Sample Magic Sunrise Sessions
Multi-formatReviews : Sample / Sound / Song Library
I reviewed Sample Magics Sunset Sessions back in SOS November 2007 and found it to be a good (if slightly patchy) source of sweltering down-tempo inspiration. Now comes its follow-up, Sunrise Sessions, which is around 1GB of new 24-bit loops and one-shots covering a nominal 80-100 bpm range. Just more of the same?
Well, the drums are certainly a step up. You get 130 main loops, a couple of dozen fills and 140 one-shots replete with funky vinyl character, rolling low-end warmth and dub crustiness. Theres also a welcome dose of MPC-style attack bite, the groove lumbers along unstoppably and theres a (sensibly) more restrained use of effects. My only real criticism is that the extreme low end is frequently quite uncontrolled. The percussion loops arent bad either. They include traditional percussion instruments and various digital squirps, frequently slathered with entertaining delay, modulation or glitch treatments.
Wafting keyboards are central to the chilled atmosphere here and the piano, Rhodes and Wurli parts all noodle with appropriate aimlessness. Occasional reverse and delay effects add a touch of spice. The electro-mechanical keyboards sound great, but the acoustic piano files are afflicted with loud creaks from the players perch and a little too much recorded-in reverb. The Bells and Glock folder has some treats: imagine what U2s the Edge might have done with mallets and youre probably thinking along the right lines! The rather trippy Strings folder follows a similar theme, although the source is a violin (not that youd guess it at times).
The Guitar Loops folder has a lot of effects madness too, but still makes room for some quite conservative double rhythm-part loops with a guitar on each side of the stereo field. These all sound really good and are much more inspirational than the keyboard parts. The Saxophone licks are another highlight, sidestepping many potential clichés and delivering an appealingly dry, threadbare tone. The trumpet, on the other hand, doesnt sound very well recorded and somehow manages to come across as both muffled and piercing at the same time. Rounding out the collection are a small selection of rather pedestrian bass guitar loops, 30-odd dreamy vinyl hits and a dozen rather random glitchy sound effects.
Its the beats that make this library worth the money and youll get decent value if you spend time weeding the rest of the material. So, given run-of-the-mill usability (multiple file formats and bpm/chord file naming) I think Sunrise Sessions still finds itself in the same four-star category as its predecessor. Maybe Sample Magics luck will change with Elevenses Sessions... Mike Senior£59 including VAT.
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