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Beats Working in Cuba - EMusician

Beats Working in Cuba

First, the conclusion: great grooves and 24-bit recording quality, comprehensive documentation, and excellent packaging (check out the included 12+ minute video on the making of the library). You get tons of variations on the main Cuban grooves (Bolero, Cha Cha, Mambo, Songo, Timba, and seven others), played by real
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First, the conclusion: great grooves and 24-bit recording quality, comprehensive documentation, and excellent packaging (check out the included 12+ minute video on the making of the library). You get tons of variations on the main Cuban grooves (Bolero, Cha Cha, Mambo, Songo, Timba, and seven others), played by real humans with a great vibe.

The sound library (8.2GB) is nothing if not exhaustive, and Native Instruments’ Intakt (XP/OSX,VST/ASIO/AU/DXi/RTAS) is a fine, highly editable sample playback vehicle. Entire loops can be stretched by the TimeMachine mode, but each track is also broken out individually — often with options (dry, live, surround ambience). These play back through the REX-like BeatMachine mode for full-fidelity stretching.

Sure, the package excels for creating Cuban rhythms. But if the “human feel” conflicts with more rigid genres (e.g., dance), it’s simple to export the triggers driving the BeatMachine as a MIDI file, quantize it, then use it to trigger the BeatMachine. My only beefs with Intakt: Automation seemed flaky, and it’s not multitimbral. But you can load the library data into Kontakt 1.5 or higher for mondo extra possibilities.

Yes, you can add some of that Buena Vista Social Club vibe — without ending up in the slammer for violating the travel ban to Cuba. ¡Vivo el ritmo!