Ginno’s Sound Investments

 

Ginno Legaspi looks at sixteen sound libraries from Audio Boutique, Bluezone, Loopmasters, Mode Audio and other fine audio purveyors.

 

by Ginno Legaspi, Sept 2016

 

Samplephonics – Nordic Pop

Fans of Efterklang, Peter Broderick and múm, are you ready to put some special magic in your experimental folk, dream pop and electronica tracks?  If so, take a closer look at Nordic Pop – a sample pack suitable for producers who are into Nordic popular music scene. Recorded by multi-instrumentalists Søren Andreasen and Mikkel Fabricius, this unique collection features live instruments including violins, mellow electric guitars, bowed gloks, haunting vocals, toy and mouth organs, upright piano, harmonica and Jew’s harp to name but a few. This is an absolutely lovely organic library and not a lot of overly processed sounds. I love the strings and idiophones folders as there are plenty of useful loops from which to be inspired. The mellow synth loops are also perfect for augmenting a mix that is lacking that final piece of sound. Sound-wise, Nordic Pop is sonically rich and is glazed with warm vibe. Additionally, the drum hits are also good if constructing drum kits in your DAW’s drum rack. Overall, this 900 MB/24-bit pack sounds superb and the the quality is what you’d expect from Samplephonics. An absolute must for any Nordic music producers. 

WEB:

http://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

Acid Wav, Rex2, Aiff Apple Loops

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP including VAT

 

Bluezone Corporation – Eternal Grace: Experimental Ambient Samples

Bluezone Corporation has a long history of releasing good soundscape libraries. Part of their recent library offering is Eternal Grace: Experimental Ambient Samples – a collection of glorious soundscapes and atmospheres that showcases what an ambient library should be like. Weighing in at 568 MB, there are several sound categories included in the digital download, such as evolving pads, intense music loops, ethereal synth sequences, deep bass, one-shot synth, textured vocal and more. Basically, Eternal Grace has a very distinct sound and approach – it’s spacey and lush, yet experimental and edgy at the same time. Its style reminds me of many great Bluezone ambient libraries. My favorite folders of the bunch are the “synth textures” and the “music loops” as these include some very inspiring sounds. Overall, a good pack ready for primetime that is definitely geared for people producing ambient music.   

WEB:

www.bluezone-corporation.com

FORMAT:

WAV/Aiff

PRICE:

€14.95 EUR

 

Mode Audio – Pour

Pour is a recent offering from Mode Audio that caters to the ambient, downtempo, minimal and experimental crowd. This sample pack contains 503 MB of sophisticated modern sounds such as textures, soundscape and atmospheres. Pour comprises six folders of Ambiance, Contour, Grain, Noise, Sub and Synth. Each folder consists of 25 elements that can be used as a single source or layered or mix-and-matched to create new and exciting sounds. Like many of the Mode Audio titles, Pour is no exception in terms of quality. It delivers an assortment of useable and inspiring loops, especially the longer ones that can be used as a bed or foundation for an ambient track. All in all you get 150 loop files and 42 tail samples in WAV format. What’s great about this sample pack is that the style presented here really varies. It can be ideal for use in a wide variety of genres without having to think if the loops fit into a certain mix or not. With that being said, Pour is a good starter library that is loaded with first-rate samples. 

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/product/pour

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$19.94 USD

 

Organic Loops – Flamenco Guitar

Here we’ve got a DAW-ready sample pack that will satisfy even the most discerning guitar enthusiasts. Simply called Flamenco Guitar, this library from Organic Loops features 300 beautifully performed guitar licks that capture the essence of Spanish guitar. This 900+ MB library includes hooks, lead and Palma percussion loop performances. You can literally build your own loops by layering them or augmenting them with other guitar library loops to create new and exciting sounds. The samples have been organized into folders according to their BPMs and key info. Tempo ranges from downtempo-ish 90 BPM to a house-y 124 BPM. How do they sound? They sound very nice and work well in a busy mix. The guitar sounds bright, yet very natural. You’ll hear tonal nuances and a bit of noise in the background, which is cool to impart in the samples. If you’ve always wanted to expand your guitar loop library then this sample pack is worth considering. You will love the how seductive this library sounds. 

