In this review we take a look at Beta Monkey Music’s excellent value Studio Percussion Toolbox…
Sample packs come and go, and many are focused on flavour of the month sounds and genres that may well be out of fashion soon. However, a well recorded library of percussion loops is something that won’t date in the same way, as it can be used in a variety of different style tracks. As such, Studio Percussion Toolbox Vol 1 was previously released a few years back on a different label, but is now seeing a re-release.
The collection is available in 16-bit and 24-bit Acid WAV and Apple Loops formats, with REX2 available soon, and contains a total of 192 loops and 272 individual drum hits. These samples are divided into 15 separate loop sets, which cover AfroCuban, Rumba, Samba, Funk and other styles, with a large array of instruments including congas, bongos, timbales, agogos, shakers, and cowbells alongside more esoteric kit pieces. Rather than offer up a whole load of flashy, show-off rhythms, it delivers a restrained and highly usable collection of simpler and tighter sounding grooves, but with enough flair and variety to make them sound alive.
In each folder you’ll find super wide stereo mixes, alongside more narrow, individual instrument loops, with each file named to include the tempos that range from 70 to 140bpm. Most of the rhythms have been recorded live and mixed clean, apart from one folder called Dirty J, which features heavily compressed, lo-fi loops, and another called Program that contains programmed patterns. There are also a whole load of excellent individual hits, although you may have to patiently load them into your sampler before they become easily usable.
This could be used to inspire and spice up a number of different genres, including one surprise folder that even includes man-made rainforest sounds. Our only criticism is that it’s more focused around the 80 to 100 bpm range, so you might find less usable content if you’re producing faster paced music