10 off-the-wall soundware libraries
Dogs, wineglasses and more
While many sample producers choose to release collections inspired by supposedly cutting-edge genres or evergreen styles, others take a rather different approach.
You can now buy soundware that covers not only every kind of sample that you could possibly imagine, but plenty that would never even enter your head, and it's these out-there packs that we're celebrating here.
Whether you're into classical trap, body sounds, dominatrix phrases or just good old scat, there's a sample collection out there for you, so join us as we take a tour of some of the most curious soundware products that the market has to offer.
ThaLoops - Classical Trap Loops 1
Fact: If Mozart and Beethoven were alive today, they’d be making trap beats, most likely using FL Studio in their mums' attics. But what if the banging sounds of the Roland TR-808 had been available to history’s trillest composers back in the day?
Classical Trap Loops 1 answers this question with a selection of construction kits that combine ill orchestral anthems like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and In the Hall of the Mountain King with fat subs and sick snares.
Sonivox - Anatomy
What could be a better source of sounds than the human body itself? Anatomy takes this insane theory and runs with it.
According to publisher Sonivox, the library “sonically explores the human condition in ways never dared attempted previously, delivering you a deep, diverse and rich new palette of sonic colours and textures”. A palette which includes “blips, burps, gurgles, growls, groans, and nostril snorts. Laughing, moaning, and simulated emotional breakdowns”.
So, until a library featuring completely genuine emotional breakdowns appears, Anatomy is king!
Dark Side of the Tune - Queen's English
Vocal samples are always a good way to liven up a track, and in Queen’s English, the well-spoken, London-based dominatrix Miss T offers us a presumably leather-clad hand in the form of some S&M-inspired snippets.
Miss T chats up a storm with material that includes “urban street jargon, master and slave instruction, retro cookbook text, fetish descriptions, and other miscellaneous sound bites”, and her tone is “bossy, imperious and crisp”. Just like having a real life girlfriend!
If you’re tired of 21st century diversions such as amateur pornography and murder simulators, why not take a trip back to a simpler time when adults and children alike could be satisfied by a simple undulating wooden horse?
Carousel brings you all the fun of the fair with its meticulously sampled barrel organ tones – which, as publishers Sonokinetic points out, would require “renting and evacuating a fun fair” and “endlessly riding the carousel” to capture yourself.
Atom Hub Barking Buddy
Fans of the 2013 sci-fi blockbuster Gravity (a film that hits the same note so many times it may as well have been directed by David Guetta) will be familiar with the touching scene in which Sandra Bullock barks like a dog and cries.
Now you can recreate the canine half of this equation with Barking Buddy, an amazing free Kontakt instrument that provides pitch perfect woofing and could well turn you into the next Harry Thumann. “I will return to try this again in the future with more dogs and more samples,” warns creator Atom Hub.
Pakotek Samples Short Claps Vol. 1
We’ve all been there: your clap samples are too long. Whaddya gonna do - shorten the MIDI note like a caveman? Turn down the amplitude envelope decay like a noob?
Of course not - just reach for Short Claps Vol. 1! Weighing in at a hard drive-worrying 1.34Mb, this collection of 50 of the shortest clap samples around will astound you with its brevity and absence of reverb. If you’re sick of claps outstaying their welcome, this is the library for you.
Samplism Harmonic Wineglass
For centuries, wine glasses have provided musicians with much-needed succour, and now you can integrate them into your music directly without having to channel the delicious booze through your body first.
Harmonic Wineglass is a surprisingly varied set of Kontakt instruments that boasts pads, percussive hits, keys and atmospheres, all created with little more than these amazingly versatile drinking vessels. Plus, its meagre £5 asking price means that you can pick it up for less than a bottle of mediocre New World Chardonnay.
Big Fish Audio Methane: Industrial Rock Library
Big Fish has something of a nose for interesting soundware library titles and, as you’d imagine, this collection of industrial rock samples is a real gas.
Created by Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfeld, this malodorous melange includes guitar, bass and drum loops that could have come from the very bowels of hell, plus stinky slams, sweeps and textures.
If you want to give your music the whiff of something ungodly, Methane: Industrial Rock Library is not to be sniffed at.
Hollywood Edge Blow Tools
As we all know only too well, if you want to get anywhere in the audiovisual industry you need to know how to effectively blow your clients away.
Blow Tools by Hollywood Edge is designed to deliver full satisfaction by providing you with more than 700 minutes of “rushing, wailing, blustering, buffeting, groaning, rustling, droning, growling, shrieking and moaning, whistling, rumbling, whispering, sweeping and swooshing, breezing, blowing, howling, gusting and whooshing”. Quite a mouthful, but sure to lead to a happy ending.
Samplebase Scat Queen
If you’re bored of your music productions there’s one sure-fire way to spice them up: add a touch of scat.
Simply drop any of these hot nuggets into your project and you’ll be looking at a job well done! With 220 feisty female jazz vocals provided by Scat Queen Dee Dee McNeils herself, this is a solid release that you'll pooh-pooh at your peril.