Ginno’s Sound Investments

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Ginno looks at twelve libraries from Zero-G, Loopmasters, The Cell Studio, Cinetools and more.

 

by Ginno Legaspi, Nov. 2017

 

Zero-G – Eastern Flute and Violin Licks Bundle

When it comes to electronic-based sample libraries, Zero-G has always been in the forefront of releasing great ones. They have some of the most innovative materials on offer. Although this bundle is all about real instruments, Eastern Flute and Eastern Violin is no exception. Geared primarily to acoustic music producers and composers specializing in Middle Eastern music, this bundle is a sample user’s dream with over 1400 (Flute) and 1000 (Violin) samples and loops. Dubbed by Zero-G as “authentic eastern style phrases”, the bundle’s content weighs in at a staggering 3.3 GB and 2.7 GB respectively and is delivered in pristine 24-bit audio. Since the recording of these samples took place on location in the Indian subcontinent, it is authentic to the essential character of the region. The included sounds are up-to-date, fresh and ready to drop in any production. You’ll find plenty of dry and processed samples that were well-recorded and processed with expertise. Mainly an audio sample library, but with the inclusion of software sampler patches, this makes for a worthwhile investment. Bottom line: this is a great tool for producers and composers that are looking to add some spice into their projects.

WEB:
http://www.timespace.com/

FORMAT:

Acid WAV, Halion, Kontakt, EXS24, AIFF Apple Loops, Reason NN-XT

PRICE:

£76.95 GBP including VAT

 

 

Loopmasters – Aurora Ambient Chill

Loopmasters has hit the brakes, slowed, and cooled down a bit with an expansive collection of sultry grooves, inspirational chilled tones, and exquisite synthesizer melodies that is oozing with coolness. Aurora Ambient Chill is a sample pack that is 1.78 GB in size, and is delivered in 24-bit WAV format. It is comprised of 490 files that include loops, one-shots, MIDI and presets for Massive and Serum software synthesizers. The sonic quality is superb and most of the loops are very inspiring and unique, especially the abstract percussions, earthy atmospheres and evolving FX. All the deep, rich tones for song starters are here in this pack. What I really like are the cool melodic instruments such as synths, strings, pianos and organs. The processed drums are programmed properly and worthy of mention as well. The samples are clean, very punchy and up-to-date. If you’re looking for a dose of “chilled” samples to give your downtempo, electronica, chill and ambient compositions a boost, I highly recommend Aurora Ambient Chill as your next sample library purchase. You won’t regret it.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, REX, MIDI files, Sampler and synth patches

PRICE:

$39.24 USD

 

 

The Cell Studio – Dimensional Guitars

Dimensional Guitars is a sample pack from The Cell Studio that exhibits unique sonic quality. It offers over 500 MB of content in 48 kHz/ 24-bit WAV file format. Like many of The Cell Studio sample libraries, this is another off-kilter offering that dives into the ambient, bed, atmospheres and soundtrack territory. There are only 50 files in this library but they’re meticulously recorded and impressive sounding. All the guitar samples were performed and recorded by John Girgus using a vintage Fender Stratocaster at various studio locations. An assortment of effect units was used to process the guitar sounds, including Strymon Blue Sky Reverb, Roland RE-301 Chorus Echo, Fulltone OCD, and many more. The result is a new sampling toolkit for use as backgrounds, beds and textures. The 50 samples are long and have key information for flexibility and ease. So what do I think of Dimensional Guitars? I think it is a most interesting library if you like esoteric stuff. These aren’t your normal bread-and-butter guitar-type sounds since they had crazy effects liberally applied. I like it though – it’s quite unique. The samples are very intricate and can definitely work in various electronica, ambient, experimental, game, and TV & film music. Overall, Dimensional Guitars is a unique library that is surprisingly useable.     

