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Production House #1 Pack Mentality

Article
Alexander & Books

We road test Villem & Mcleod's Drum & Bass Sample Pack giving you some on the ground, honest and upfront feed back. 

Every month we are inundated with all the latest promo and press packs from across drum & bass, techno, dubstep and beyond. This in part helps us decide on what we will be featuring over the month and largely creates the material for our various genre specific reviewers to work with. Something we also receive every so often is news of different artists releasing sample packs… To date we haven’t really known if it was something we should be covering, with the only exception being Consequence’s Etchtect Libraries project. Until now that is… A few weeks ago we received Villem & Mcleod’s “Drum & Bass Sample Pack”. Being producers who have really come to the fore in recent times we decided to try something new.

So how do you review a sample pack? I bounced this question around my head for a day or so before I realized that the only real ways to means test the pack was to make something with it. Personally, I rarely ever make music and even when I do I make some of the most boring music that can be conceived from a dance music genre, so I was not the man for the job. However, friend of Organic and production enthusiast Books was on hand and eager to get his grubby hands on the pack.

So what is in the pack itself? Across 323 samples there are 54 bass loops and hits, 61 breaks and percussion loops, 44 fx samples, 34 pads, 97 drum hits and 33 synth and music loops all in WAV format, 16 bit 44Khz edited and normalized.

What did we do?

In order to avoid any of the common stumbling blocks when writing drum & bass we’ve tried to take a methodical approach, to this end we started with the intro rather than working back from a main riff. This meant that we were easily able to audition sounds working out what sounded nice together or had some kind of cohesive quality.

The sample pack in general does have a feeling of togetherness, which does mean that from a creative perspective, you are not spending time normalizing or fixing up sounds before getting into the track. The sounds are inherently robust, with the right frequencies in the right places at a decent enough relative volume. Books has made a point of highlighting that the sounds work well within the context of modern drum & bass, be it deeper, techstep or whatever it may be, everything falls into place nicely with contemporary techniques.

Although the sounds are ready to go as they are, Books spent time manipulating the sounds, resampling and generally putting the sounds through their paces. He also applied textbook grouping and gain structure as to keep the project consistent while also remaining objective.

The only criticism we can muster up is that we would probably like more… More similar percussive sounds, a few more breaks and maybe some vocal sounds too. Over all Villem & MCleod's Drum & Bass Sample Pack get a big purple Organic stamp of approval.

Below is the track Books came up with. It is worth mentioning that only sounds from the pack were used. Nothing else at all.

Villem & Mcleod’s Drum & Bass Sample Pack is available now at http://villemmusic.com for just £10.00.

http://soundcloud.com/villem
http://soundcloud.com/books