Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review: Zenhiser Dirty IDM Glitch Beats Vol. 1

Library: Dirty Glitch IDM Beats Vol. 01
WAV files
IDM, Industrial, Experimental
Distributed by:
Download $7.99 AUD ($6.92 US)
On the
product page

Although they've apparently been around since 2005, I have to admit that this was the first I had heard of Australian sample developers Zenhiser. Frankly I'm a bit surprised, as they offer small sample packs for absurdly cheap, and with the economy just about everywhere in the dumps, I'd think thrifty musicians everywhere would know this company well. So if, like me, you hadn't checked their stuff out before, do take the time to check it out.

The library I'll be looking at today is called "Dirty Glitch IDM Beats" and consists of 45 16-bit stereo WAV files. All beats include multiple variations to help build more interesting arrangements in a full song. Ideally, I would've preferred the files be in 24-bit and include REX files, but given how completely inexpensive these are, it's really hard to sweat stuff like that. The files are named with the BPM in their filename for your convenience. I didn't try it, but most of the beats seem like they'd REX up pretty easily and flexibly across a decent range of tempos.

The beats throughout are indeed glitchy, but if you're expecting the IDM bit to be like the warm fuzzies of Boards of Canada or the metallic abstractions of Autechre, think again. As the title indicates, these are very hard-edged, dirty beats. In fact given the danceable, straight-forward feel of most of these beats, I'd almost be more apt to lump it in with the more intelligent side of industrial (think Skinny Puppy). Categorization aside, the beats are all very clever and infectious with a healthy dose of groove to them. The programming is efficient and interesting throughout.

Soundwise, these are very aggressively compressed and harsh. A quick dash of any of these loops will instantly add a harder, darker tone to whatever you're working on. The sound choice is good too, although I personally would've like to have heard a bit more timbral variety. Many of the kits used throughout sound kind of similar and the processing is more or less the same on all the loops. On the plus side, it makes mixing and matching different beats together effortless, but some may be disappointed not to hear a wider variety of sounds and processing techniques. After all, there are SO many ways to make a sound dirty these days.

I think Zenhiser has a really good idea with their sample libraries. Sometimes a musician just needs a handful of loops at most for some inspiration or to revive that track they're stuck on. But most sample libraries are pretty large and pricey. By offering small sample packs for just a few bucks, Zenhiser has given musicians another option for when they don't need the Super Size option. Overall, I was quite impressed by this library. Despite the lack of sonic variety, what's here sounds very good and the programming is excellent. (8/10)


statik said...

Thanks for this, i never heard of these guys either but their catalogue of sample packs looks quite useful and very affordable too. Great link! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I really like Zenhiser just for the fact that they sell small banks for cheap!