Results for reviews

Below are the posts that should have something to do with 'reviews'.

Note: Use the search form in the top right if you're looking for something specific.


Review: Goldbaby Productions Tape-101

Goldbaby Productions is a household name when it comes to quality drum machine samples.

Goldbaby’s love for tape machines, vinyl and vintage instruments has resulted in a bunch of top notch sample libraries.

Goldbaby Tape-101

With Tape-101, Goldbaby brings yet another collection of sounds treated with some analog tape love. But it’s not a drum machine this time around.

The SH101 is a legendary 80′s analog synth. A small synth with a large sound. It can be warm and phat or nasty and raw. Some say the sound is a cross between a Juno and 303.

So… I have taken this little synth and created a sampled instrument library. Of course I haven’t just sampled the synth naked. Oh no… I had to let the sounds get caressed by tape first!

Analog synth plus analog tape… Mmmm.

Tape-101 includes 1,658 24 bit samples, and over 70 instrument patches for both Kontakt and EXS24 (most of the instruments are multi-samples from every key on the SH-101).

I used the Kontakt version of The Tape-101, which has its instruments divided in 3 folders:

  • Drums & FX, 2 Drum Kits and an FX instrument with wobbles and such.
  • Gold Presets, almost 40 mono- and polyphonic instruments, extended and enhanced with the Kontakt sampler software (the SH-101 is monophonic).
  • Raw Ammo, 35 multi-sampled instruments with little or no software sampler modifications.
Tape-101 in Kontakt
Tape-101 in Kontakt (red HOT!)

The samples are available as .wav files and like the Kontakt instruments they are clearly labeled so you can tell which kind of processing was done.

Goldbaby used the following gear:

  • Otari MX5050 1/4 inch 2 track, recorded normally and HOT.
  • Hitachi Cassette Deck, for some wow & flutter + Dolby C.
  • Boss SE-70, the digital multi-effects processor with an analogue distortion circuit.
  • E-mu E4XT, sampled and processed by this ultra sampler.
  • Akai MPC-60, for some gritty 12bit samples, dirty & phat!
  • A bit of secret extra processing was done on a few instruments (labeled _X) as well.

If you want to get an idea of the type of sounds you will get make sure to check the media player on the Tape-101 product page. Hugo did some lovely demo mp3s.

Tape-101 is available as a download for Kontakt and EXS24 (both formats included) for $49 USD.

So what do I think?

Tape-101 sounds deep, nasty & dirty… in a good way. It appears this synth was actually designed as a strap-on instrument with an optional modulation attachment that stuck out like a guitar neck. Weird, it doesn’t seem like the keytar kind of synth to me at all.

Anyway, there’s a good variety of sounds and they generally sound warm, punchy and fat (or phat if you prefer). Playing some of the instruments I hear the sounds of True Playaz and Dillinja, so I reckon they’re great for drum & bass. The SH-101 is a popular synth so you might also recognize some if its sounds as there are tons of big names who’ve used it (Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Bjork, Carl Craig, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada to name a few).

Tape-101 is another solid sample library from Goldbaby, highly recommended if you’re looking for some heavy bass and cutting lead sounds for techno, acid, drum & bass, and the likes. Plus you get some lovely drum kits and a bunch of cool LFO effect sounds. What more could you want? (except a real SH-101)

Visit Goldbaby Productions for more information.


Review: Native Instruments Urban Arsenal 2

Native Instruments Urban Arsenal 2

Native Instruments has released another KORE SoundPack, Urban Arsenal 2.

URBAN ARSENAL 2 brings yet more of the beats, samples, sounds and loops for creating the freshest urban music productions. Perfectly complimenting the first soundpack, this pack restocks the arsenal with over 1,000 new drum sounds, and and even more groove construction kits, synths, basses, pads and samples provided by professional beat scientists.

Urban Arsenal 2 features

  • 29 drum kits with 40 groove sets and over 15,000 groove variations.
  • 87 new Massive patches, with leads, basses and pads that have been tweaked and treated to give that heavy production-ready sound right out of the box.
  • 80 newly sampled Kontakt instruments, with a focus on the analog synths, layered acoustic instruments and drum machines currently used on the freshest hip-hop joints.