WEB:

www.loopmasters.com

FORMAT:

WAV/Apple Loops

PRICE:

$32.64 USD

 

Zero-G – Arc

Having reviewed the excellent experimental Other Worlds and Zetamorph releases in the last few issues of Soundbytes, Zero-G is back with yet another great title called Arc. Created by composer John Valasis, Arc is full of drone, soundscape and atmosphere sounds. This is quite a big library and after extraction the expanded file size is 8.06 GB. All samples were recorded in pristine 24-bit sample depth, and supported formats include Acidized WAV, AIFF, Kontakt, EXS24, HALion and NN-XT . There are nine folders that make up the library and the only folder that has tempo information in it is the “Tempo-Based Atmospheres”. The emphasis seems to be more on the soundscapes and drones side of things, but it covers a wide variety of genre especially if you’re into the cinematic, soundtrack and experimental side of electronica. What I like about this library is that the samples are long. Some of them are over one minute in length. These can be used as a good foundation for making ambient tracks, especially the evolving ones. Sonically, the samples are very solid, wide and spacious, with enough punch to cut through a mix. Overall, this is another polished sample pack from Zero-G. I like this library because of the massive content included. The sample themselves are very inspiring and the library opens up new ideas when composing new electronica pieces. It fits well to composers of game and TV/film music as well.

WEB:

http://www.timespace.com/

FORMAT:

Wav, Kontakt, EXS24, Aiff Apple Loops, Reason NN-XT

PRICE:

£55.95 GBP including VAT

 

Samples From Mars – Modern Oddities

New to Soundbytes Magazine’s Sound Investment rotation is Samples From Mars. For this issue it’s Modern Oddities – a collection of drum hit samples from the miniature Teenage Engineering OP-12 drum machine.  Later we’ll also look at Found Sounds from this same developer.  The OP-12 is not just your typical drum machine. Yes it’s small, but a beast that offers a wide variety of sounds. Weighing in at 675 MB (expanded), this soundware contains 800+ samples in 24-bit depth. All of the samples are one-shots that include 909-style kicks, snares, claps, snaps, toms, hats and esoteric percussion sounds. I imagine recording the OP-12 was a laborious task as Samples From Mars had to capture the true sonic characteristic of the unit, plus they employed FX processing to come up with new sets of sounds. Also employed during the sampling session was plenty of great outboard gear and high-end hardware. You’ll hear bit-crushed, filtered, pitched and warped samples that are totally different from the original. The result is a sample pack that is one of a kind. What I love about Samples From Mars is that they seem to have affection for classic, rare and odd bits of pieces of gear. Overall, there are a wealth of great samples here that many producers can use over and over again. For the price, I highly recommend this samples pack.

WEB:

http://samplesfrommars.com/

FORMAT:

WAV/Ableton Live/Kontakt/HALion/EXS24/SFZ/Structure

PRICE:

$29.00 USD

 

Loopmasters – Natural Selection

Loopmasters’ hot Natural Selection library is a collection of modern samples geared for a wide range of music genres. At tempos between 90-110 BPM, it’s soulful, dusty, organic, bright, warm and colorful. Its purpose is to give producers or desktop musicians easy access to a variety of perfectly performed and programmed samples for the creation of Hip Hop, Downtempo, Chillout, Ambient, Cinematic and LA Beat. In this 1.22 GB collection, there are 136 musical phrases, 58 drum loops, 119 drum hits, 24 synth hits, 17 atmos, 65 basses, 30 percussions and more. All samples are delivered in pristine 24-bit depth. Sound-wise, this library is clean, well recorded and can stand on its own – making this ideal for people who are looking to add libraries to their sample vault collection. For people who like to experiment, this is a gold mine of sounds. Adding certain magic to the samples will enable plenty of new and exciting inspiration. This collection even includes 81 soft sampler patches for quick and easy playability. Overall, this is a nice varied collection, with plenty of organic sounding materials.

WEB:

www.loopmasters.com

FORMAT:

WAV, Apple Loops, Live, ReFill

PRICE:

$39.90 USD

 

Samplephonics – Fragments of Techno

This library from Samplephonics focuses on the four-on-the-floor side of electronic music. The idea behind the sample pack is to give DJs, producers, desktop musicians and live PA artist an inspiring set of tools for studio, live or remixing use. Fragments of Techno consists of seven loop folders called atmosphere, bass, drums and percussion, FX, melodies, pads and vocals. Additionally, a one-shot folder of basses, drums, FX, synths and vocals are available for further experimentation. The samples are very organized with key and tempo information for flexibility. As a producer myself, I love to have plenty of tools at my disposal, and with 267 loops & 192 one-shots included in this library, it’s easy to pick and choose the materials that you need. Loops can be chopped, stretched and manipulated to fit everyone’s need. Augmenting these loops with your own is a great way to provide your listeners with new and unique material. On the whole this library covers serious ground. It’s a solid release from Samplephonics and I give this a thumb up.

