8 June 2008

K-Class - Soundisc Series
Page 1/4
Produced by Zero-G
No.Tracks 67
Playing Time 64:46
2 x Audio CD/CD-ROM  
Released 1998

K-Klass is one of the first in a series of Soundiscs for the Mixman Studio software program, click here for a review of this. Whilst this is aimed primarily at users of this program, the samples contained are also provided in audio and .Wav form so as to be usable by a wider audience. The Mixman Studio software program has proved to be very popular, but like a computer is nothing without programs, samplists are nothing without samples, so lets see what this 2CD set offers.

The CD has been produced by K-Klass, anyone who is familiar with the Euro dance scene may well have heard of this UK techno-house outfit. They have had quite some success, with recordings such as Let Me Show You, What Your Missing and Rhythm is a Mystery.

First thing you'll notice about the CD is that its a double, at a budget price, in the UK these are pitched at UKP 29.95, half the price of a "full" price sample CD. Lots of bonus points to Zero-G for giving users three different formats to use, audio on disc 2, .Wav (285Mb), .Trk (85Mb) and a "Lite" version of Mixman Studio on disc 1. I hope this is a trend that other manufacturers will follow, having the CD in multiple formats does make the CD a whole lot more usable, giving the user the advantages of both formats. As your paying for the licence to use the sounds, not the sounds themselves, it is justified when people buy the CD-Rom of a sampling CD, to include the audio version also. Sample CD producers please note !

The documentation that comes with the CD is pretty scant, none of the usual blurb that often accompanies sample CD's, indeed if you just saw this in a shop on its own you might struggle to identify it for what it is. Understated then shall we say. The inlay card, gives details of every sample, well , sub heading, track number and sample name. All formats are laid out the same way, so this may have something to do with this. But it would have been useful to have say BPM's, file sizes or pitches noted to make use of the samples a bit easier for non-Mixman Studio users, but its OK as it stands, at least all the samples are noted, all 186 of them.

You may be thinking that for a budget priced CD you do get over an hour of audio and 285Mb of .Wav data, well you do, but bear in mind that the prime use for the samples is for Mixman Studio use, so there is in some cases quite a lot of silence within a sample, for example if a sounds only occurs every 2nd bar, and that most of the sounds are of 8 bars duration, in many cases this is one or two bars looped. In a normal sample CD you'd get just the two bar loop (most times), here you may get it repeated four times in one sample. So whilst you are getting a lot of data, you maybe not getting quite as much as you may think at a first glance.

The samples on the CD are broken down into 15 sub sections - Bass, Claps, Cymbals, Drum Loops, Guitars, Hats, Keyboards, Kicks, Lead Synths, Pads, Percussion, Rhythmic FX, Snares, Sound FX, Strings and Vocals. The audio CD kicks off with a 2:45 "Megamix" - this is also available as a .Mix file for you to mess around with in Mixman Studio - which takes you through half a dozen extracts of the sorts of things you can do with the CD, the first couple of which are excellent.


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