The product page also mentions that several of these instruments were cut to dubplate and resampled for that extra-warm and soulful vinyl sound. Sounds familiar? Perhaps an idea of Goldbaby, one of the content providers for Urban Arsenal 2, alongside ProjectSAM, CLP, Dobie and Montana Beats.

The SoundPack includes a total of 236 sounds in a little over 1 GB content.
Urban Arsenal 2 is available as a download from the Native Instruments online shop for $119 USD / 99 EUR.

So what do I think?

I am not totally familiar with what is and what is not urban music, but my best guess is that it’s a bit of a mixture of contemporary hip-hop, rap and R&B. Urban Arsenal 2 certainly includes tons of suitable sounds for those genres, but I would say it’s not limited to just that type of music.

The instruments sound great and there’s plenty of variety in leads, bass, strings etc. I really enjoyed the drum kits and groove sets. Instant grooves, tons of ‘em! Some of the grooves are almost complete tracks, all you need is an MC. But don’t mistake these grooves for loops, they are actually sequenced single shot sounds in Kontakt. If you want to construct your own beats you have all the single shot sounds right there at your fingertips as well.

Urban Arsenal 2 provides a complete collection of instruments and grooves to create urban tracks, and more. Just have listen to the demo tracks on the product page, and make sure to check the video of CLP and KOVAS building a track with this SoundPack, it’s that easy.

KORE just keeps getting better!

Visit Native Instruments for more information.

If you have any questions about this SoundPack, just post them in the comments.


Review: Goldbaby Productions Vinyl Drum Machines

Goldbaby Productions Vinyl Drum Machines

Goldbaby has released a new collection of drum samples: Vinyl Drum Machines.

Nope, Hugo @ Goldbaby hasn’t been crate digging for obscure vinyl for his latest product. Instead he had his own acetate record cut so he could sample drum machine sounds to get that authentic vinyl touch.

Sampling off vinyl has been a staple of many producers since samplers were invented. Vinyl has an unmistakable sound. Using it as a sample source you get material that is dripping with personality and warmth, that digital sources just can’t recreate.

I have always wanted a record with just drum machine samples on it. Finally I did something about it.

You can see a video of the making of the acetate here.

The result is a record with of 14 drum machines: Linn Drum, TR-626, CR-78, MBase 01, DR-110, Linn LM-1, Drumulator, TR-808, Ritmo 12, TR-909, TR-505, µTonic, SP-12, TR-606.

The drum machine sounds were then sampled from the vinyl record, using 3 different turntables:

  • Pro-Ject RPM + Pro-Ject Tube Box II — audiophile equipment for pristine recordings.
  • Technics SL-1700 + Leak Variscope — vintage setup with a late 70′s turntable and a 60′s phono pre-amp.
  • Vestax Handy Trax — portable record player which runs on batteries; lo-fi!

The end result: 1468 x 24 bit samples.

Besides all the drum machine sounds, Hugo also sampled some bonus content: vinyl noise, vinyl clicks, vinyl hitz and center grooves.

Vinyl Drum Machines is available in Wav, Battery 3 and Guru formats (ReFill soon) starting at $29 USD.

So what do I think?

Every time I see a new Goldbaby I wonder how it is going to be different from all the other drum machine sample libraries I’ve seen before (including Goldbaby’s own libraries), and time after time he manages to exceed my expectations.

Vinyl Drum Machines is a fantastic idea, and perfectly executed. The samples are top notch quality as per usual and the selection of drum machines used provides plenty of variety.

And here’s a nice tip from Hugo:

I have been experimenting with velocity switching between the different record player versions of each drum sound. Hit a pad/key lightly and it plays the plastic portable turntable version, hit it harder and it plays the audiophile version and hit it really hard and it plays the vintage record player version.

Makes for some interesting dynamic drum machine sounds…

Check out the sound clips on the product page and get your wallet out… there is a good chance you’re going to want these!

Visit Goldbaby Productions for more information.


Review: Goldbaby Productions SP-1200 Volume 1

Goldbaby has released a new sample pack last week: SP-1200 Vol 1.

E-mu SP-1200

Goldbaby’s product catalog is full of high quality drum samples recorded with vintage gear. This time the E-mu SP-1200 and SP-12 drum samplers take center stage.

