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Loopmasters Dubstep Onslaught

Multi-format By Oli Bell
Published March 2015

Loopmasters have teamed up with the Dubstep Onslaught label for this self–titled set of bass-heavy dubstep samples. Available as a download, Dubstep Onslaught contains 810MB of content sorted into the usual loops and hits.

Starting with the loops, these are separated into bass, synth and drum varieties. The 25 bass loops (140 bpm, like all the loops with REX files included) are interestingly split into three sub folders. One contains the full loop, one the mid–range part and the final one contains just the sub–part. This allows a free–form approach to mixing the bass end as well as easily creating interesting drops and builds.

Loopmasters Dubstep OnslaughtThe loops themselves are heavy and well put together with just the right balance of crusty synth, abrasive buzz and a pinch of ‘wubwub’. There are some real bangers included, as you’d expect from such a bass-heavy genre. The deconstructed split is interesting and it works pretty well, the subs in particular are very good and usable in their own right.

The synth loops are also well put together and cover a fair amount of sonic ground, from rave–style hoover leads to smoother synth bleeps and dance synth stabs. The programming and production is good throughout, but at only 18 loops it does feel a bit stingy to me.

The drum loops follow the same format as the bass loops, the 39 loops being split into three variations; full loop, percussion and kick/snare. Style–wise these beats are bang on target; half-time kicks and snares, skittery hats and some nice tasteful effects.

The deconstructed format works well for drums as it offers much more freedom to easily introduce breakdowns and builds. This is let down, however, by a mix-up in the naming of the files, which do not match, making things unnecessarily confusing. For example, kick and snare loop 34 and percussion loop 33 match with full loop 06! Not a deal breaker by any stretch, but this lack of eye for detail is annoying.

The single-hits half of this collection is split between bass, synth and drum. The bass and synth hits are nicely done, consisting of a reasonably varied selection of tones all pitched at ‘C’. The drum hits are also good, but lack variation, with some sounding a bit too samey, with the exception of the percussion set, which is woefully small. A bit disappointing to find no selection of traditional effects — impacts, drops, risers, etc — but what is here sounds good and is very usable.

Rounding everything off are 10 multi–samples in the usual soft-sampler formats, split between bass and synth. These are all nicely usable, if a little uninspired and generic; square and saw waves dominate the synths, whilst the bass multis fall a little flat. On the plus side the super-saw, in particular, is nice and fat.

Overall I liked Dubstep Onslaught, it’s all well put together and sounds as polished as you might expect. I think my main niggle is that this set does play very safe, style–wise, and feels a touch on the light side in terms of actual content. That said, if dubstep or bass–heavy production is your poison you’ll find this collection should slot in very nicely. Oli Bell