Essentials – Mayhem Of Loops 1.5 by UVI
A great all-in-one collection of drum loops has become even bigger. Over the years it has gained an essential status offering everything from Hip Hop to Industrial and everything in between.
by Alex Arsov, Nov. 2015
I got version 1 back in 2008. Certainly it should be, by now, a very dated collection of loops, but somehow I still use this collection in almost all of my projects. I can’t tell what is so special about Mayhem of Loops. One way or another, when I start working on a song, especially if I decide to go with loops and not MIDI elements, I open UVI Workstation and load this collection, always finding something that still sounds fresh and interesting. Actually I have around 40 GB of drum loops – a big collection of free loops from Computer Music and Future Music along with a few other collections that I have bought over the years. I make a lot of music for stock libraries along with my regular, solo projects. I’m not much of a one genre man, always combining various genres and also composing in many different genres. I found Mayhem of Loops to be one of the best loop workhorse collections and now, as UVI updated it to version 1.5 (a free update for all registered users), I finally find a reason to share this collection with you.
Quantity and Quality
The new version brings 3000 new loops, increasing the number of loops to an impressive 8000. The quality is the same as with many other UVI products – basically, as good as it gets. Basses, mids and highs are nicely balanced, all loops are clear, well-defined and punchy. I never had any problems mixing them into a composition, rarely adding any additional effects to get better results. A touch of compressor and the minimum of equalization just to give it a better feel with the particular bass in the song.
All the loops are sorted by genre (including also many sub-genres). If you are strictly into Rock, looking for a bunch of live takes, than maybe it is better for you to use some more specialised tools. The same goes if you are strictly EDM, as there are plenty of other loop libraries or beat machines that are far more dedicated to this genre. But for this enormous gap between these two extremes we have Mayhem of Loops. Of course, you will find a nice number of Rock loops, and the same goes for EDM, but this collection is far more than just a parts list. You can find many genre-related directories in Mayhem of Loops – Anthem Electro, Hip Hop, Drum&Bass, Electro, Disco, Industrial, Jungle, Trip Hop, Dub and a few more. In every genre directory you get additional sub-directories with different tempos, styles, sub-genres, or even directories with instrumental loops, guitars, keyboards or some other instruments. Most of the loops in those directories and sub-directories bring some additional variations on the main loop, in many cases you get three or four variations offering additional versions with more hats, or bringing just the kick and snare version, or even in some cases some percussive loops that can go nicely with the main loop. The whole collection is far away from being just an ordinary collection that brings some bread and butter material. Most of the loops come with a lot of original character, and the strongest part of this library is its versatility, not just between the genres but also inside the genre, where we can find a wide spectrum of really versatile loops. Mayhem of Loops is everything but normal, and for that reason the Industrial category is my favorite as it offers a large number of industrial factory noises compiled in a very nice sounding space, and rhythmically vivid variations that actually go perfectly with almost any normal drum track.
UVI Workstation, a host instrument developed by UVI, the same one used for MOTU MachFive 3, Ueberschall Elastik 2 and Geist from FxPansion, is one of the most loop friendly instruments at the moment. Of course UVI Workstation is far more than just a loop host, but for now this is the function that we are looking at, as Mayhem of Loops is (surprise!) a loop collection.
All loops are automatically stretched to fit the host tempo and can be dragged to the DAW audio track as audio loops. Or as a second solution we can use loops from this collection directly from UVI Workstation as Rex files, exporting a MIDI map for the selected loop by pressing the Slice/Map button in the UVI Workstation editing window. The whole process for either of these two options is very simple. When you open a library in UVI Workstation you will see a very well-organized browser where you can go through all the loops just by selecting them with the mouse or simply by pressing the up and down arrow keys on your computer, and they will play synchronized with the host tempo. Double click on the selected loop and you will switch to the main editing window. To go back to the browser just press the eye at the top of the graphical interface and you will be back where you started. The whole process is simple, and finding the most appropriate loop takes just a minute.
The time stretching algorithm in UVI Workstation is absolutely amazing and you don’t need to worry about tempo. If you are looking for some extreme tempo changes then you can still use sliced variations as they are even less tempo sensitive. In the editing window you can also find a speed option where you can set double or half tempo along with some steps in between. The half tempo option gives some impressive results and you can use those slightly creepy slow loop variations to achieve some special rhythmical effects that can be added to the same loop at normal speed. Every loop can also be pitched up or down. UVI Workstation also comes with bunch of internal effects, quite powerful ones, but actually I never use them as I prefer working directly with DAW effects. It is just a matter of personal choice. The most important thing for me is the fact that you can easily drag your selected loop to an audio track, so I can quickly collect several interesting loops that go nicely with my song. This makes decision making a bit easier, auditioning each loop one by one, having them all in one audio clip ranked one by one.
As you know, Essentials is not about the details, it is about the tools that make our life easier and offer us effective, fast work-flows without any trouble. So, Mayhem of Loops offer you 8000 very versatile, good sounding drum loops (along with some instrumental loops) that are just one click away. It is extremely easy to find an appropriate loop and a minute later you can turn your attention to more important things (talking with your kids, taking a long walk in nature, etc.) than spending ages finding a fundamental element for your composition. Time is money, and this will cost you only $99 USD. In the past I thought that if I even found one good sound that I could use in one of my songs as the main, most prominent sound, then a synthesizer is a good buy. And regarding Mayhem of Loops I can’t even remember how many songs those loops helped define the character of the song, adding that something special. Mayhem of Loops was one of my first ever buys, I even bought iLok just for that library. But if you don’t have one don’t worry. UVI now also offers computer registration as an alternative solution. After all these years it is still my best buy in the software field. I know it’s a kinda personal opinion, maybe not the most objective, but at least go to the UVI site and listen to the demo clips. Maybe it could become your favorite too.