Goldbaby writes:

Not everyone can get their hands on one of these machines. So I thought I better help out. I got the SP-1200 and the SP-12 and started sampling. I sampled an 808, 909, 606 and LM1… also some real drums… plus some vinyl hits… and just for good measure I have included the SP-12 presets and some groove templates…

I had a go with the Battery 3 version of SP-1200 Vol 1, which includes:

  • 1088 x 24 Bit drum samples
  • 12 x Kits
  • Drum patterns as midi files
  • Selection of Groove Templates in midi format

The Battery kits are constructed from samples in the following categories: Beatbox, Drum Machines (606, 808, 909 and LM-1), FX, Real Drums, Slowed Down, SP-12 presets and Vinyl.

Each of these categories has its own folder of samples. The Battery kits only use a small selection of the samples so there’s a lot more to explore on your own.

The samples were recorded in these three ways (which you’ll see in the naming convention of the .wav files):

  1. F = Put through the internal analog filter of the SP1200.
  2. R = Without the analog filter of the SP1200.
  3. X = Without the analog filter of the SP1200. Then put through software filter with

SP-1200 Vol 1 is currently available as a Wav Pack for just $19 USD, and for Battery 3 and Guru for $24 USD each. A ReFill version should be out soon as well.

So what do I think?

Not surprisingly, these samples are top notch. SP-1200′s 12bit/22kHz sound is great for that old skool feel. The included kits work very well (loaded them into Kontakt 3) and there are tons of samples to create your own kits.

Now I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really need any more drum samples, but Goldbaby always manages to bring something new and useful. I very much liked the LM-1 and “slowed down” samples, but the vinyl sounds — wonderfully gritty/lo-fi — are my favorites in this first (of many I hope) volume.

More information: Goldbaby Productions SP-1200 Vol 1


Review: Goldbaby Productions Tape Drum Machines Vol 2

Goldbaby Tape Drum Machines Vol 2

Goldbaby Productions has released yet another collection of classic drum machine samples: Tape Drum Machines Vol 2.

The follow up to Tape Machines Vol 1. More classic drum machines given some tape love!

Tape Machines Vol 2 features

  • 10 Drum Machines: Linn Drum, CR-78, TR-626, DDR-30, Bohm, DR-55, RPM-40, RX-5, KPR-77 and the Synsonics Pro.
  • 3 Tape Machines: Ampex valve 1/2 inch 2 track, Otari MX5050 1/4 inch 2 track, and the Hitachi 3 head Cassette deck.
  • 1838 x 24 Bit drum samples.
  • Bonus: 36 x CR-78 Rex beats.

Tape Drum Machines Vol 2 is available as a wav pack for $24 USD, and for GURU and Battery 3 for $29 USD each.

So what do I think?

Sometimes less is more, but not so with Goldbaby’s sample libraries. Even if you have more drum samples than you’ll ever use, there’s always room for some extra Goldbaby goodness.

My favorites in this collection are the Bohm and Suzuki RPM-40 machines. The Bohm (the notes in the logo suggest it’s actually Böhm, which is quite likely since it’s a German machine) does some really raw and nasty stuff, while the RPM-40 has such a lovely lo-fi sound.

Go check out the sound demos on the Tape Drum Machines Vol 2 page and get your wallet ready, cause there’s a good chance you’re going to want these right away!

More information: Goldbaby Productions / Tape Drum Machines Vol 2


Review: Goldbaby XRB Sample Pack

Goldbaby Productions XRB Sample Pack

Goldbaby’s XRB was first released for iZotope iDrum, then as a ReFill, and now after many user requests it’s also available as a sample pack.

These drum samples were lovingly created using… Vintage drum machines, Acoustic Drum Kits and Perc, Lo-Fi gear such as the SK1 and VL1, Toy Percussion… a whole studio full of gear!

The XRB Sample Pack Contains

  • 2021 x 24bit Samples.
  • 375 x Kicks, 284 x Snares, 377 x HH, 411 x Perc, 60 x Toms, 64 x Claps, 27 x Rims, 64 x Cymbals, 130 x FX, 235 x FX Perc.
  • Also included is 278 Rex files taken from the Refill version of XRB.

The XRB Sample Pack costs $33 USD.

So what do I think?

If you’ve read any of my previous reviews of Goldbaby’s products you won’t be surprised I’m giving this one the “thumbs up” as well. XRB includes a large variety of drum sounds and for the lazy amongst us you don’t even have to put in any effort to get some cool grooves with the included REX files.

