Big Fish Audio | Sample Library Review Steve B | Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits Product Review
Skip to content

Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits | Sample Library Review

Reviewer: Steve B Back to Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits product details

This latest release from Big Fish Audio has all the ear-marks of pedigreed pop for the modern era. Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits is a massive collection of construction kits is so dialed in on Modern Pop that it’s practically daring you to try to keep this stuff off the radio!

Big Fish Audio continues a 30+ year tradition as a preeminent producer of professional quality loops and virtual instruments with its latest release Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits. Starting in 1986 with their first virtual instrument, Big Fish Audio has continued to enlist top talent in the form of composers, producers and session musicians. Blockbuster film and television composers, Radio hitmakers and upcoming talent all count on Big Fish Audio for both inspiration and quality.


Pop music pulsates with up-tempo rhythms, grabs you with strong hooks and catchy phrases and often, lingers on the charts if done well. This latest release from Big Fish Audio has all the ear-marks of pedigreed pop for the modern era. You might just strike gold with Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits. This massive collection of construction kits is so dialed in on Modern Pop that it’s practically daring you to try keep this stuff off the radio!

In addition to top 40 radio, these synth and vocal heavy pop tunes might be a great fit for kid-friendly animated shows, fashion, travel and a multitude of other genres where high gloss, up-tempo tunes will fit. Images of shopping on Rodeo Drive, driving the California coastline and leaving the top down on your convertible come to mind while listening to the 50 modern pop kits. These are pure blue-sky bundles of inspiration with a couple of ballad-like bits thrown in for good measure. Many of these kits seem to beg for powerful vocals. What’s more, Big Fish Audio has done something I haven’t seen in a collection of this size before: They’ve included the midi files for each of the kits – making Pop Life one of the most flexible loop sets I’ve seen in a very long time.

Pop Life is available in all the most popular formats. For the KLI version, the full version of Kontakt 5.8.0 is required.

For RMX buyers, the loops come pre-converted, so you can focus on getting straight to work. The multi-format version includes Acidized Wav, Apple Loop and Rex Files. Regardless of the format, the kits are well organized and labeled – and with the addition of those Midi files, I’d say this set is a great value. With the midi files, you’ll have additional flexibility to include your own sounds with – or – in place of using what’s assigned to each loop.

Loops are organized by kit number, tempo and key signature as you can see in the image above. This makes browsing for kits, a simple and streamlined process regardless of the format you choose. Opening up a folder reveals a few extras in addition to the loops for each kit.

Here you can see that in addition to 8 loops that make up the basic kit, there are other folders containing drum loops, drum hits (one shots) and Midi files for each project. This opens up a large amount of options for working this library. Kudos to Big Fish Audio for this pleasant surprise!

Adding loops to the Apple Loop browser was recently discussed in my review for Escape: Modern Pop and EDM – also from Big Fish Audio so, be sure to seek out that review if you need a refresher on adding apple loops!

KLI Users will find that all the familiar controls are there to quickly demo songs and then load the corresponding kits into the Kontakt browser to navigate through the collection. The 50 kits are spread out over two folders (Marked Part 1 and Part 2, respectively.) Loading the Demo Instrument patch loads all 50 of the fully produced demos for each kit, mapped to 50 keys on your keyboard for easy previewing and one finger playback. (49 key keyboard owners will need to shift octaves to play the preview for that last kit.)

The construction kit info is displayed when the key is touched. In the image below (D1) plays, the entire kit demo at a tempo of 90 bpm and F major for its key signature. The kit number is also displayed: 03 in this case. On your first time loading the demo patches, you may get a message saying some samples can’t be located. Performing a “Batch Re-save” in Kontakt will pull in the missing files and can speed load times, as well.

Selecting individual kits is easy. Navigate to the kit folder (listed by number) in Kontakt’s file browser, select the kit instrument and you’re ready to play. Here you can see that single instrument loops are mapped to individual keys for single instrument separation and control of independent FX. From this screen, it’s possible to control reverbs, compression and other FX simply by choosing an instrument and clicking the FX button located under that instrument.

Controls for the KLI instrument are well marked and easy to find, as are the key maps. Keys in blue are the instrument loops while the keys in red allow pitch shifts (up or down 12 semitones) from the key signature. The green key indicates the currently selected key for the kit while the yellow key is the original key of the kit.

Sliced loops are also available for each kit and offer even more options for altering the sound of the kits. Each of the blue keys represents a new position for the sliced loop to begin from. C-0 plays the loop forward, D-0 plays the backwards, while E-0 and F-0 work in conjunction with the mashup button.

Pop music divas, vocalists, bed-room producers, professional composers and lovers of the “latte and purse-puppy lifestyle”may all find joy in Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits. At 50 kits, there’s plenty to love.

The inclusion of midi files for each kit is a tremendous value (in my humble opinion) and I hope it’s a trend that Big Fish Audio title producers continue. While I may be more of a Pure Pop For Now People kind of person, the undeniable enthusiasm in this collection of modern pop hits is bound to add bounce to your next project. Be sure to check out all the demos and videos available here at Sample Library Review and at Big Fish Audio to ensure you’re making an informed decision.


The Kontakt Version of Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits requires a full version (build 5.7.1 or higher) of Kontakt.

For Kontakt, there is 3.9 GB of content (643 individual patches) downloadable in two compressed files weighing in around 1.63 GB for Part 1 and 1.4 GB for Part 2. RMX version purchasers will receive pre-converted files in 2 compressed files weighing in at 1.74 GB and 1.47 GB while Multi-Format purchasers will receive 798 Apple Loop and Acidized Wav files broken into two compressed files each (About 1.56 GB for part 1 and 1.42 GB for part 2) plus 576 Rex files in a single compressed file of 1.39 GB. Fully expanded, the Apple Loop and Acidized Wav files occupy about 3.78 GB of hard drive space while the Rex files take up about 1.41 GB. For more information, please visit Pop Life: Modern Pop Hits from Big Fish Audio.

Back to top