The latest addition to Ueberschall's ever-expanding collection of sample libraries for their Elastik format is Chart Hits. With over 500 sample loops (just under 1GB of content), spread over 10 song-based construction kits, the organisational format is similar to many of their genre-based titles. The loops within each construction kit are organised into three or four different musical sections and overall song construction can be as simple as organising a sequence of these sections.
Within each of the song sections, the user also has plenty of flexibility, as there are plenty of loops to work with (generally 15 or more in most of the song sections folders). As well as a pre-mixed drum loop, those who want full control over their drum mix, or just to drop different drum components out to create further variations, can also take advantage of a number of drum-loop layers containing kick, snare, claps, hi-hats, percussion and cymbals. The bulk of the drum sounds are electronic in nature and are suitably big, bold and dance-friendly.
While the rest of the instrumentation is dominated by synth sounds, the occasional guitar loop is provided, although some of these are processed, so don't expect too much acoustic strumming. The synths — basses, chord progressions, stabs and special effects — sound great; there's nothing here that would be out of place in a contemporary club. There's plenty of material to work with, and while you can just layer every loop into a wall of sound, if you apply a little more discretion there's more than enough variety in the various synth layers to let you build arrangements to hold the listener's interest for an extended remix.
The Chart Hits title might actually imply a range of different musical styles, but don't be fooled; the 10 construction kits here are pretty focused on anthemic, dance-friendly, house-meets-trance pop. While a couple of the kits are perhaps less energetic (the bulk of the original recording tempos are in the 125-130 bpm range), if you think of 'Titanium' by David Guetta or 'Party All Night' by Sean Kingston, you won't be far off the mark. Add your own top-notch vocal hooks and these tracks are ready to roll. Chart Hits sounds great and, at this price point, is decent value for money if you need a dose of dance-friendly, anthem-style synth pop in an easy-to-use format. John Walden
€49 including VAT.