WEB:

http://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

Acid/Wav/Rex2/Aiff Apple Loops

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP including VAT

 

Audio Boutique – House Elements

House has been embraced since the 1970s and even today it’s always in the spotlight. It has evolved in so many ways, and numerous artists continue to support the genre.  House elements from Audio Boutique features inspiring samples and loops that cover a wide variety of house sub-genres, be it tech, vocal, electro, organic, progressive or deep house – this sample pack has got you covered. House Elements is organized in 30 themes that include Bass, Synth, Chord, Piano, Organ, Plucked and Vocal Loops plus corresponding MIDI Files. With each sound category, you’ll get plenty of variations to mix and match the elements for track building. The guitars, drums and basses have all that vibe and authenticity that even serious connoisseur house-heads will be ecstatic to consider getting this library. The 59 vocal samples by SELDA are great, but the chord and tops loops are top notch. Also worth mentioning are the 214 drum samples which are punchy and in-your-face. So with 664 samples in total (1.28 GB) included, you could pretty have an endless supply materials for a long time.   

WEB:

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

FORMAT:

WAV/Live/Kontakt/EXS24/MIDI files

PRICE:

€29.95 EUR

 

Mode Audio – LA Beats

LA Beats is a 613 MB collection from Mode Audio comprising 452 files (in WAV, Acid, REX2, AIFF, Live, ReFill and MIDI formats). The materials are suitable for R’n’B, Hip-hop, Soul, Trap and Pop productions. There are vintage-sounding keys, gorgeous chords, lush pads, slick synthesizer leads, percussions and tasty drum loops, all perfected for modern production yet impart that LA vibe. Tempos range from 70-86 BPM. Some of the hottest drum loops I’ve heard are here – all of them hand-crafted from the ground up and programmed and performed using “characterful” gear (i.e., 808s). What’s good about this library is that the samples sound good by themselves and are primed to drop in every DAW, or if you’re like me, perfectly tweak them to fit in your production. If you’re passionate about making music with a west coast vibe, LA Beats has a wealth of useful samples and some of the most solid performances I’ve heard in a sample pack. Overall, thumbs up. This is a warm, sun-drenched representative of what’s California. 

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/product/la-beats

FORMAT:

Apple Loops/REX2/WAV/Live/Reason

PRICE:

$23.93 USD

 

Samples From Mars – Found Sounds

Samples From Mars – the soundware company that brought us Modern Oddities library (reviewed above) has an interesting offering called Found Sounds. This pack includes 1 .1 GB of field recordings in WAV, Ableton Live 9, Kontakt 5 and Logic EXS24 formats, that were smartly crafted to cater the electronica, EDM, soundtracks and cinematic crowd. Given the amount of the available loops, the idea behind this sample pack is to provide a good set of useful acoustic and foley loops to producers when composing music. I love the idea that this audio was heavily processed through the popular hardware processor from the 1990s, the Lexicon Vortex, re-pitched, then treated with tube saturation for warmth and loudness. The samples stand out – and we are talking quality here – right from the originally recorded sound to your own polish later applied in the studio. Overall, this library is a nice release from Samples From Mars that can be dropped in any electronica production. The Vortex and FX Textures folders have some great useful loops. Give this a try … you’ll like it.   

WEB:

http://samplesfrommars.com/

FORMAT:

WAV/Live 9/EXS24/Kontakt

PRICE:

$39.00 USD

 

Bluezone Corporation – Cinematic Trailer Sounds Effects

Bluezone Corporation has been busy releasing libraries left and right for all kinds of different musical genres, but the ambient, experimental, soundscapes for TV, film and game music categories have always been a staple in their catalog. This TV/film/scoring library is a vast resource of audio assets geared for producers looking for components for on-the-fly trailer scoring. This aptly titled sample pack comes in 24-bit WAV and AIFF audio formats, and has over 1 GB of sounds that will cater multitudes of producers in the electronic subgenres. It has a different category of sounds – mostly sustained, yet energetic enough to carry cinematic tracks to new heights. The Whoosh and Hit Impacts folders include certain sounds of what I would call “add-ons” in that they are impactful in nature. The Ambience and Transistions folders are great for accenting moods to any track, while the Sound EFX and Synth Textures fill in something that is missing in your composition. As the two above folder names suggest, these beds are somewhat longer files that can enrich a track by placing them in the background. Like many of Bluezone’s libraries, the 158 sounds on Cinematic Trailer SFX are pretty high quality … with plenty of them very usable in many cases. Gotta love the transition and synth texture samples.

