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Loopmasters Alternative House

Sample Library
By Simon Langford

This latest collection from Loopmasters comes courtesy of noted DJ, producer and remixer Tim Healey and production partner Marc Adamo, and weighs in at a hefty 3.9GB. That figure is slightly deceptive, though, as a lot of the material is duplicated in different formats. What we actually have is around 800MB of loops, in Apple Loops, WAV, Ableton Live, Reason Refill and REX formats, and a further 200MB of various one-shot samples. There are also sampler patches for Emu X2, EXS24, Halion, Kontakt, and Reason NNXT, plus SoundFonts.

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The loops are grouped into folders of Bass, Drum, FX, Music and Synth contenders, while the one-shot samples are grouped into Bass Multis, Drums, FX, Synth Sounds and Vox FX. This seems to be pretty much standard these days, and the familiarity is welcome.

Two things immediately struck me while running through the sounds, the first of which was the very edgy tone of many of them. In fact, the information accompanying the DVD makes a very strong point of mentioning the tube warmth and multiple stages of compression that were used in the creation of the sounds. In some respects, this is good, as it provides material that is instantly ready to go and doesn't require much, if any, processing. However, it has its drawbacks too, the main problem being that once you start to layer a few different elements, the 'tube warmth' becomes way too much, in my opinion. As I was auditioning the samples, there was a great temptation to just throw a few loops together and start working on a track, but as soon as I did, the warmth overload started to take effect and I found myself combining just one or two samples from this collection with less processed material. Having said that, it is immediately clear that a huge amount of time, effort and care has gone into creating the samples, and Loopmasters seem to be onto a winner with the series.

The second thing I noticed was that the samples, although in quite a narrow bpm range of 125-128, are quite diverse and would fit nicely into a number of different house-based genres. This is a nice change from some of the more narrow and focused collections I've heard lately.

I would certainly recommend this to anybody who wants to add a cutting‑edge feel to what they already have, as the faultless production will instantly add 'vibe' to whatever you are working on. Simon Langford

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Published June 2010