Review: Wave Alchemy Drum Tools 01
Wave Alchemy has recently released another drum sample library, Drum Tools 01.
Drum Tools 01 by Wave Alchemy offers over 1950 exquisitely produced electronic drum samples. All sounds in the collection have been built from the ground up using a jawdropping array of analogue circuitry and exclusive highend outboard gear.
Great care has been taken to capture the tone / vibe and warmth of the equipment used and all sample editing and file naming has been done by hand for maximum precision.
The drum samples in Drum Tools 01 have been created by the creative layering and processing of drum machines, exotic synthesizers / modulars, field recordings and the recording of live drum and percussive instruments.
Ah… just what I need: More creatively layered and processed drum machine, exotic sound sources and field recordings.
Of course I don’t really need another drum sample library… ToneBuilder’s Driven Machine Drums, various Goldbaby Productions titles, and Wave Alchemy’s own Drum Machines 01 already provide me with thousands of high quality samples.
So why Drum Tools 01? The beauty of sample libraries like the ones I just mentioned is that they feature sampled material from a unique combination of analog sound sources processed with high end outboard gear, so Drum Tools still sounds “different” from everything else I already have.
The list of gear used is quite impressive:
- Sound Sources: Future Retro XS, Korg MS20 & ER1, Jomox XBase 999, Airbase 99 & Mbase 11, Vermona DRM MK11, Elektron Machinedrum UW, Roland TR808, TR606 & TB303, ARP Odyssey, Minimoog Voyager, Nord Lead 3, Waldorf Pulse, and various live recordings & percussive instruments
- Sound Shaping: Thermionic Culture Vulture Mastering Version, Sherman Filterbank 2, Moog Filters & Envelopes, Korg MS20, Empirical Labs Distressor, SSL E Series EQ & Compressor, SPL Transient Designer & Gainstation Preamp, API 512c Preamp
So what does all this gear sound like? Check some high quality audio demos below to get an idea.
With close to 2,000 samples it is no luxury to have things well ordered. Wave Alchemy shows attention to detail by creating a clear folder structure; main folders like claps, kicks, snare drums, etc., and subfolders within most main folders to help you find exactly those samples you are looking for. Granted there are some folders containing samples with _001, _002 etc. file naming, most samples have very descriptive names, e.g. dt01_layeredsnare_heavenslam.wav, or dt01_clap_odysseyclap.wav.
Besides claps, hihats/cymbals, kicks, snares, and percussion samples, a bunch of perhaps not so obvious sounds are included in this library as well:
- Drum Tools, includes almost 60 sub enhancers and transient snaps/clicks.
- Glitch, beautifully processed little bleeps, clicks, crackles & pops and whatnot.
- Sound Effects, 88 totally unique and well designed sound effects.
- Xtra Bonus Sounds, a bunch of TB-303 licks and 60+ high quality chords and stabs.
Can hardly wait to get started? Wave Alchemy also included an Ableton Live 8 pack and 13 drum kit patches in all popular sampler formats for your instant gratification.
Still need 16-bit? A complete dithered copy of all 24-bit samples ready to rock your 16-bit hardware like your MPC.
Let me quote the Drum Tools product page once more:
After many months of creative sound design and sonic manipulation we are extremely proud to announce the release of our first Drum Tools library – Minimal Techno & Tech House.
Wave Alchemy really took the time to create a package of both a high quality *and* quantity of samples. I’d be proud of this release too, well done guys!
So what do I think?
Format: 24bit/16bit wav samples, Drum kits patches: Battery/Kontakt/NN-XT/HALion/EXS24/sfz/Ableton Live 8 pack
Price: £39.95 GBP (currently ~$60 USD)
The Drum Tools 01 library is subtitled “Minimal Techno & Tech House”, but of course these drum samples are well suitable for any electronic music genre. The sample quality is of the same high standard I have come to expect from Wave Alchemy: superbly recorded, processed and edited.
Almost 2,000 unique samples for a little under $60 USD… If you do not yet have a comprehensive sample library for electronic drum sounds, Drum Tools 01 would certainly be a great choice.
For those like me, who already have more sounds than they will ever use, Drum Tools 01 still offers some interesting material. The glitch, sound fx, and chords and stabs folders include many unique and usable samples that I found very inspiring.
Wave Alchemy is offering a very generous Drum Tools Teaser pack, featuring 150 samples from the full release. So go check it out and see how you like this library. I think it’s the bee’s knees!