Review: No Dough NDS-4 Underground House

No Dough NDS-4 Underground House

No Dough’s fourth release in the NDS sample pack series is titled Underground House.

Simply put, this is the heart and soul of the underground house scene in a massive collection of over 7000 professionally crafted WAV sounds, designed to give you that authentic House music vibe you hear from your favorite artists but in a format that is useful for any style of music that requires a punchy analogue sound.

The sample pack features:

  • 4,700+ drum and percussion hits.
  • 59 multi-sampled instruments.
  • 161 bass and synth loops.

The drum and percussion hits include various classic sounds of drum machines and sampled sources, with three variations; Original recordings, driven, vinyl and Revox (Studer tape machine) versions. No Dough used some various outboard gear to get an authentic vibe. Everything is nicely categorized in folders by the type of drum hit. No drum kits are included though.

To record the multi-sampled instruments, No Dough used gear by Oberheim, Roland, some old EMU samplers and FM synthesizers. The sampler patches are split up in various sections. There’s bass, strings & pads, leads & synths and organs and misc. A good amount of sounds.

The bass and synth loops sound very authentic as well. Actually, playing them individually they almost sound kind of low quality, lo-fi. But in a good way.

Loops are ready to be chopped, smashed, distorted and resequenced, each loop features a Recycle version and we have also included a selection of Midi files so you can get at the notes themselves to twist, mash and create.

I’d say that is a good thing, because these loops are meant for chopping. You are not going to get much of a good result by simply tossing the loops together as there are some tuning issues and files have no mention of which key they’re in. This set of loops just isn’t a construction kit type set so unless you stick with using just a single loop and create additional melodies around that, you are supposed to do some of the work yourself. The sound is there though.

Check out the demo track to get an idea of what NDS-4 Underground House is about.

So what do I think?

Product: NDS-4 Underground House by No Dough
Format: 24bit WAV, REX + sampler patches (Kontakt/EXS24/HALion/NN-XT)
Price: £39.99 GBP
Like: authentic sounds, good variety
Don’t like: no key info in loops
Verdict: 8/10

Even though No Dough prides itself in recording in high quality 96kHz/24bit, it’s still vintage synths, gritty sampler sounds, tape machines, and analog processing chains we’re talking about. NDS-4 is not about pristine quality, it is about the vibe of classic underground house music.

No Dough’s key description for the Underground House pack is “tone, warmth and musicality”. I hear that, and I would sum those up and call it authentic. Individually the samples and loops sound somewhat raw to me, lo-fi, perhaps slightly dated. And that’s how it is supposed to be, because once you start putting things together you quickly end up with something that sounds like the real deal. Go check it out.

More information: NDS-4 Underground House

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