Loopmasters Jazz Drums Volume 1 – Mark Fletcher Review

Although better known for its large catalogue of artist-made and genre-specific dance music packs, Loopmasters is expanding its acoustic side by working with live session players for a new range called the Jazzmaster Series.

 

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Contact: Loopmasters
Price: £39.95 (WAV or Apple Loops)
Contact: Loopmasters 01273 692313
Web: www.loopmasters.com

The first release is Jazz Drums Vol1, which has been performed by jazz aficionado and brush groove expert Mark Fletcher. It comes in your choice of WAV or Apple Loops formats, with an additional folder of REX loops, drum hits and six sampler instrument patches. You essentially get 73 ready-mixed loops ranging from a slow and sultry 87BPM up to a more frantic and intricate 180BPM, plus individual folders for each of the loops that feature up to ten mic stems: two kick mics, snare, hats, toms, overheads and front and rear ribbons.

Each of the four-bar loops has been chopped from a longer performance, meaning you get multiple variations on the same groove. Although this ultimately means you get less variety in the material, it makes it much easier to achieve more vivid and live-sounding arrangements as you don’t have to repeat yourself too often.

On further investigation you’ll find that there are actually a few more of these multi-mic’ed loops – 112 to be precise – and offering up the individual stems gives you plenty of options for mixing to fit your particular track. To supplement the grooves there are several folders of kick, snare, hat and tom hits, plus a handful of flams, rolls and splashes along with accompanying sampler patches. Although we found the kicks a little boomy – and would have liked to have seen a few more options for the toms – the sounds themselves are vibrant, with a surprising amount of variety.

This is an expertly played collection of drum grooves that’s packed with tom embellishments and detailed brush work. It would have been nice if there were a few more fills to choose from and we found the playing to be a little too loose for dance music styles.

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However, if you’re looking to inject some liveliness and jazzy unpredictability into your tracks this pack is well worth a look.

 

Verdict

A flexible collection of intricate, energetic and loosely played live jazz drum grooves.

8/10

 

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