Producer Loops Ambient Glitch 1
Producer Loops (producerloops.com) moves to the dark side with the release of Ambient Glitch 1 ($25 approximate, download). The 1.2GB collection of 24-bit, 44.1kHz ACIDized WAV and Apple Loops files will work in a variety of genres, including gothic, dubstep, hip-hop, grime and techno. Most loops are between 90 and 120 bpm, with faster and slower outliers. In adding ambient to the name, developer Jeff Rhodes notes, “Glitch doesn't have to be dizzying and headache-inducing at every step.” He uses and misuses bit-crushing, beat-chopping, heavy compression and weird percussive artifacts to deliver the glitch message without going over the top.
Garritan GPO 4
Garritan's (garritan.com) flagship, affordable orchestral library receives a major facelift and content upgrade in GPO 4 (Mac/Win; $149.95 download, $49.95 upgrade). This version employs the stand-alone and plug-in Aria player that Garritan has developed with Plogue Art et Technologie. Aria features auto-legato for rendering legato transitions for overlapping notes, integrated ambient reverb and stereo-stage imaging, Scala tuning support and MIDI recording (stand-alone version only). The current release is download-only and weighs in at 955 MB, which decompresses to 2 GB. New additions include brass and ensemble presets from Project SAM and extended-range choirs.
Soniccouture Skiddaw Stones
In keeping with its tradition of publishing meticulously sampled libraries of little-known instruments, Soniccouture (soniccouture.com) offers its oldest instrument to date. Skiddaw Stones ($79 download, $89 boxed) is a mallet instrument dating from 1840 whose tone bars are fashioned from rare hornfels stone from Skiddaw mountain in Cumbria, England. Soniccouture was able to record the stones from the original instrument, which was constructed over 13 years by Joseph Richardson and is now housed in the Keswick Museum. The result is a 2.5GB sampler library formatted for Native Instruments Kontakt 2/3, Apple EXS24 and Ableton Live. Separate sampler instruments were constructed using rubber and wooden mallets, and scrapes.