Despite a recent shift in pop and R&B music towards synth-based sounds, the humble piano still remains the instrument of choice for ballads and tugging at the heart strings. R&B Keyz is a new pack from Prime Loops that’s packed with expertly played piano and electric piano riffs inspired by the likes of R. Kelly, Beyonce and Alicia Keys.
Manufacturer: Prime Loops
The pack contains 402MB of 24-bit audio in your choice of WAV, Apple Loops, REX 2, ReFill and Live Pack formats, with the 118 riffs split into folders for Acoustic Piano and Electric Piano. Although the initial intention is for these loops to be used in R&B and hip hop tracks, they could easily grace a delicate Adele-style pop ballad or even Coldplay-esque piano rock anthem. Between the two folders you have both small and large acoustic piano sounds, electric piano, toy piano, Fender Rhodes and the occasional synth-based riff, all with a crisp production finish and subtle reverb to add depth where appropriate.
The performances throughout are world-class, remaining rhythmically tight but with life and emotion conveyed through varied dynamics. With tempos ranging from 64–110BPM, the moods swing from deep and morose to more upbeat soul and funk. The Acoustic folder leans more towards the emotional ballad, with complex right-hand runs and thick, sustain-pedal chords; the Electric folder has more of a lounge feel, with simpler rhythms and less busy hand-work.
Although some of the riffs are fairly long at around 30 seconds, you may find issues with looping the ones with more complex playing styles, as the repetition may sound unnatural. There are, however, plenty of simpler loops that could be used as the backbone of your song while you add other instruments and vocals on top. A handful of the riffs also come with two layers, giving you more control when laying out parts into an arrangement.
For songwriters looking for inspirational chord progressions this is a fantastic resource, and each riff is well recorded and very well written, complete with thick and satisfying harmonies.
A superb pack of expertly written and performed acoustic and electric piano riffs with a high level of depth and emotion that’s perfect for inspiring songwriting.