Electro City is a follow-up to Sample Logic’s Rhythmology. It uses the same Kontakt-based front end to provide loop playback, manipulation and creative effects, and is targeted at those making cutting-edge electronic music tracks or cues. Given the title, it’s perhaps no surprise that the 1000+ loops (around 5GB of uncompressed 44.1kHz/24-bit audio) that underlie the library are geared towards electro and urban music styles, although the moods can easily go from aggressive and dark to melodic and laid-back. The last point is an obvious contrast to Rhythmology; there are rather more melodic loops included here alongside the various rhythmic options.
Electro City is at heart a sophisticated loop-manipulation and playback tool. Presets are built around a maximum of four loop sources, which can be triggered as individual layers or en masse. However, the engine divides each loop into 16 slices, and the real magic is provided by the very detailed range of ways in which you can manipulate playback of the slices. This includes being able to reorder slices, repeat them, change the number of steps for each loop, and then apply a whole range of per-loop, per-step effects.
The latter are particularly impressive. Volume, pan, transpose (so you can craft melodic phrases), stutter and reverse are available all the time, and they are complemented by six lanes of ‘others’ chosen from a selection that includes compression, EQ, formant, distortion, lo-fi, delay, tape saturation, high-/low-pass filters, pitch-shift and modulation options. Not only can you apply these on a per-step basis for each individual loop, but each effect also offers a rather impressive range of controls. If you are into deep loop tweakery, Electro City has you covered. Sonically, the end results would be in the same ballpark as those possible with Sugar Bytes’ Effectrix or iZotope’s BreakTweaker, although the means of getting there provided by Electro City’s effects options is operationally different from both of those products.
Electro City’s engine also offers presets at all sorts of levels. You can load a full preset with four loops and all the effects; the library ships with over 300 of these, and provides suitable category-based tags for finding what you want. However, there are also presets for individual loop layers, options to browse the raw loops, presets for the various effects, and the ability to load just the loops from a preset or just the effects. Equally, within a single preset, you can configure four variations for all your effects settings (the loops remain the same) and use keyswitches to move between them on the fly for performance variations. There are also various options for randomisation if you just want to roll the dice and see how creatively lucky you might get.
Electro City is, of course, restricted to using just its underlying library of loops, so this is most definitely a library/instrument that is only going to appeal to those working within electro/electronic musical genres. The price might put it out of reach for some but, EDM, electro and music-to-picture producers looking for a fresh source of very creative loop-trickery will find Electro City has a lot to offer. John Walden