WEB:

http://www.thecellstudio.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$25.00 USD

 

 

Freaky Loops – Epica: Cinematic Vocals & Beds

Freaky Loops delivers an incredible super-sized content in this soundscapes and cinematic sample pack for soundtrack, drone, ambient, experimental, game and film music. If a blend of suspense, mystery, fantasy and sci-fi music is your sights, Epica: Cinematic Vocals and Beds has the samples you need to get the job done, including from bewitching vocal harmonies, ethereal piano melodies, impressive chants to deepest breaths, fascinating vocal chords to blissfully evolving pads, melancholic atmospheres to ethereal synth sequences, dreamy vox FXs to dark and syncopated beds, haunting whispers to emotional vocal hooks, cinematic builds to poisonous humming, epic orchestral phrases to huge cinematic drums, twisted textures to floating vocal phrases. These are inspiring textures and otherworldly soundscapes at their best. In details, this collection is 1.57 GB in download size and is delivered in 44.1 kHz, 24-bit format. There 452 loops in total and their tempos range from 70 BPM to 180 BPM. I like the 46 atmospheres and 65 pads and beds, but what appeals me the most are the 15 emotional pianos and the 22 FXs. These imaginative sounds were made to inspire and add drama to your compositions. Overall, the sounds are of amazing quality and mysterious enough to make into someone’s cinematic productions. Freaky Loops has once again delivered a good library that won’t leave you disappointed.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$45.80 USD

 

 

Mode Audio – Vortex

Ambient, chill and downtempo producers, meet ModeAudio’s latest soundscapes sample library offering. With over 4000 MB of sounds for ambient music production (all in 44.1 kHz, 24-bit format), Vortex covers a wide variety of sounds for use in a variety of sub-electronica genre such as soundscapes, ambient, experimental, electro and much more. The 150 carefully designed ambience loops are the highlight of this library. The ambience sounds include textures, analog synths, piano chords and pad washes that are very well programmed and recorded. This library also features 60 ambient stabs that are good for transitions between song sections or simply use them for added impact on your tracks. The samples sound crisp and clean, with a lot of details in the high frequencies. Of all the samples included in this pack, the ones processed with heavy-effects are my favorites. They should provide inspiration to producers to passionately and continually work on their next masterpieces. Overall, this is an effective utility sample set consisting of futuristic, sonic textures in ModeAudio style.

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/product/vortex

FORMAT:

Acid WAV, Ableton Live Pack, ReFill

PRICE:

$23.74 USD

 

 

Cinetools – Eon

Things are getting creepier and creepier at the Cinetools camp. This offering is part of their ever-growing atmospheric and cinematic releases, and continues with a wide range of inspiring sound effect samples. The innovative minds and sound designers at Cinetools used source materials such as field recording and nature sounds, rain and thunderstorms, forest ambiences, waterfalls, streaming rivers, brooks and creeks, seashores and surfing waves, nature footsteps, environmental sounds, textured field recordings and tonal layers resulting in this 21 GB unique library. The raw sounds were then processed, manipulated and layered to create organic soundscapes, evolving and epic battle drones, deep and mysterious ambiences, tense dreamscapes, robotic drones, paranormal atmospheres, science-fictional backgrounds, organic textures and a vast selection of stingers. Eon includes 1000 files of WAV samples in high quality 96 kHz/24-bit format. These are ready-to-drop samples in your DAWs audio track or load them in software samplers such as Native Instruments’ Kontakt for further tweaking and manipulation. You’ll find lots fantastic atmospheric sounds for beds and backgrounds, dark soundscapes, otherworldly pads, layered tonals and FX sounds that are nightmarish. Eon is, without a doubt, a well-thought-out library that superbly programmed and executed. What’s impressive to me is that some of the samples are very organic sounding, yet at the same time futuristic. Like previous libraries from Cinetools that I have come to love, they did a tremendous job in creating Eon. The included materials are very useable, flexible and fit perfectly to producers of TV/film/game soundtracks. Overall, Cinetools has a clear winner here.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$104.77 USD

 

 

