This 3.2GB Elastik-format library is split into two parts: part A contains 10 construction kits, while part B offers some additional instrument and drum loops that can be mixed and matched with material from part A or used independently, as required. The Elastik front end is a simple, but surprisingly effective, loop playback tool, with tempo, pitch and basic filter functions, operating in stand‑alone, VST, Audio Units and RTAS formats.
Pop Charts' 10 construction kits are well populated with material and each contains all the instrumental and drum parts required to create a complete song structure. The loops for each kit are organised into five groups. A 'Mix' group provides a few pre‑mixed loops, effectively demo-ing the main song sections with a couple of variations of each. The 'Bac' group contains the same instrumental mixes but without the drums. The 'Drm' group contains all the drum loops, and these include both full drum kit and loop layers, giving you extra flexibility to combine the layers (kick, snare and hi‑hat, for example) to your own taste.
The 'Inst' group holds all the individual instrument layers, and these include bass, piano, guitar and synth sounds. The synths dominate but, in each case, there are variations allowing you to create convincing intro, verse, chorus, middle eight and ending sections. The final group in each kit — 'Drm Shots' — contains a series of single drum hits and these are useful if you need to build some additional variation into your beats.
The additional loops within part B include cymbals, piano, synths, synth bass, bass, guitar and drums, and the last three types dominate. There is some useful extra material here, with the bass loops being particularly good. Again, with each of the main instrument types, there are generally several loops that are variations on a theme and would work well either as layers or to build up a sequence with variations.
While 'pop' covers a range of possible styles, the kits themselves had me thinking of current Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga or Girls Aloud material, and specifically their more synth‑led dance tracks, rather than the slicker, R&B‑influenced material. So, in that particular style, the Pop Charts title is totally appropriate. Add in a set of well‑crafted lyrics and some superstar vocal talent and you could create a very credible chart‑bound hit. I thought some of the kits were more inspiring than others, and perhaps the only down side of the library, as a whole, is the somewhat limited number of kits themselves. That said, the kits that are here are well stocked, so if you want some instant hit material, dig in — just do it quickly before someone beats you to it. John Walden