Puremagnetik (www.puremagnetik.com) is a subscription download service specializing in virtual-instrument and effects libraries called Micropaks for Ableton Live, Native Instruments Kontakt, and Apple Logic EXS24. The current collection of Micropaks emphasizes retro sounds updated with the bells and whistles available in today's high-end samplers. At least one new Micropak is released each month, and you can purchase them individually ($12) or by subscription with various options.
Big07 ($98) is a bundle of 13 Micropaks released in 2007. This is more than 2 GB of content, but fortunately the Micropaks are downloaded individually. (A hard-copy version will be available soon.) These are Ableton Live versions of the Micropaks. If that's your platform of choice, Big07 represents a significant savings over purchasing the 13 Micropaks individually.
Eight Bit is my favorite digital-retro offering. It starts with waveforms sampled from the Commodore 64 SID chip (6581 Sound Interface Device), then applies Live's Instrument Rack magic to layer and process those samples. You get Racks for a cross-section of basses, pads, and leads as well as multisampled Sampler instruments containing the basic waveforms. Retroputer, another favorite, is a compendious collection of digital waveforms.
Used together, the Micropaks in Big07 make a versatile construction kit (see Web Clip 1). Analog Bass vol. 1 is loaded with analog-synth basses for holding up the low end. Vintage 80's Classics and String Machines cover pads and synthy leads. Juice for Live's FM synth, Operator, gives you keys, mallets, brass, strings, and special effects as both individual Operator patches and Instrument Racks built around Operator. Elektrodrum provides five electronic drum kits as Impulse Instrument Racks for your own drum sequences. Microdrum's three acoustic and two electronic kits each come with a collection of MIDI grooves.
Beyond retro, Guitar Rack vol. 1 adds a Stratocaster to your kit with a variety of amp and cabinet simulators, automatic chords, and riffs as audio clips. PM-200 Electric Piano gives you a Wurlitzer with tremolo, chorus, and reverb, and it too comes with audio riffs. P-50 Linear puts a Roland D-50 at your fingertips. You can finish any of those off with patches from RackPak, which includes more than 100 signal-processing effects. If you're a Live user, and your palette of classic synth and digital sounds is getting stale, Big07 will spice it up.