Tribal Tech House presents around 850MB of unique content in WAV, Apple Loops, REX and Stylus RMX formats, with patches for EXS24, Halion, Kontakt 2 and Reason NNXT, giving a total of just over 2.5GB of data.
The samples are grouped into different folders of loops, including Basslines, Beats and Combi Loops, for example, and a drum‑hits folder including Crash Hats and Kicks. The loops are further grouped by tempo into 125bpm, 127bpm and 130bpm folders. While this isn't quite construction‑kit format, it makes it simple to piece together the basis of a track by selecting what you need quickly and easily. The melodic loops are also clearly labelled in their filenames to show their keys.
As for the sounds themselves, I started with the beats and was pleased to find that most of the loops offered at least two variations (sometimes more). Because of the quite minimal nature of tribal and tech‑house music, these loops often have quite a lot of space in them, which is not only true to form for the genre, but also handy for using them in other contexts, as it allows you to build things quite subtly. Further percussive loops can be found in the Tops and Percussion Loops folders. Many of the loops have little glitchy, processed elements that add timbral and rhythmic interest, without being overbearing. There's not a huge selection of individual drum hits, but the sounds that are here have been well chosen to fit with the genre and are all very clean, solid and well recorded.
Moving on to the melodic loops, I have to say that, while they are very good and many of them could form the basis for a club hit, they suffer from the problem that is inherent in this type of product: many of the sequences/grooves are great, but having quite short loops in one key seriously limits what you can do with them. The Apple Loop versions have a degree more flexibility because you can transpose them, but I wish that sample-library manufacturers would take advantage of the space available on a DVD and provide all of the melodic loops in at least a couple of different keys.
Personally, I love the sounds in this collection and it contains everything you need to build a dark and brooding track with very little effort. However, at the same time this library feels slightly limited by the restrictions on using the melodic loops, given the single key. Of course, with any library of this nature, the loops are also often very recognisable, so my advice would be to use the samples as a basis and add your own unique elements on top. Simon Langford
Big Fish Audio +1 800 717 3474.