Ueberschall Funk & Soul

Style: Like the title says . . .
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Ueberschall’s Elastik player (from zPlane, who creates the stretching algorithms for, among others, Ableton Live) makes loops playable, and encourages improvisation. But the really interesting action is the Random button in the lower left, particularly for their Inspire series libraries.

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Style: Like the title says . . .

Product type: Construction kit meets loop library meets playable instrument

Loop format: WAV, exportable as WAV

Stats: More than 700 loops, 1,282 samples

Resolution: 44.1kHz/24-bit

Documentation: Downloadable Elastik Player manuals

Longtime readers know I’m a fan not just of Ueberschall’s sounds, but their extremely playable and customizable Elastik loop playback engine. (Rather then get into details, visit their website for a free player/demo bank download.) However, their new Inspire series of libraries is a huge advance in loop libraries: After loading an Inspire construction kit, you can invoke random replacement for whichever loops you select, thus creating usable variations; replacements are consistent (e.g., bass replaces bass). As the Elastik engine is uncanny in matching key and tempo, the results are at least usable, and at best . . . well, inspirational. What’s more, you can save the collection of loops, including any modifications you make, as well as create full loops from the various individual instrument loops.

The randomize function works across any Ueberschall libraries you have installed, not just the ones with Inspire kits—for example, combining loops from their Sounds of Berlin with Funk & Soul created a kind of future funk. (An upcoming rev will let you restrict randomization to specific libraries.)

The recording quality and musicality are, as usual, spot on. But the Inspire feature is amazing: It merges construction kit and loop library concepts intelligently, yielding an almost infinitely expandable library.

STRENGTHS:
Seamless mix and match. Brilliant “Inspire” feature can generate new combinations of loops. Elastik host is playable and encourages improvisation.

LIMITATIONS:
When multiple Ueberschall sound banks are installed, you currently can’t limit randomization to specific banks.

$199.95 MSRP
ueberschall.com, dist. by bigfishaudio.com

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