I expected something harder, like Detroit-style classic electro: This is more like electro that’s matured over the years, and traded in robot regularity for smoother flow. Most of the loops are beats-oriented, but don’t just “hit default;” they’re inventive and intriguing. Two folders even have the electro equivalent of hand percussion — high- and low-pitched little noises you can mix in with the main beats. Additional folders cover bass, digital, and hybrid synths. These sounds are actually far more interesting and complex than the relatively simplistic names would suggest.

Contact: M-Audio, www.m-audio.com
Format: DVD-ROM of loop files: 201 WAV, 201 REX, 100 MIDI (50 drums, 50 synths), and 103 one-shots (about 1GB total); 24-bit/44.1kHz
Price: $49.95 list

My biggest complaint: The cover claims the WAV files are Acidized, but they aren’t; there’s no Acid chunk in any of the files. To do stretching, either use the REX versions, do your own Acidization (it’s not hard, given the rhythmic nature; just drop markers every 1/16th note), or process with some kind of DSP.

Musically, it would be easy for a disc like this to take the easy way out, but Electro Patterns pushes the envelope further than most. And while some loops might fit your needs better than others, there’s no filler.

As usual, the best way to get across what these sounds can do is with an audio example — check out www. eqmag.com. Note that this example uses one of the MIDI files to drive some standard drum sounds, and also includes a few fun one-shots.