Ginno’s Sound Investments

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Ginno looks at fifteen sound libraries from Bluezone, Samplephonics, Samples from Mars, Zero-G and other fine audio purveyors.

 

by Ginno Legaspi, Mar. 2017

 

Zero-G – Popcorn

I’ve reviewed a number of pop-oriented loop libraries in the past but none from Zero-G. It’s great to have Popcorn included in this issue. While the title is appropriate and catchy, this construction kit sound library offers some serious sounds. The 520 files in WAV format (duplicated in AIFF) have all the ingredients to kick start your creative juices. Whether you need rhythms, melodies or chords, this 2.2 GB set is packed with shimmering contemporary pop to totally cheesy loop lines. Each construction kit folder includes fresh stem samples and a full-mix file. They were recorded/edited with key and tempo information for ease of use. Popcorn was created using various instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, piano, synth organ, horns, strings and etc. I must say that the sounds are very lovely and well recorded. The drum loops, for example, have a nice punch to them. The chorused guitars have a nice sheen that even the pop rock crowd will appreciate. So if you’re looking to add a bag o’ buttery character to you mixes, expect this collection of 24 construction kits to deliver.

WEB:

http://www.timespace.com/

FORMAT:

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

PRICE:

£57.95 GBP including VAT

 

Wave Alchemy – Tech House

Inside this collection you will find 370 WAV loops and 295 one-shots and SFX samples that contain bass, drum shots and tones, percussion, top, synths, vocals, shaker, SFX, and one-shots. The audio files are duplicated in Acidized WAV, Apple AIFF and REX files. An Ableton Live pack, synth presets (Sylenth1, Massive) and popular software sampler patches are also included in the library for those who’d like to work in software sample programs. The main focus of Tech House is to offer producers a variety of useful sets of up-front sounding samples for house and electronica sub-genres. It was inspired by the thriving Tech House scene and pioneering labels such as Toolroom, Suara and Hot Creations.  All samples were recorded in 123 BPM and delivered in pristine 44.1kHz/24-bit. After auditioning the Tech House in Acid 6.0, I would say that this is a very professional-sounding library, and ready to prime the dancefloors. There is some pretty interesting material included here, especially the Creative tools folder, in which includes synth presets, MIDI files and several stem files for easy backing track construction. This is a nice pack in which nothing is short on quality.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, Apple Loops, Live, ReFill, MIDI files, Sampler patches

PRICE:

$37.32 USD

 

Samplephonics – Future Pop

As the name suggests, Future Pop is a sample library that is intended for commercial, current and electro pop music. Think Drake, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Keisha. Even producers who are looking for that 80’s inspired sounds can harness the wealth of sounds this pack has to offer. This library serves as a comprehensive source of sounds for mainstream producers passionate about adding inspiration to their productions. The 724.2 MB of content is organized into several folders of arps, bass, chords & keys, drum grooves, FX and textures, instruments, leads and melodies and pads. Tempo ranges from 77-170 BPM with the loops recorded in different root keys. Aside from the loops folder, Future Pop also ships with a folder of 165 one shot samples. These samples have some really unique sounds (chants, tubed perc, warm 808 toms in key) that can be combined with the other loops. The samples themselves sound absolutely great and Samplephonics did a top-notch job in creating this library. It’s clean, punchy and very inspiring. I really like this sample pack very much. Overall, this pack covers plenty of ground – not just for pop music but electronic, dance and hip hop as well.  

WEB:

https://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, Kontakt, NN-XT, Halion, SFZ, EXS24

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP

 

Bluezone Corporation – Subspace Distortion: Sci-Fi Cinematic Samples

When it comes to atmospheric/cinematic samples, Bluezone Corporation has always been at the forefront of releasing such libraries. One of their best ambient offering is Deadspace, an instant classic released a years ago which I had the pleasure of reviewing. Subspace Distortion follows the Deadspace vein but imparts a more saturated sound. The folder called “Impact” showcases this, as well as the “Transition” effects folder. Weighing in at 790 MB, this sample pack of 119 files follows the BC standard with essential cinematic ingredients. You get plenty of crisp impacts, futuristic effects, evolving atmospheres, dark-sounding synths, massive textures and a superb collection of energetic drones. The ambience and transition samples are something special and add value to Subspace Distortion. It was great auditioning them in Acid 6.0. As always, BC delivers the high quality stuff for game, TV/film and soundtrack composers. This is a good buy.    