Resonance Sound – Drum Depot: Drum Kits & Loops

Focusing on electronic drum samples, Drum Depot: Drum Kits & Loops delivers a selection of highly-charged drum samples to help you craft your own electronic tracks. The content has plenty of good, punchy samples and is so highly versatile that it covers a wide range of music genre.  Whether it’s electro or deep house, minimal trap or tech house, hip-hop or techno, Drum Depot has got you covered. Weighing in at 1.3 GB, this library features 48 drum kits, 50 loops, 44 MIDI files and 781 drum samples in 24-bit WAV and REX formats. Several software samplers are also supported, such as Battery, Geist, Maschine, Live, Kontakt, SFZ and MPC, so you can load presets to open up premapped drum kits. The thing that I like about this pack is the drum samples themselves. They were created using hardware units such as Vermona DRM1 mkIII, Korg Radias, Novation Nova, Waldorf Blofeld, Jomox AirBase 99 and etc. The units were recorded through a TLA 5021 compressor and driven with a variety of vintage gear to give that warm analog sound. The samples were programmed and seasoned with just the right amount of compression and drive, in my opinion. The snares are superb.  The kicks have a lot of punch and are suitable for modern electronic music productions. Overall, this is a fine collection of drum sounds worth considering of your next purchase.

WEB:

http://www.resonance-sound.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

€24.95 EUR

 

 

Mode Audio – Shared Tomorrow

This 611 MB library contains very solid samples targeting the downtempo, chill and trip hop producers. Shared Tomorrow was created and produced by Mode Audio to give producers and musicians downtempo-ready materials. The content includes synth loops, guitar loops, bass loops, drum and percussion loops, chord loops, drum hits, synth and guitar tail samples in 44.1 kHz, 24-bit format. There are also 109 MIDI loops that are tagged with key and tempo info. I must say that there are plenty of inspiring sounds in this collection to get you going in composing different types of electronic music. The loops are well-programmed, and you’ll find the materials applicable to other electronica sub-genres as well. After auditioning the samples folder, I must say that the analog synth loops can’t be beat. In fact, they are so sonically good that they have a lot of vintage warmth and character in them. Although geared for downtempo, they can be useful in styles such as new age or even ambient. But the drum loops are the highlights in the sample pack, in my opinion. Overall, Shared Tomorrow is a good, reasonably priced library that should be part of everyone’s arsenal.

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/product/shared-tomorrow

FORMAT:

Apple Loops/REX2/WAV/Live/Reason

PRICE:

$23.74 USD

 

 

The Cell Studio – Voxsphere, Volumes 1 and 2

From the website’s product description, the VOXSPHERE libraries are a selection of tonal sound beds/drones created from meticulously reprocessing the human voice. Weighing in at 800 MB each, both volumes were recorded at 48 kHz/24-bit quality. The samples range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, and are organized in folders called “short” and “long”. Produced by Colin C, both volumes are a good resource of background, bed and ambient samples. Voxsphere includes some of the most impressive manipulated vocal loops I’ve heard. It is packed with cutting edge materials that producers and ambient composers alike can benefit from – whether for inspiration or loops they can use to kick start their tracks. The samples have been carefully recorded using modern granular and time-stretching algorithms and latest studio tools to capture the essence of the ambient sound. Colin C also employed some bag-o-tricks and cutting-edge effects to transform the vocal samples to drones, pads and beds. Auditioning both products was a joy for me because most of the samples are very inspiring, modern and well-processed. The vibe is very organic with lots of movements, not static. Overall, these are well-constructed libraries with very polished sounds. If you’re looking for a good set of starter soundscapes samples, Voxsphere is well worth considering.

WEB:

http://www.thecellstudio.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$25 USD, each volume

 

 

Sounds-of-Revolution – Shhh I Am Speaking, Volumes 1 and 2

Vocal sample libraries are a good tool if you can’t find a vocalist that can deliver the exact performance you’re looking for or someone you can’t hire for cheap or simply needed some vocal samples to inject into your dance productions. The idea of such libraries is to give producers something they can grab on the fly, as well as samples they can tweak to fit into their mixes. That is why there is Shhh – I am Speaking Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 from Sounds-of-Revolution. These libraries will help ease the process of adding vocal elements into your productions. If phrases, single word spoken, variable sentences and FX vocals are something you fancy, both libraries are equipped to deliver such samples.

