Sample Magic packages a massive library of dance-music samples in a custom-built beat maker. Alex Holmes asks whether it will fill the dancefloor…
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Klip key features
- Kontakt instrument
- 1,000+ samples from 40+ SM packs
- Electronica, house, techno, vintage
- Beats, perc, synths, FX and vocal loops and one-shots
- 16 pads, 32-step grid sequencer
- Extensive built-in FX and routing
After many years of releasing exceptional electronic and dance-music-focused sample packs, Sample Magic has decided to bundle some of its finest loops and hits into a custom-built Kontakt instrument. This is no mere sample-playback machine; it’s a full sequencing workstation that takes full advantage of Kontakt’s features and FX.
Klip can run as a standalone beat-maker or in the usual manner, loaded into Kontakt within your DAW. You have 16 pads that load 16 hits or loops, with everything sync’d to your master BPM. Samples are sequenced using a large 32-step grid and can play in their entirety, or can be resequenced into new patterns.
This is where things get really fun, as there’s a massive 16 lanes’ worth of programming for each sound. This includes velocity, tuning, panning and hold time, cutoff, resonance, filter-envelope amount and sample-slice position, plus a whole range of effects parameters – so you can quickly turn simple sounds into complex, glitch-techno monsters! All we missed was a glide control for programming acid basslines and the like.
Controls let you clear lanes, or zoom them to fill the grid for easier editing, and there are 70 preset patterns to get you started. Alternatively, you can simply Alt-click on a lane or pad to randomise. This makes for some instant inspiration as you can warp and mangle samples in just a few clicks.
Content-wise, there are over 1,000 drum hits, music loops, basses, FX, analogue waveforms and classic drum machines, taken from 40+ Sample Magic packs. Although this offers up a decent amount of variety, everything falls into categories of Electronica, House, Techno or Vintage, so don’t expect to find many organic- or live-sounding instruments. You also get a bunch of templates, genre-specific kits and 150 presets.
One of Klip’s key features is its comprehensive routing and effects section. Aside from sample controls for each sound, there’s velocity, volume, a filter section (with 20 types), plus saturation, bitcrush, redux, shaper, and reverb and delay sends with a range of IRs.
On top of this, you can assign each pad to its own buss, which can be further treated with an editable chain of EQ and compression, plus a Shaper section with various saturation and transient effects.
Finally, you have additional FX sends for each buss channel, plus a master section and output limiter. The signal path is a little confusing at first, but once you’re used to switching between each of these pages, it’s incredibly powerful.
Even if it was just samples, Klip would be an excellent-value library, but with the addition of a fun and flexible modulation system and extensive routing, it becomes an inspiring toolbox for generating creative ideas.
If you’re solely interested in drum-machine sounds, then the obvious choice would be Revolution, which features 14 authentic, deeply sampled instruments, a detailed sequencer and a comprehensive effects section.
Drum Direktor $99
This has a similar interface to Klip, with 16 pads and a 32-step sequencer. The focus is more on acoustic sounds, with different versions including FNK-4, Cinematik and From The Garage, which includes ‘found’ sounds.