18 June 2010

Drum Tools - Laidback Page 1/3
Produced by Sounds Good
No.Samples 231
Data 525 Mb
Released 1997

Drum Tools - Laidback is purely a live drum loop and percussion sample CD from Sounds Good. and is part of their Sampling Sound System range. These are a budget range of sample CD's which contain around a third of the samples of a full price sample CD, but as a trade off only cost around a third as much. Similar in concept to the Creative Essential range from Time & Space these sorts of CD's are ideal for those who are either looking for a specialist CD or a gentle introduction into the world of sampling, without breaking the bank.

The CD is available in two formats either Akai or Mixed Mode, the mixed mode version repeats the samples 3 times, Audio, .Wav and .aiff formats. The Akai version, reviewed here, contains just data, 525Mb in this case, which is very generous for a budget range, bear in mind the loops are in stereo though. In both formats the contents are identical.

The CD has been produced by Alar Suurna, and features the playing of Christer Jansson and Mats Persson and is part of the Sounds Good loop connector system. This is where all of the samples are tuned to have BPM's in multiples of 10 to make them easily interchangeable with other loops and sounds from other Sounds Good sample CD's without having to resort to time stretching or pitch conversion.

The inlay card is good, there is a page of information about the CD, an explanation about how the samples are laid out and then a breakdown of each group of samples, with a name for each section and each sample within the section has a name and number. The BPM is listed for each group of samples. The only additional thing I would have liked to have seen is the space required by each sample or volume. No problem if you've a ton of RAM, but if its tight you won't know until you locate the sample, it's not much of a problem.

The samples are provided in two forms, firstly in a "showcase" program that loads half a dozen samples so you can quickly preview a number at a time. Then each sample has its own program just loading that individual sample, so when you want to actually use a sample your not clogging up your setup with programs/samples that you don't need.

There are two main parts of the CD, loops and individual hits. All the loops and hits are live drumming, so no 808 or 909 machine programming here. The loops come under 7 styles - New York, 70's Ballad, Sylvain, Lanois, 6/8, Tom Groove & Russ. BPM's vary from 60 to 120 though most are towards the lower end of this, indeed 116 of the 164 loops on the CD are 60 or 70 BPM. It is "Laidback" after all !

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