Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: Dino Psaras Global Techno and Psy Styles

Libraries: Dino Psaras Global Techno and Psy Styles
Download REX/WAV/Apple Loops
Goa/Psy Trance, Progressive Electronica, Techno, Dance
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Today we're going to take a look at one of the latest offerings from busy samplemeisters Loopmasters: Dino Psaras Global Techno and Psy Styles. Psaras has been a heavyweight in the psytrance scene for many years now and his work is known for its stellar production. So can he bring that magic to a sample library? Read on.

Like most Loopmasters libraries, Dino Psaras consists both of loops and sample instruments in a wide variety of popular sampler formats. All the loops are available as REX files pre-sliced and ready to be dropped into your track. All told, there is over 700 MB of material here in 24-bit.

The loops are divided into sub-categories for your convenience. We start out with 40 bassline loops. These run the gamut from mid-rangey, galloping psy basslines, to pumping electro, to straight ahead trance. They're all very good and extremely energetic, but more important is the sound programming which is extremely authentic as you might expect.

This is followed by a folder of 'beat glitch loops'. These are heavily edited and processed percussion parts perfect for being used as fills or transitions between song parts. They're all very well programmed and high-tech sounding and would be an interesting change from old fashioned drum fills (not that there is anything wrong with those).

Next we find a selection of excellent hi-hats loops. These are all very electronic and occasionally feature some more synth laser type sounds, but all are very kinetic and would work in any sort of high energy music for the dance floor. Disappointingly, the kick loops folder only had ten loops in it. Given that this is aimed at straight ahead 4 to the floor beats, I guess there is only so many you need, but what is here is so good, it really left me wanting more. Each kick loop has its own distinct timbre and that mid-range punch that defines so much psytrance is here in abundance.

Next up, two folders of lead lines in various keys. Keep in mind that what defines a lead line in psytrance is a bit removed from the traditional use of the word. You're not going to find fluffy supersaw cheese here. Instead, you'll find a nice assortment of twisted filter groans, rhythmic synth coughs, and sci-fi weirdness. A few more melodic options are here too, but they don't seem quite as special as the more unusual loops. Psytrance is a genre known for its attention to sound design and that is indeed what sets these apart from more typical trance collections.

The final three folders are denoted as Loop Helpers, Neural Gates, and Runners and all are designed for dropping on top of your own snare and kick lines to add some complexity and movement. They each do this in different ways, though. Loop Helpers consist mostly of light, synthy hihat/shaker rhythms. Neural Gates sort of walk the line between percussion and sound fx with lots of filtered sweeps and choppy rhythms. These are more attention-getting sounds that would be best used for transitions and fills. The Runners section is the most varied with everything from full top end loops, to snare ghost notes, to weird synth percussion parts. Most of these are very light in sound and would work best behind your own drum parts to fill them out a bit.

Of course, man cannot live on loops alone, so an additional 31 sampler instruments are included as well. These consist of some distinctly housey chord stabs, a selection of long, evolving atmospheres, dropping and rising effects, hits, impacts, and spacey synth swoops, some very tight drums, and some cool heavily effects vocal effects. Keep in mind that although there are only 31 actual instruments here, many of them offer different sounds mapped across all the keys, so there is a lot more here than meets the eye at first glance. The sound quality is very good. I would've liked to see some synth bass sounds offered, but there's more than enough good stuff to keep you busy here.

If you're a dance producer or remixer, even if it isn't psytrance, you owe it to yourself to check this collection out. Although many of the sounds are unmistakably 'psytrance', most would fit in seamlessly in any sort of dance oriented style including house, trance, and any of the more progressive styles of electronica. The highly technical style might not be appropriate for every genre, but for those who appreciate the tweaky stuff, this might be a good place to start. [9/10]


That drunk guy said...

Thank goodness that the sounds are fresher than Dino's cliche bottom lit brooding expression headshot.

Please send him Bob Libby's phone number ASAP.

Tom said...