Developer: Wave Alchemy
Format: 24-bit/44.1k WAV files
Demo: Audio demos and free samples on Product Page.
Paperskins Snare Toolkit is the latest release from British developers Wave Alchemy. Paperskins is a library of 211 unique snare sounds, each provided in 3 variations (fluffers, snappers, and suckers) for a total of 633 sounds. All of the sounds were recorded through an analog signal chain and sampled into an Akai S-1000, often overdriving the inputs. As you might guess, this isn't a snare library aimed at providing you with hifi, clean samples. Instead, the idea is to interchangeably swap different "fluffers" with different "snappers" to built custom snare sounds.
The three variations each serve a different purpose, with the "fluffers" aimed at providing fullness and body, the "snappers" providing sharp transient attacks, and the "suckers" which are backwards versions. I have to admit, I found the last category pretty superfluous. I think playing a sample backwards is pretty easy stuff even for amateurs.
The sounds themselves are all over the map from weird synth snares, ringing, metallic acoustic snares, short snaps and heavy booms. As I said before, if what you want are pristine, unprocessed snare sounds, this is not the library for you. These are gritty, grungy, and full of character. The different versions of the sounds combine smoothly and easily, potentially expanding the number of sounds you can create. Of course you can layer them with your own snare samples or other third party libraries to provide body or snap.
Overall, Paperskins is a lot of fun to mess around with. There is a decent amount of interesting sounds here for the price, and the analog processing definitely gives these sounds an edgy grit I really liked. If you're looking for a quick and inexpensive way to add some attitude to your snare tracks, you should give it a listen. [8/10]