8 June 2008

Rude Loopz
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The collection is based around 40, 2 bar acoustic drum loops. Each of the loops is presented twice, in a regular, natural presentation and secondly in a processed, tweaked format. Though to be honest the processing isn't really heavy - much more creative than running the loop through a heavy distortion effect, more subtle, though still very noticeable.

The big selling point of the CD is the Cubase/Logic versions of the loops. As anyone who has used loops will testify, there is a long way between taking a loop from a sample CD, and producing a finished track from it. Unless that is your looking to create a track where the loop never alters...a sure fire way of creating a sterile track. This isn't to mention tweaking the loop, need the kick a bit duller, snare brighter, pull down the level of the hi hats, it's real tricky, if not totally impossible, if you just have a single loop to work with.

Step in Rude Loopz, not only do you get the audio version to have a listen to, once you've found a loop you like - just fire up Logic or Cubase and you'll get something like this loop - Track 9 - Bold

You'll see the two versions of the loop - the left hand one is the "acoustic" version and the right hand one the "processed" one, you'll see that you not only have the loop all nicely tied together but you also now have the individual components split out. In this case you get an "ambience", kick, snare and hi hat, the blue part of the loop is the first bar, repeated 4 times and the orange part is the second bar repeated twice.

This enables you easily to do two key things - firstly process any individual component of the loop separately from the other elements and secondly easily alter the loop, drop the hi-hat in and out ?, no problem and so on. Thus it is real easy to take a straight loop and add a whole manner of subtle/not so subtle variations to it to bring a track to life.

Whilst this isn't the first collection to offer loop components, or MIDI files, or even Steinberg's Recycled versions of loops, this is the first we've seen that brings the whole process totally under the users control with the maximum flexibility. Wizoo have certainly done an excellent job here, it all fits together very well and it takes just a few minutes to have the bones of an entire track in your sequencer. The best thing then is your free to fiddle around with the loop to your hearts content.

The loops themselves vary in BPM from 69 to 185 and cover a whole range of styles, from slow jazzy type ones, to manic dance loops, via hip hop, rock, and one or two others. The acoustic versions of the loops sound as they should, not totally dry, but no overt processing. The processed versions go from the slightly tweaked to the fairly heavily processed, via analog gear, but throughout the processing has been intelligently applied. So whilst there is lots of filtering, EQ, distortion and compression involved in places it's rarely overdone. There is certainly room for some more extreme processing should that be required.

If your looking for a selection of varied acoustic drum loops you could certainly do worse than these, clean, punchy and open sounding. There is a fair stab at giving users some variation over the two bars of the loop too, lots of rolls and crossovers to add a little extra interest. There are the odd fill effects here and there, but in the main these are fairly minimal. Very good.

The only downside is that there isn't a great deal of choice within any particular area. The price you have to pay for the variations in the way the loops are presented. Even these 40 (80 if you include the processed versions), take up all but 700Mb of data.

Summary & Overall...

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