Ginno’s Sound Investments
Gino Legaspi looks at four libraries from Zero-G and Black Octopus in an ongoing series of such reviews.
by Ginno Legaspi, Jan. 2014
Cyberstorm from Zero-G
Since the release of suberb Zero-G titles Perception and Deep Impact, I’ve been a fan of Frederic Devanlay’s work as a sound-smith specialist. He has once again teamed up with Zero-G to produce what they describe as “huge toolbox of sounds” called Cyberstorm. It doesn’t matter if you’re a game or film/tv composer, Cyberstorm offers just about every sci-fi & futuristic sound imaginable. In fact, there are 1300-plus epic sounds divided into 14 folders. Categories include Doors, Drones, Explosions, Machinery, Soundscapes, Mecha, Hi-Tech, Servos, Electronics, Impacts, Voices, Weapons and Whoosh. The samples in this library are delivered in 44.1kHz/24-bit WAV and Apple Loops format, plus soft-sampler patches for EXS24, Kontakt, HALion and NN-XT instruments. According to Frederic, the technology used in the creation of this library includes lots of synths, such as NI Skanner, Bass Station Nord Lead and Virus, as well as recordings of engines, metal scrapes and other sound source sampled. I reckon there has to be plenty of processing, morphing, looping and torturing of the original source materials involved because the sounds in this library are very intricate and out of this world, but at the same time beautiful and inspiring. If you’re a composer and movies such as Transformers, Battleship and Pacific Rim are your “thing”, then this library will not disappoint. A great buy.
Acid Wav, Apple Loops, EXS24, Kontakt, Reason NN-XT
60.96 £ including VAT
The London Sessions from Zero-G
The London Sessions from Zero-G is a sample library that was recorded in one of the most popular recording studios in the world, Dean Street in Soho, London. Top-notch British session musicians in London were brought in to record drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, organ and synthesizers, live strings, percussions, brass, woodwinds, vibraphone, clarinet, music box, Mellotron, harp, etc. Even a surprising vocal FX and turntable scratches are also thrown in for good measure.
As the title and DVD cover suggest, this sample library is suitable for all types of music, especially contemporary pop, funk, rock and soul. But as a producer, you use this as you see fit. The library comes with 1700 samples included, all recorded in 24-bit format. It contains 16 construction kit folders that can be mixed and matched to form a basis to your own new production or simply use the individual samples as an inspiration for song starters. The loops play well together and are great to listen to. A lot of thought and masterful skills & techniques have been poured into the production of this library by Jake Carter (producer, programmer and engineer). When I auditioned the loops in ACID, I find the guitars just wonderful sounding. The drum loops are very fresh and organic. You can’t go wrong with the strings either – very well recorded.
I find The London Sessions useful in your everyday sampling need. It has great selections of loops – whether you need a snippet of brass or a 4-bar guitar riff you can find what you need. Make this library a part of your list of future things to buy.
Acid WAV, AIFF Apple Loops, Reason NN-XT, EXS24 and Halion
Siren by Veela from Black Octopus
Every producer out there knows that it’s hard to find a decent vocal sample library: one that is well recorded, with plenty of useful loops and a killer performance by the vocalist. If you’re a producer looking for such library, then welcome to a world of quality vocal samples in Siren by Veela. This vocal sound-ware by Black Octopus comprises many beautiful vocal hooks, angelic vocal phrases and even random weird vocal performances are included. Veela, of course, is a good vocalist in her own right with plenty of chart topping tracks in Beatport under her belt. So the idea of sampling her pipes is only appropriate. Stat-wise, this library features 15 construction kits with the samples labeled accordingly with key & tempo info. Format delivery is in 44.1/24-bit WAV file. According to Black Octopus, her vocals were recorded using some of the best gear available, such as a Neuman TLM103, Studer A800, Empirical Labs Fatso, LA2A compressor and SSL E Channel Strip. Samples were recorded dry, but that’s good if you want to add own effects processing or twistedly mangle them into oblivion. And believe me, with the amount of included samples it will take years to exhaust all of them. In this collection, my favorites are the “Vocal FX” folder. Those vocals reverse with lots of dense reverb are so awesome for intros. Overall, this is a good sample pack especially if you’re looking to add a vocal flare to their productions. Sexy!
24-bit WAV Stereo
Corey Friesenhan Vocal Sessions Volume 1 by Black Octopus
Also in this installment of Sound Investments is a vocal library from Black Octopus called Vocal Sessions Vol. 1. Just like Veela, Corey Friesenhan is a professional Canadian singer/songwriter with a powerful, wide vocal range. If EDM is your area of production, then take note what this library has to offer. Vocal Sessions consist of twelve construction song-type kits that are oriented toward anyone who is into trance, house, pop, dubstep, pop and more. There are 540+ WAV files weighing at 1 GB. These range from soft to melodic to hard performances. There are Tones (vowel recordings), Swells (choir-like swells), Vocal FX (great for transitions) and many more. Parts include a variety of takes, harmonies and double tracked vocals – all labeled with key and tempo info for flexibility. Most of the samples are recorded in 135 BPM. But by chopping them up and manipulating them, you can create an endless supply of vocal licks for future use. Of the samples included, my favorites are the vocal “Swells” folder because they are great for fills and they can add drama to sections of your songs. The mutated loops are also great if you’re looking for a gated, robotic effect. Overall, this is a nice collection of samples worthy of checking out.
24-bit WAV Stereo
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