WEB:

www.bluezone-corporation.com

FORMAT:

WAV/AIFF

PRICE:

€14.95 EUR

 

Push Button Bang – Cinematic Sci-Fi Stems

This latest sample pack from Push Button Bang focuses on the dark (hence the cover) cinematic side of things. Cinematic Sci-Fi Stems is a 2.9 GB, 44.1kHz/24-bit collection that is nothing but long stems that are geared for the composing game, TV and film soundtracks, media sound design and evolving ambient tracks. Its main theme is to provide composers and producers a flexible yet reliable set of 110 sounds for track building. This is a complete package that will enable you to create some sonic moods, soundscapes, spooky and dark tracks in no time. The 110 full length one-shots includes some terrific subtle ambiences, tonal pads, sinister FX and synth pulses (for adding tensions and interest) and deep drones. What I like about these stems is that they are 1 to 6 minutes in length. They evolve and change over time offering huge possibilities with editing. They can also be layered one another to create a new wall of sound. Of the entire bunch, my favorites are the drones because of their otherworldly character. We all know that Push Button Bang has a good catalog of electronica sample libraries, but this one has got to be one of my favorites. It’s dramatic, but strange at the same time. Go get it.

WEB:

www.loopmasters.com

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$26.58 USD

 

Samplephonics – Saharan Rhythms

Saharan Rhythms is a collection of live Afro-percussion instruments sampled to perfection. This library captures the essence of African rhythms and offers plenty of traditional grooves that can be used for world music or can be injected into a house (for instant afro house) or techno mix. This 24-bit library is delivered in multiple audio formats, plus patches for popular software samples are supported for playability and flexibility.  Saharan Rhythms includes 50 construction kits, with a total of 250 loops and 148 one-shots. Each kit contains all the necessary elements to build a full rhythm mix. Live percussion loops include instruments such as Djembes, Surdos, Udus, Ghana Bells, Bongos and Congas, plus a multitude of other percussion instruments and more. This is not the first time I have seen Samplephonics release an exotic library of this sort. In fact they have numerous under their catalog, which is always good because these types of libraries take you on a journey to another world. Good stuff! 

WEB:

http://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

Acid/Wav/Rex2/Aiff Apple Loops

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP

 

Sounds of Revolution – Deep Organic and Dirty

The name Sounds of Revolution is synonymous with high quality electronic/EDM samples. By now many producers should know Sounds of Revolution (aka Oliver Schmitt) with his regular sample library releases. He’s a guy that has been cranking out quality sample packs and Deep Organic and Dirty is another genuine-to-the-genre release that is simply great. I’ve seen plenty of EDM sample packs released left and right, but this 24-bit, 1.05 GB library is an all-new and fresh sounds for deep and dub house, minimal, techno, electronic, etc. Deep Organic and Dirty covers a wide variety of sounds including elegant synth, mixed loop, basses, 303 loops, atmospheres and many more categories. This pack also offers a handful of good vintage vocal and vocal FX samples. As always, Sounds of Revolution delivers great-sounding drum hits, and there are quite many included in this pack. Sound-wise, the samples have an organic vibe, especially the bass and percussion samples. Bottom line: there’s plenty of useable material here that will work in any production, material that is fresh sounding so that it’s guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

WEB:

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

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$34.95 USD

 

The Loop Loft – Complete Takes Bundle

If you’re a hardcore drum and percussion loops aficionado, The Complete Takes Bundle is a collection by The Loop Loft that you might like. It features hard hitting loops and one-shots for your rhythm needs. This royalty-free pack comprises four volumes and is sold at a great price. The idea behind Complete Takes is to give producers natural drum loops that can be used from start to finish in an arrangement, meaning this is a multitrack drum session that is pre-arranged in a traditional song structure. It has all the sections of a song you need, from intro and outro with verse and choruses in between. Weighing in at a whopping 4.82 GB, this bundle contains twelve separate multitrack drum sessions each 3 to 4 minutes long. The Loop Loft designed the Complete Takes to have one thing in mind: to be a sample resource for quick drum pattern arrangement. It’s very flexible and the live performance sounds great. I believe this is not for everyone, but if you ever need drum components/parts for quick song arrangement, the material here can get you up to speed in no time.

WEB:

http://www.thelooploft.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, REX2, Stylus RMX and AIFF

PRICE:

$29 USD

 

Connect with Ginno at www.facebook.com/ginnolegaspi

 

 

 

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