18 June 2010

160db - The Drum & Bass Interface Page 1/4
Produced by AMG
No.Tracks 71
Playing Time 73:51
Audio CD  
Released 1998

This is the second CD in the AMG Catalyst series and is designed very much with the idea of providing the user with all of the elements that they need to produce Drum and Bass tracks. Billing itself as the "Ultimate Drum and Bass Sample CD", no less, it's a tough claim to try and uphold, read through to see if it makes this billing....

This offering is similar in concept to another AMG CD, Komputer's - Inside, like that CD there is also a lot of material here for other genres of music, as well as the specific target audience. So even if your not into Drum and Bass don't go away...

The CD has been put together by Drum and Bass outfit - N-Jay, to whom I must confess not being familiar with, they are signed to Push Recordings, and the demo track is probably the best I've ever heard on a sample cd offering, so that's a most promising start. I'm not much of a fan of demo tracks on sample CD's but this two minute offering is what they should be, a short, sharp and attention grabbing "look what we can do with this material" track.

There is little indication of the equipment used in the production of this CD, except for name checking of the Fender Rhodes in a couple of sections, the use of Recycled loops and the mention that there are both programmed and live drum loops and sounds.

The inlay card is rather minimal and one area where the CD lets its self down a touch. The CD is broken down into 12 sections, you get the title of each section, mono/stereo indication, a brief description of the section and the BPM if appropriate, and that's about it. More work here would certainly have been appreciated by users I am sure, a track listing at least. For example the breaks section has loops at 165 & 170 BPM, I can't tell the difference by ear alone and I'd prefer to be told rather than have to figure it out.

Whilst a sample CD will ultimately be judged on its sounds, the inlay card is usually the first impression a buyer or potential buyer gets, and you don't want to start with a bad impression before you start. Bearing in mind the amount of effort that must have gone into this CD, it seems a little odd to skimp here.

The categories are divided up as follows:-Breaks, Upright Bass, Assorted Bass, Atmospheres, Drums, Misc FX, Gated FX, Musical FX, Live Drums, Rhodes, Sax & Analog Synth FX. From which you'll be able to deduce that these contain all the elements you may need to produce your Drum and Bass tracks.

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