and the performances and production are are on point.
While it’s obvious that everything here has been culled from a series of full projects, there’s more than enough variety for that not to be restrictive. Our only issue is that the brass loops sound rather too programmed.
Sample Magic Synthwave 2
The follow-up to Synthwave is basically (much!) more of the same: 1.4GB of '80s-style synth basslines, leads, pads, chords and effects, drum machine beats, and mini construction kits, plus a pile of one-shot drums and sampler patches, and over 200 MIDI files.
A tasty roster of classic instruments was used to put it all together, and we’d suggest that the overarching theme is more ‘movie soundtrack’ than ‘pop’ - think Tron, Terminator, Miami Vice, etc. Oozing retro credibility.
Sample Tools by Cr2 EDM Patches Megapack
A compilation of Massive, Sylenth1 and Spire synth presets from Cr2’s Progressive EDM 2, Melbourne Bounce, Future House, Mainroom FX and Hard EDM Drops libraries, plus a gigabyte of tutorial videos (amusingly, the presets themselves come to just 1MB).
In summary: tough basses, leads, plucks and FX, with a few pads and chords dotted throughout for colour. Great value if you own at least two of the three synths represented; rather less of a bargain if you only have one. Oh, and the Spire presets were totally broken until we renamed them correctly.
Mode Audio Raw Material
We do like a good found-sound library here at MusicRadar, and Raw Material is a cracker, rolling 322 source samples into 19 percussion kits in the usual Mode Audio range of sampler formats (Reason, Live, FL Studio, etc).
We received the Live version, which uses Drum Racks and also includes five handy Audio Effect Racks. The samples comprise recordings of a range of household ‘stuff’ - kitchen utensils and appliances, food, wooden things, metal things, water and much more - and are bright, punchy and surprisingly diverse, sonically speaking. Recommended!
Samplephonics Cloud Machines
The overarching aesthetic with Cloud Machines’ 254 loops and 176 one-shots is delicate, floaty and decidedly organic.
The main event is the Music Loops folder, which is full of tastefully processed melodics performed on guitar, glockenspiel, ukulele (our favourite), various synths and kalimba. The beats are similarly gentle and teasingly ambiguous, hinting at drum ’n’ bass, house and hip-hop but maintaining the same natural production style throughout.