1Martyn Nytram Dread Recordings Vol 8
If you’re looking for a good all-round pack, then this Loopmasters release covers both classic and familiar jungle vibes and more aggressive and original new sounds. Producer Martyn Nytram has raided his vaults for a killer collection that nods to the old school while sounding fresh and current.
We said: “The download contains 186 loops in your choice of format, with well-programmed, rolling breaks, percussion and top loops, dark pads and synths and deep, growling bass riffs. Everything has a beefed up, polished and loud finish that would sound great on a club sound system. There are also 256 one-shots with 101 accompanying sampler patches that cover some massive-sounding bass hits and crunchy drums, plus effects, instrument hits and 12 synth and bass multis. Overall, this pack sits somewhere between the familiar and original, with expert production and finish throughout providing a very satisfying and usable set of sounds and loops.”
2DJ Sappo Presents Rolling Jungle And DnB
Fans of a more classic sound will want to check out veteran jungle and d’n’b producer DJ Sappo’s pack, which includes trademark loops and hits taken some of his biggest tunes on Flex, Intalex, V Recordings and more. Just remember, sometimes the groove and vibe is more important than a face-melting bass sound!
We said: “There’s over 600MB of rolling breaks, tough basslines and moody music riffs, all programmed and resampled on original Akai, Yamaha and Roland hardware, then remastered using analogue valve compressors, EQs and pristine converters. Everything here oozes a warm analogue grit that makes it stand out against more modern packs made purely in-the-box with soft synths. Any fan of classic 90s d’n’b will feel immediately at home here, and although it’s familiar, the excellent production makes everything still sound relevant. Sappo manages to balance interesting and deep production with upfront, punchy hooks.”
£29.95. More info here.
3Dub & Reggae Sirens
As jungle evolved out of soundsystem culture, it’s no surprise that it often features plenty of dub sirens and effects. Although you can recreate some of these sounds using soft synths, the original units have a grit to them that makes them stand out, and this pack features the most common siren sounds both dry and processed through delays and effects boxes.
We said: “Both the classic NJD siren, and more versatile Roots TS1 MK2 are present, alongside a variety of synths including the Moog Voyager, Sequential Circuits Pro One, Elektron Analog Keys and Korg Kaosillator, with some real fog horns and air sirens thrown in for good measure. There are also a handful of bonus effects sounds and seven sampler patches, so that you can easily play all the sounds. There’s a surprising amount of variety here, from in-your-face chirps to distant wails, making this an excellent-value pack.”
£8.95. More info here.
4Signal Tech Drum & Bass
Best modern production
For a more aggressive and darker tech sound, you’d do well to check out this excellent pack from rising Dutch prodigy Signal, who’s had releases on Critical, Renegade Hardware and Noisia’s Invisible Recordings. Just be warned, some of the distortion may loosen your fillings!
We said: “There’s 650MB of 24-bit audio that includes an interesting mix of dark and beautiful leads and pianos alongside brutal-sounding beats and snarling synth basses. From the 195 loops to the 265 characterful one-shots, every element has detailed programming and movement, through a wide range of filtering and effects. Although most loops are at 172bpm, there are a few other tempos thrown in for good measure. It’s an excellent pack and a masterclass in varied sound design and distortion techniques. However, some may find the more extreme processing to be a little OTT to be useful.”
5DJ Vadim The Dubcatcher Loops
Best vocals and instruments
Although not technically a d’n’b pack, a lot of the loops in this offering from DJ Vadim sit around the 70-90bpm range, making it an excellent toolkit for extending your d’n’b palette. In particular, there are some superb ragga shouts and acapellas, plus some excellent dub-instrumental riffs.
We said: “The pack contains over 2GB of 24-bit audio covering hip-hop drums, sub-heavy dub basslines, echo-drenched guitar, organ, keys, piano and horn riffs and seven full, layered vocal a cappella tracks featuring a variety of singers. Everything is dripping in character and heavily processed on the sweet spot of just saturating. On top of this, there’s also a large collection of useful one-shots with accompanying sampler patches and a ridiculously extensive collection of ragga shout outs by three different vocalists. If you can get past the fact that everything is drenched in delay, then this is a vast and beautifully processed collection of organic dub, hip-hop and ragga samples.”
£39. More info here.
6Michael Schack Hybrid Beats Session
Best live drums
There’s no denying that programming intricate drum breaks and edits can be fun, but it can sometimes leave your tracks sounding a little robotic. One solution is to add some live drum loops and fills to give a sense of groove and organic energy. This collection features 488 loops of drum ’n’ bass, dubstep and breakbeat grooves by in-demand drummer Michael Schack, who performed as part of the Hospital Records Netsky Live! show.
We said: “You’ll find 18 complete drum tracks with breaks, variations and fills ranging from fast, jazzy shuffles and spacious d’n’b grooves, to slower and more spacious dubstep and hip-hop-style patterns. There are also 11 kits with accompanying sampler patches and 488 MIDI files that match up to each of the audio loops. Every loop here is super-tight, yet still retains a live feel through the use of expertly recorded and processed acoustic drums.”
£29.95. More info here.
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