Big Fish Audio | Sound On Sound Magazine Mike Senior | LA Bass Sessions Product Review
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LA Bass Sessions | Sound On Sound Magazine

Reviewer: Mike Senior | Rating: 4 Stars Back to LA Bass Sessions product details

Daniel Pearson has played bass for big-shots such as Coolio, Macy Gray, Jennifer Lopez, and Jessica Simpson, and has now lent his undeniable talents to this new Big Fish Audio phrase-sample collection. I've got to know quite a few such libraries over the last few years, and they are by no means all created equal - each seems to have its own separate personality. Here, the emphasis has been on maximising usability and flexibility, so instead of the more flamboyant and inspirational performances of some other titles, Daniel Pearson speaks softly and carries a big stick (whether you choose to take that figuratively or literally).

In the pursuit of versatility, the library's 1.6GB of content (duplicated in four formats) covers a lot of ground, not only in terms of nominal tempo (50-170bpm), but also in terms of style - the 'Rock, Pop, Funk, & R&B' name-checks in the DVD's subtitle are only the start. All loops are categorised by the folder structure into tempo and key groups, and there are a number of different riffs and variations to choose from in each folder. Each loop is provided with both amp and DI signals, giving a lot of scope for remodelling the sound to suit your particular production, and this is likely to improve usability a great deal in practice. Although the polarity of the amp and DI signals seems to have been matched, they don't appear to have been time-aligned, so be prepared to experiment with shifting the files against each other for the best combined sound.

I've not met Daniel Pearson myself, but I'd guess that he probably wears shades at night, and that, in another life, he'd probably have been one of those granite-faced presidential bodyguards. What I mean by this is that these loops have a solid, 'don't mess with me' authority which should provide the firmest of foundations for any track. Even when things get a bit funkier or take a bit of a disco direction, you still get the impression that this guy is the one least likely to humour a stage invasion. This seriousness permeates through to the sonics, too, which avoids any danger of the skippier licks turning out lightweight.

Thoroughly dependable though this collection is, I found it hard to get truly excited about the loops on offer. For all their efficiency and reliability, they seemed on occasion a little more understated than they needed to be, and didn't drive things along as much as I'd have liked. However, if you're after this kind of musical restraint, then this collection has to be considered good value for money, on the basis of its clear organisation, wide stylistic reach and powerful sound. If you're thinking of parting with your hard-earned, then you should also note that all these bass loops were designed specifically to match the drum loops in sister library LA Drum Sessions Volume 2, and follow an identical folder structure.

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