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Q. What are 'construction-kit' sample libraries?

Published April 2006
By Mike Senior

Q. What are 'construction-kit' sample libraries?

Could you please explain what construction kits are? I've come across them on sample CDs but don't know how they differ from normal loops.

Daniel Cochrane

Construction kits allow you to build a full track quickly and easily.Construction kits allow you to build a full track quickly and easily. Reviews Editor Mike Senior replies: A construction kit is a set of loops and sounds which are designed to work together and which can usually be used to construct a complete backing track. Therefore, it might include a number of different loops, all at the same tempo, with the same groove, in the same key, and based on the same chord progression.

In practice, most construction kits include more musical elements than you really need, but this means that you can create an arrangement which develops over a period of time by mixing and processing the different construction-kit samples. In fact, you can usually produce a complete backing track from a typical construction kit in this way, making it into a song simply by adding vocals.

The appeal of construction kits is the speed with which you can get a finished result, but the approach can also be frustrating if you're just looking for, say, guitar loops in a library. Some manufacturers also duplicate the construction-kit material in themed folders, which gets around this.

Construction kit titles, by their very nature, tend to be fairly genre-specific, so it's worth listening carefully to any demonstration files available for the library you're considering. Also because of this, construction kits often make quite interesting tutorials in production within the specific style, so they're certainly worth a look if you're trying to get a grip on how to get convincing results in a specific genre. 

Published April 2006