Shhh – I Am Speaking Vol. 1 contains 465 MB of content, 788 vocal samples in total with 215 group phrases, 310 single phrases, 257 words and 6 complex FX vocals. Picking up where Vol. 1 left off, Shhh – I Am Speaking Vol. 2 includes 458 samples in content, 807 EDM vocals in total with 189 group phrases, 356 single phrases, 258 words and eight complex FX vocals. Both libraries were performed by a professional native UK speaker with so much liveliness in the voice. What’s nice about these libraries is that both are clean-sounding with a nice stereo image (but are 100% mono compatible). All the samples are recorded dry, so you can tweak, time stretch, pitch-shift or effect-mangling them to your heart’s content. These 24-bit WAV libraries are well suited for dance, breaks, dubstep, house and other electronica sub-genre. My favorites of this bunch are the single phrases because they are “complete” and you can just drop them in an assigned audio track in your DAW. I wish there were more vocal FX samples to round out this library. Overall, this is another S-o-R offering that is worthy to be considered if you’re in the hunt of some vocal samples.

WEB:

http://www.resonance-sound.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

€29.95 EUR, each volume

 

 

FXpansion – Cinematic Synthesis for Strobe2 

Good news for owners of Strobe2 synthesizer; FXpansion has released a Strobe2 expander sound bank called Cinematic Synthesis. This is a collection of spacious, cinematic sounds perfect for adding depth, texture and interest to your music. It includes 50 presets in both standard and 5D versions (5D versions are optimized for the ROLI Seaboard RISE controllers). Cinematic Synthesis was designed mainly for TV and film music, but can also be used for genres such as electronica, ambient and downtempo music. This sound bank is a good way to expand Strobe2’s already vast patch palette. Plus, it is very affordable at $15 USD. Patch categories include evolving pads, alien textures, deep-space communications, grand strings, powerful polysynths, horror drones and sci-fi SFX. If you’re looking to add tension, depth, suspense, drama and movement to your mixes, these patches are a perfect fit. They are very high-quality, sound punchy, and are ready to be mixed with other synth sounds. Off the bat they sound good and require less tweaking. 

Here are some of my favorite patches of the bunch; the airy TX Aftermath, the lush PD Aetherial, the sinister PD Background Pad, the ethereal PD Heart Floating in the Abyss, the reverb-heavy KB Travelled Many Miles and the thick ST John Carpenter Strings. There are plenty more good sounding patches, especially the pad ones, but these are the standouts to my ears. Overall, this is a great collection of new patches that will get your creative juices flowing.

WEB:

https://fxpansion.com/

REQUIREMENT/FORMAT:

Full version of Strobe2 software synthesizer

PRICE:

$15.00 USD

 

 

Wave Alchemy – Berlin Techno

In this huge collection of club and techno samples, Wave Alchemy has done it again in a dance-themed release with a blend of underground-ready grooves. Berlin Techno draws influence from Berlin’s underground techno scene and iconic clubs such as Berghain, Tresor and Drumcode where things are happening. This library features loops, one hits, MIDI files and sampler patches. It includes roaring analog basslines, thumping warehouse beats, chords, powerful-sounding synth, percussions and a wealth of sound effect samples. It offers over 400 loops in 24-bit WAV, Apple, REX and Acidized format, 87 MIDI patterns, an Ableton Live pack featuring audio and MIDI clips alongside Sampler/Simpler instruments and 14 ready-to-play drum kits saved as sampler patches for Battery, Kontakt, Ableton, NN-XT, EXS24 Halion and SFZ. In the drum loops folder, it offers 196 of tight drum loops that sound full and up-to-date. This library also includes over 288 one-shot samples of FX and drums hits (kicks, snares, hats, cymbals, synths, etc.) with a bit of “punch” thrown in. As I’ve come to expect from Wave Alchemy, the quality of this sample pack is great. The sounds are true to the genre, very likable and the variety is plentiful. I find the 196 pulsating big-room beats very inspirational for song starters. Bottom line, Wave Alchemy has a winner here! Producers should look into this for its useable content.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, REX, MIDI files, Sampler patches, Live pack

PRICE:

$39.24 USD

 

 

Connect with Ginno @ www.facebook.com/ginnolegaspi

 

 

 

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