Sony Charm

Style: Downtempo, IDM

The cover graphic for Sony’s Charm is actually a pretty good representation of the sounds inside.

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Style: Downtempo, IDM

Product type: Construction kits

Loop formats: Acidized WAV

Stats: 31 construction kits with strong mix-and-match potential, 250 unique loops

Resolution: 44.1kHz/16-bit

Documentation: None in downloadable version

I realize this couldn’t be titled Prozac for legal reasons, but Charm is almost as good. Each kit typically has a keyboard part, separate kick/ hat/snare, some percussion, pad, bass, and various ear candy—bells, arpeggio, synth leads, etc. The pianos are appropriately dreamy, the pads thick, and the percussion non-intrusive; if this library was a woman, she’d be achingly pretty and would speak with an unidentifiable (but hypnotically intriguing) foreign accent.

However, she wouldn’t have any identification on her, because these kits continue Sony’s habit of generally not including key or BPM info. The mitigating factor is that the Acidization is as good as it gets, so you can time- and pitch-stretch with abandon. (Most kits are in keys between F and A, so you don’t have to pitchstretch too far.) For more than two decades, Sony has been top dog for loop editing; Charm keeps the company’s reputation intact.

What’s more, Charm totally owns the “how much can I put together in how short a time?” contest. For one kit, I just pulled files in where I thought they might go based on their names (“We’ll start with piano, bring in some bells, then percussion . . .”) and when I played it back, it was good to go. I’d feel guilty if I cut an entire “Music for Relaxation” CD from this library, but I could—and I bet people would buy it.

You can throw just about any loops together and they work. Best-in-class Acidization.

File names don’t include key or BPM information.

$39.95 MSRP

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