WEB:

http://www.bluezone-corporation.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

€10.95 EUR

 

Mode Audio – Fragment

This collection from Mode Audio delivers an assortment of drum samples that are on par with some of the drum hits collection on offer out there. It includes sounds such as claps, crashes, hats, rims, shakers and toms that are unique, punchy and production-ready. What’s beautiful here is that Fragment offers far more than the standard electronic sample pack – it includes twelve drum kit sampler presets for your favorite DAW and five channel strip presets. With the help of various sources (even field recordings), Mode Audio was able to create a comprehensive set acoustic and electronic drum samples that can be used to create your own drum rack from the ground up. The materials here have something for every producer wanting to create any techno, down-tempo, minimal, tech house, nu disco, ambient and hip hop. With 80 MB download size and over 300 samples there’s a lot to play with, including the usual categories of heavily processed kicks, snappy snares and cut-through percs. While not mind-blowing, I find Fragment very inspirational for drum kit building and useful for the creation of drum loops. A good buy for its price.

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/

FORMAT:

WAV, Ableton Live Pack, Logic Pack, ReFill

PRICE:

£15 GBP

 

Samples From Mars – Modular Creations

It’s good to know that Samples From Mars has finally made a sample pack showing off modular synthesis skills. Unlike other rhythms and sequences libraries out there, Modular Creations (1.75 GB total) is a trip to the Eurorack world, with an emphasis on Intelligent Dance Music (IDM), electronica and glitch-style sounds. Inside this pack, you’ll find three main folders of Modular Loops, Modular Drones and Modular Raw Voltage samples. The sounds themselves were programmed, recorded and injected with chaos, disorder and wonky characteristics. The main attraction of this pack are the 140 Modular Loops recorded at 120 BPM. These are some of the best carefully crafted selection of loops I’ve heard since writing for SoundBytes. The forty-six uber-modulated ambient drones are also excellent in their own right. They would be good for “beds” in ambient compositions – especially if you drown them in lush reverb. The beauty of this library is that you can just about go limitless utilizing them in your own productions. I wish there were more ambient drones samples as I really liked them. That said, this is one of the coolest electronica sample pack I’ve reviewed. Highly recommended.

WEB:

https://samplesfrommars.com/

FORMAT:

WAV/REX/AIFF/Ableton Live 9/Kontakt/EXS24

PRICE:

$39.00 USD

 

Gothic Instruments – Sculptor: Massive Swooshes (Audio Pack)

Created by Hollywood trailer sound designer, Sculptor: Masssive Swooshes is a huge collection of futuristic transition sounds that were rendered from the full Kontakt version of Sculptor. This library is delivered in WAV format and is broken into two sub-folders of 44.1kHz (for commercial) and 48kHz (for media) versions. The title is significantly accurate because the content is brimming with screeching whooshes to softer, slower swishes. Each samples of this massive 11.22 GB library is labeled with pan, time and key information for ease of use and flexibility. Depending of what you’re looking for, there are several categories of swooshes to choose from; Lowend has plenty of rumble, Distortion has a nice touch of saturation/coloration, Mixed are layered swooshes, Scraping are swooshes with metals being scraped and etcetera. Inside this pack, you’ll also find variations of the original clean samples that were applied with gate and extreme FX, detuned, reversed and re-recorded in half-speed. Sound-wise, this library is nice, well-recorded and sampled superbly with enormous usability. The applied ambience/reverb FX in the samples sound very lush and big. Overall, I like this audio pack because it’s very useful for little fillers for anything trailer, game or film music. Highly recommended.

