18 June 2010

Slam on the Breaks
Page 1/4
Produced by AMG
No.Tracks 69
Playing Time 73:34
2xAudio CD/CD-ROM 646 Mb
Released 1999

Slam on the Breaks is volume number 7 of the AMG Catalyst series. (We've also reviewed Full Phat, 160dB: The Drum&Bass Interface, The Vinyl Frontier & Ruff Cutz in the same series) and literature describes the CD as "Fresh live & programmed beats. This CD was recorded using many different drum kits with a huge variety of tunings in a number of different studios. Both analogue and digital production techniques were used and all sounds & loops featured on the CD are completely original and designed specifically by beat perverts for beat perverts. Hundreds of live loops, expertly programmed loops and special conga loops. If you only ever want to have to buy one CD of fresh drum loops, this is for you !".

The CD has been produced by Danny Ward, who credits acts worked with including, Urban Farmers, Brahma, Lucid, Urban Cookie Collective, Audio Web, Q Sound, Dance United, Chapter & Verse and more club, jazz and other collaborations, quite a range !

This a dual format CD. You get two CD's - CD1 being an audio version and CD2 having the identical contents but in .wav & .aiff format. AMG are to be applauded for providing the user with two alternatives of using the samples. For those people who can use the CD-ROM CD this will come as a huge plus, you can easily audition the audio CD version and then simply use the .Wav versions in your sampler/sequencer. Just a regular priced CD too.

The inlay card is probably the best AMG have produced, no less than 6 pages and gives the user lots of information to work from. You get a track name and number, then each sample is listed out, named with the number of bars and it's BPM. Each reference then matches with the file on the CD-ROM, so its easy to pull the correct file(s). Glad to see the AMG CD's are improving in this regard, and its something that sample CD's shouldn't skimp over. Whilst it easy to say that its the sounds that count, and indeed that is true, having as much information as possible does make working with the CD's a whole lot easier.

On the CD-ROM section there are a couple of licence documents in adobe pdf format. The licence agreement in particular is one that requires positive licence registration for any kind of commercial use. It's no major deal, just requires a signed form to be sent off to AMG and they'll issue you with a unique user number. (There is actually a space on the CD for you to write it on). Additionally AMG require a non-specific credit, a logo, notification of release and a copy of the work. It's a tightening up of the licence requirements, which in turn should help the artists and AMG, and in turn act as an anti piracy measure.

The CD kicks off with a meandering demo track, the best part of 5 minutes, which as you might suspect contains pretty much drum and conga loops. Not really convinced there is too much point having a demo track on a percussive loops CD, but as the CD weighs in at a hefty 73.5 minutes won't complain too much. Interestingly the demo track is listed at 135 BPM, but there isn't a single loop at that BPM, OK not that interesting then ! The CD winds up with a digital max test tone.

...On to the sounds...

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