Format: Digital Download of Apple Loops, REX, Stylus RMX, plus Reason NNXT, Logic EXS-24, Kontakt 2, and Halion
Genre: Tech House
Distributed by: Sample Magic
Demo: Audio demos on product page.
Today we're going to have a look at "Tech House", the latest release from UK sampleheads Sample Magic. The collection is split between 410 loops of various types and nearly 1,000 one-shot drum and percussion samples (pre-mapped for the most popular sampler formats). So let's dive in and have a look.
The loops are broken down by part and clearly marked with the tempo and musical key were relevant. Things start out with a selection of 1 and 2 bar Bass Loops. These range from wall-rattling subs to filtered bass with warping envelopes to bright, upfront, snappy synth basses. The basslines all groove nicely and the production is true to tech house's high tech bag of production tricks.
Next, we have a generous selection of Drum Loops. Most of these are available in multiple variations (no kick, top-end only, etc.) to give you more flexibility when using them in your own arrangements. The programming here is simple, but extremely creative, using minimal elements to their fullest extent. The kicks punch through and maintain plenty of low-end energy without being muddy. The snares are bright and present and surrounded by shuffling hats, synth percussion, and even glitched vocal or music snippets.
Perhaps a bit unusual for a loops collection are the 6 FX type loops consisting of breakdown and rising effects useful for middle sections, intros, and transitions. All of them are big and impressive sounding and would lend serious club cred to any arrangement.
Next up, are numerous Vocal Glitch Loops. These are rhythmically edited vocal samples useful for adding an instant housey vibe. Some of them make up recognizable phrases ("get up!") while others are heavily edited enough to essentially be funky gibberish. The production of these is nice, with some of the vocals sounding like they were lifted from vinyl, some of them sounding like they came form a vintage sampler, etc.
The Music Loops that follow consist of two or more synthlines/basslines combined into quick, ready to go arrangements. I'd have liked to have seen multiple variations of these loops with various elements stripped away to make it easier to vary the tracks a bit. Many loops do come in multiple flavors, but these are generally filtered/unfiltered, or rhythmic variations.
The Perc & Nu-perc and Tops and Hihats loops are both great for adding instant interest and groove to your existing kick and snare parts. All are very efficiently put together and perfectly produced, complete with the head-nodding shuffle so vital to building a house beat.
Finally, we have the Synth Loops, where you'll find all manner of chords, leads, plucks, and sequences for laying over your drums and basslines. As throughout the rest of the collection, these are beautifully produced, catchy, and energetic. There's really nothing here I'd consider filler - any of these riffs could be the basis for a club smasher.
In addition to the great loop collection, Sample Magic has included a ton of one-shot drum and percussion loops for creating your own beats with. These are pre-mapped into instruments for EXS24, Halion, Kontakt 2 and above, and NNXT. All sounds are helpfully broken down into categories: crashes, fx, closed hats, long hates, hits, layered kicks, kicks with less low-end, kicks with more low-end, layered claps and snares, nu-perc, rides, and tribal perc. These sounds alone will keep you plenty busy and sound every bit as impressive as the loops themselves. And because they're one shots, they could be used easily in just about any club-oriented genre in need of pure, electronic sounds.
Finally, it's worth noting that Sample Magic include something in their sample collections that sets them apart from others: a PDF booklet including tons of quick production and programming tips for users to learn more about producing the genre involved. While these will, of course, be most useful to beginners, they're handy in a general sense if you want your tracks to sound authentic. A great little addition to a fantastic sample collection. [9/10]