WEB:

http://www.timespace.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

£19.95 GBP including VAT

 

Loopmasters – Stranger Synths

Stranger Synths is a library produced and created by Dom Morley at his Flint Barn Studio, using some cool pieces of hardware gear such as Mos-Lab, MacBeth, Wiard, Modcan, MOTM and a huge variety of Eurorack modules. These were recorded through vintage Telefunken mic-pres and treated with an assortment of pedals and outboard compressors and EQs. The result is a pack that focuses on synthwave and retrowave sounds that dominated the 80s. Stranger Synths was inspired by the sounds and moods of the Netflix series `Stranger Things’, and is a no-nonsense sample pack offering 35 construction kits of material for use in styles such as ambient, chillout, soundtracks, hip hop, synthwave and downtempo genres. But it can be called for service for anything that requires sounds reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, John Carpenter and etc. This collection weighs in at 802 MB with 24-bit sample rate and supports major audio formats. Loops and samples on offer include bass, arp, sequence, synth, FX and pad loops. The arp loops are plentiful with a great variety to choose from. These are definitely useful for augmenting in arrangements or mixes that require ‘motion’ or ‘movement’. Being a fan of the show, I love Stranger Synths. I think Dom Morley pinned the sound here real well. It sounds superb, and now you can stamp your productions with that Stranger Things vibe.

WEB:

www.loopmasters.com

FORMAT:

WAV, Apple Loops, Rex

PRICE:

$37.32 USD

 

Samplephonics – Downtempo Movements

The demo tune of Downtempo Movements on Samplephonics’ website features soothing keys, sublime pads and has an underlying downtempo drum loop that sounds awesome and represents what the library is all about. You don’t have to have a fast tune to have one killer demo. All you need are some really good samples that are great-sounding and functional. Downtempo Movements is a library comprise of 270 loops and 200 hits in different audio format. All files are recorded in 44.1kHz/24-bit with an emphasis on ambient, chill, lounge, downtempo and soundtrack/film/game. Auditioning the samples was an absolute joy because you’ll feel that evocative sense of calm and serenity. These will quite help producers create strong arrangements in their preferred DAWs (digital audio workstations). Also, a majority of the samples are good “as is” and require no additional processing. That’s not to say you can’t be experimental, but the possibilities and usability of the samples here are flexible. And for the price, I think this is a good deal. 

WEB:

http://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

Wav/Kontakt/NN-XT/EXS24/Halion/Live/SFZ/Ableton

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP

 

Black Octopus – Superfluidity: Liquid Dn’B & Drumstep

Superfluidity was created by Paradigm Theorem, and is a handy tool for producers of drum and bass and drumstep sub-genre. This sound library from Black Octopus weighs in at over 3 GB with plenty of samples to choose from as you see fit. Including in this library are 800 perfectly mastered drum samples, 775 drum loops, 305 musical instruments and 300 effects samples. Producers who are looking to start on a new project will benefit from this variety of “ready-to-drop” samples, or you can slap on some loops for quick foundation of a track. Fortunately, Superfluidity sounds well-produced and provides you polished samples. Some of the sample categories are broken down into different sub-categories for maximum usability and flexibility in adding them to any arrangement. Sound-wise, the loops are very energetic, authentic and punchy enough to be used in mainstream dn’b productions. If fast drum and bass is your thing, I would suggest checking this library out.

WEB:

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

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

€49.95 EUR

 

Mode Audio – Glide

Glide: Chill Electronic Loops by Mode Audio is a take on the laidback side of electronica, with samples inspired by the likes Claude Chagall, Hideo Kobayashi and more. The material here covers the chill, ambient, downtempo and lounge end of electronic music. It is presented in three folders of drum samples, glide loops and glide tail samples, with a lot of sophisticated and up-to-date samples. There are 491 files in total including the 82 MIDI files that were recorded ranging from 80-150 BPMs. Sound-wise, the loops are clean sounding, free of clicks & pops, and recorded very well. Of my favorites, the guitar loops and synth & FX samples are great. The guitar folder has a tasty selection of licks, while the synth and FX folder are very inspirational. The drums samples folder on the other hand, in my opinion is the star here. There are a total of 74 files of kicks, hats, snares, toms and an assortment of one-shot noise. If you’re after some great synthesizers and drum samples, this sample pack is full of killer loops – no filler. This is the new cool of electronica sample pack!