I don’t think I really NEED any more drum samples, but hey… when they’re high quality original samples like these there’s just always room for more!

More infomration: Goldbaby Productions / XRB Sample pack


Review: Goldbaby Analog AutoRhythms Vol 1 sample pack

Goldbaby Analog AutoRhythms Vol 1

Goldbaby Productions has released another sample library featuring some sampled drum machines: Analog AutoRhythms Vol 1.

After the familiar sounds of the The Tape808, 909 and freebie 606 (all Roland TR machines), Goldbaby dug up 8 somewhat more obscure vintage drum machines to sample.

Analog AutoRhythms Vol 1 comes with a nice PDF with detailed information on each drum machine.

  • Conn Rhapsody Rhythm Unit — This is a (rare) rhythm unit from a Conn Rhapsody organ. It has 22 presets and 10 sounds.
  • Korg Rhythm 55B — This Roland CR competitor has some warm analog sounds. It has a stunning 96 patterns, and 10 sounds (looks like this is the version 2 model without the disco rhythms).
  • Electro Harmonix DRM 15 / 16 / 32 — Features the lovely space-drum and the snap sounds. The analogue sounds from these boxes are great for electro music.
  • Eko Ritmo 12 — The little brother of the Ritmo 20, this rhythm box has 12 preset rhythms.
  • Univox Micro Rhythmer — A small little analog box with 8 preset rhythms and 5 individual sounds. I thought the Rhythmer only had a kick sound with layered hihat, but this machine does have the individual base drum sound (and snare, hi hat, open hi hat and rim shot).
  • Roland Rhythm 330 — The Rhythm 330 (or TR-330) has a warm analog sound. It’s another organ rhythm box without the actual organ. Comes with some lovely cheesy patterns.
  • Hohner Rhythm 80K — This German rhythm unit features 80 patterns and 8 sounds. It’s sounds rather tame with a subby kick and modest snare sounds.
  • Olson X-100 — An American rhythm unit that nobody seems to know much about. The 8 individual sounds can be triggered. It sounds quite noisy and rough to me.

The nice thing about these analog drum machines is that you’ll virtually never hear the exact same sound twice. Goldbaby has recorded multiple samples of each drum sound to give you the same kind of analog feel.

Besides the samples you also get tons of the presets in REX format so you can play the rhythms as if you have the real thing.

So what do I think?

I realize these type of samples are not everyone’s cup of tea (Zak, do not buy this!), but if you’re into vintage analog drum machine sounds, you’re going to like this one.

Since it’s a Goldbaby library you can also be sure the quality is top notch and the price is right: $24 USD for Guru, $19 USD for the Wav & Rex Pack.

More information: Goldbaby Productions / Analog AutoRhythms Vol 1


Review: Goldbaby The Tape909

Goldbaby Tape909

Goldbaby Productions has recently released a new downloadable sample pack featuring another classic drum machine.

After the TR-808 and (free) TR-606 sample collections, a mint TR-909 machine was recorded for The Tape909.

The product page reads:

The Tape808 has been very well received so we decided to give the TR909 some tape love!…

This is 1446 samples taken from a mint 909 recorded into an Ampex 351 1/2″ valve 2 track tape machine!

That’s not all… We also put the 909 through other vintage gear. Plus we recorded it naked into a Metric Halo ULN-2 firewire audio card. Then we chose the best samples.

There is an amazing amount of high quality samples in this pack. So many, it may even look like there is too much to choose from.

I mean, the bassdrum folder has no less than 665 different bassdrum samples! Many of the samples are quite similar, but there are subtle differences. Just play those you suspect are the same consecutively, and you’ll find they sound a little different after all.

This is great if you don’t want every kick to sound exactly the same.

I tried the Battery version of The Tape909, which comes with 10 different 909 kits. As you can hear from the demo sounds, The Tape909 has quite a wide range of sounds.

Refill, Guru, iDrums and straight .wav versions of The Tape909 are available as well.

So what do I think?

Goldbaby delivers another outstanding sample pack.

The Tape909 includes tons of superb quality samples, with the Ampex tape machine delivering unique samples you will not find anywhere else.

This will most definitely be my go-to collection for 909 sounds.

Starting at just $19 USD for the sample pack, Goldbaby’s The Tape909 is not very expensive, so don’t waste your time looking for samples of this quality anywhere else.

More information: Goldbaby Productions / The Tape909