Prime Loops: Da Sound of Bounce
Part house, part electro, and part hip-hop, this isn’t just about loops but also samples and programs for Reason NN-XT, Steinberg HALion, Logic EXS, Cakewalk SFZ, and NI Kontakt formats.
Loop-wise, you get 22 bass, 57 drums, and 37 synth. One-shots are 39 FX, 91 synth, 54 vocal (hey, oh yeah, etc.), and 14 kits of drum hits. All one-shots include associated sampler programs.
The well-Acidized clips load perfectly in Acid, but in Sonar 8.5 you need to double-click on the loop, turn off “Beats in Clip,” then turn it back on again. Saving the file preserves these changes. As to the programs, with most samplers you’ll need to browse for the folder containing the samples; however, using the samples with SFZ instruments requires editing the SFZ definition files in a text editor.
The sounds are fun and very electronic—check out the online audio example. The sampler programs are very helpful, as there aren’t that many variations on particular loop styles—augmenting them with your own playing helps bring the music alive.
Bottom Line: If you want pure bounce, or loops to bring into electro or related types of dance music, Da Sound of Bounce provides value and variety.
Contact: Prime Loops, www.primeloops.com
Format: Downloadable; 524 files (over 500MB) of 44.1kHz/24-bit loops, hits, and sampler programs
Big Fish Audio: Crank’d—Urban Rock
Imagine a TV producer’s brainstorm for a 21st-century sitcom: “We’ll have these roommates—a synth-playing rap guy, an industrial dude who worships NIN, a rock drummer raised on hip-hop and Zep, and a guitarist who likes Kraftwerk—and get them into all kinds of crazy situations!” Then imagine that the TV show flops, but the guys all get along and decide to make a sample library.
Welcome to Crank’d.
This library has the Acidizing/Apple Loops thing down, so mixing and matching works well. Each kit also has some deconstructed drum loops—just kick and snare, high-hats only, etc.—making it even easier to mix things up.
Put away your bit-crushing plug-ins for this library; that industrial/lo-fi sound is baked into the tracks. The vibe is a tad scary (24 of the 30 construction kits are minor key), but not too menacing. Of course you can stay within the confines of the kits, but many loops work with a variety of musical genres.
I haven’t heard anything quite like this library, and I always appreciate originality. While a niche product, if you want to go urban while maintaining a rock base with a bit of electronics, Crank’d fills that niche superbly.
Contact: Big Fish Audio, www.bigfishaudio.com
Format: DVD-ROM with 1.43GB (626 loops and one-shots) of unique 24-bit/44.1kHz Acidized WAV loops (duplicated for Apple Loops/REX2/Stylus RMX).
Sony: X-Core Hardcore Techno Construction Kit
As in, HARDCORE: Think mid-’90s Belgian raves, using sounds set on stun and drenched with distortion and attitude. If that’s not a familiar frame of reference, think of a Kenny G album—then flip everything about it 180 degrees out of phase.
The loops are generally short, so you need to take a more granular approach to composition. Also, there are no real folders of mixed drum loops, as you instead have individual folders with claps, crashes, hi-hats, kicks, rides, snares, and the like from which you can assemble complete drums tracks.
The shortness of the loops is not a problem, as there’s plenty of raw material to work with—429 files, in 24 folders. Furthermore, much of the material within folders is compatible; for example, you can often slide from one kick loop to another, then back again, without any sense of discontinuity. The Acidization, editing, and organization are up to Sony’s usual high standards.
So can you use these loops in other genres? I doubt it, as they all have “hardcore techno” tattooed into their very souls. But if you want hardcore so tough it can’t be measured by the Rockwell Hardness scale, you’ve come to the right place.
Contact: Sony Creative Software, www.sonycreativesoftware.com
Format: CD-ROMs with 555MB of Acidized WAV files; 16-bit, 44.1kHz