WEB:

https://modeaudio.com/

FORMAT:

Apple Loops/REX2/WAV/Live/Reason

PRICE:

£20 GBP

 

Bluezone Corporation – Cobalt: Trailer SFX

This sample pack from Bluezone Corporation takes inspiration from the cinematic side of electronica genre and includes a variety of effects staples such as textures, drones, whooshes, transitions, rises, soundscapes and sound effects. Bluezone packed plenty of samples to play with (1.65 GB of content) along with popular audio formats WAV and AIFF supported. With 179 files in 24-bit there are plenty of quality sounds to play here with. If you’re experimental like me, the samples are easy to work with because most of them invite you, the producer, for further processing. This is a big plus because sometimes I’d like to torture my samples beyond recognition. But these meticulously recorded elements are good on their own. As always, Bluezone delivers quality samples at a modest price for personal or commercial usage. If you’re seeking a library chuck full of futuristic elements make sure you consider this pack. 

WEB:

www.bluezone-corporation.com

FORMAT:

WAV/AIFF

PRICE:

€16.95 EUR

 

Rankin Audio – Lo-fi Trip Hop

Here’s one thing about Rankin Audio: when they release a sample library, they want to make sure you are satisfied with the included content. When I reviewed their libraries in the past, I was much impressed with the number of materials included. The Lo-fi Trip Hop follows in those footsteps with a quality (not necessarily quantity) pack of pure and raw trip hop samples. This pack is an ethereal expedition into the past, present and future of trip hop and lo-fi grooves. This collection includes over 300 (16, 24-bit) files of loops and one-shots. Compatibility-wise, this pack will work in major software samplers that load in DAWS supporting WAV format. From ambient loops to percussion loops, Lo-fi Trip Hop gives you all the tools to finish your downtempo, trip-hop, urban, and hip hop masterpiece. I love the gritty, lo-fi drum loops, but the baseline loops shine bright as they are full-sounding and warm. This is a must for any trip hop producers who want a library full of amazing lo-fi melodies, authentic vocals and processed drum hits.

WEB:

http://www.loopmasters.com/

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

$24.86 USD

 

Samplephonics – Ambient Landscapes

Modern ambient sounds are the name of the game in this sample library by Samplephonics. Whether you’re into the production of soundtracks, experimental, chill, game music or other electronica sub-genres, Ambient Landscapes fills your needs with sonic diversity and beauty. There are plenty of samples here that are in the drones and atmospheric soundscapes categories. They include some engaging frozen textures, evolving soundscapes, dreamy guitars, sustained chords and well-programmed glitchy drums. Ambient Landscapes contains over 1 GB of content delivered in 24-bit pristine popular audio formats plus major soft sampler patches are supported. The 422 files includes loops and one-shot with tempos ranging from100-140 BPM. In the loops folders, there are many off-kilter goodies that are very inspirational. The one-shots folder includes drum hits such as kicks, snares, percussions, and cymbals that are ready to go inside your DAW’s drumrack. I find the heavily-processed “glitched” samples very useful, but the guitar samples are so good that they are a definite keeper.

WEB:

https://www.samplephonics.com/

FORMAT:

Wav/Live/NN-XT/Halion/Kontakt

PRICE:

£34.70 GBP

 

Sounds-of-Revolution – Drum Revolution

This release from Sounds-of-Revolution has plenty of great drum elements that fits the electronic and dance music genre. Punchy, in-your-face and cutting edge are some of the adjectives I can use to describe Drum Revolution library. This massive collection of drum hits boasts some 400+ MB (24-bit WAVs) worth of materials. There are 2500 total sounds that include claps, snares, clicks, kicks, hi hats, cymbals, rides, toms, percs and more. The variety of sounds that make up this library are some of the best I’ve auditioned, especially all the bonus SID, synth madness and vocal cut one-shots. These would be perfect for dubstep and trap mixes. The hard kicks and snappy snares are excellent. The Click+Element folder features some marvelous trickery in layered sounds. Like many of Sounds-of-Revolution’s sample packs the recording, programming and processing of this library is top notch. If you’re looking for quality drum hits to make a big role in your music productions, Drum Revolution can’t be beat.

WEB:

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

FORMAT:

WAV

PRICE:

£34.95 GBP

 

 

 

Connect with Ginno @ www.facebook.com/ginnolegaspi

 

 

 

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