Over the past few months I’ve noticed a few trends in the soundware business. Firstly, with support of mainstream artists like Rihanna and Brittney Spears, and rising stars like Katy B, dubstep has really made its way into the pop charts. Consequently, there’s been a constant stream of new dubstep flavored sample libraries.

Another development seems to be that sample production companies are expanding their product lines by offering dedicated patch libraries for soft synths. Patchworx by Loopmasters isn’t the first label to release soundsets by popular producers/artists, but I reckon it’s the one that currently sets the bar.

Patchworx from Loopmasters is a new concept which presents fresh and exclusive collections of hand crafted patches for the most popular soft synths, direct from the studios of our best producers and artist contacts.

High Rankin – Dubstep is the third release in the series, offering a collection of 60 patches for the Massive synthesizer by Native Instruments, a favorite for many dubstep producers.

I am not terribly familiar with High Rankin’s work, but when Loopmasters released his Dubstep Tearout sample library earlier this year I recognized the name (probably from his Molten Vinyl releases as I am a bit of a drum & bass head).
It seems over the years Mr. Will Rankin has shifted his production genre to dubstep. Same kind of sounds; simply turn it down some 20 to 30bpm and put an LFO on the filter, right? Just kidding (a little anyway).

High Rankin Dubstep for Massive includes 60 patches, which are categorized as lead, main & wobble, and mid bass sounds. There’s a bit of overlap in the categories as some lead sounds make a fine bass and vice versa. They could’ve just tossed the bunch in one folder as the patch titles are descriptive enough to distinguish sounds.

Most patches include only one or two macro controls, usually vibrato. Not too impressed with that. I would have at least added some more LFO driven filter stuff on the macros, but of course you can easily assign your own macros so no big deal. There is plenty of dynamic stuff going on in the patches though, mostly done with Massive’s modulation performer and stepper.

The library also comes with 60 MIDI files with riffs, basslines, phrases and patterns. These are lead, main, mid, and sub bass, and include key signature info. I couldn’t really match the MIDI’s with the patches, but I guess they can be a nice starting point.

So what do I think?

Product: Patchworx High Rankin Dubstep for NI Massive
Format: .ksd patches
Price: £14.95 GBP
Like: Top notch, production ready dubstep sounds
Don’t like: Only few macro controls
Verdict: 8/10

According to Loopmasters High Rankin is one of the scene’s more eccentric artists. I read somewhere that he did breakcore before getting into dubstep as well. A different music genre, but perhaps High Rankin’s sound didn’t actually change all that much.

If I could only use one word to describe these dubstep patches it would be “rough”. Mr. Rankin made some pretty sick sounds for this set.

Besides the obligatory wobbles and talking bass type sounds there’s a lot of unique material here. Unique like Will’s mustache: Full of character and slightly freaky. With many harsh digital sounds, the vibe is definitely set for the darker, harder side of dubstep. Robotic, metallic, piercing & brutal.

In short this is a great set of patches for producers looking for fresh & in your face dubstep sounds for Massive.

More information: Loopmasters / Patchworx High Rankin – Dubstep