Pros: A broad collection of Modern Pop and EDM construction kits with some Urban and Rock influences.
Cons: Wav, Apple and Rex loops are fully processed specifically for their kits. Dry versions of these loops are only available with the KLI version.
Escape Modern Pop and EDM lives up to Big Fish Audio’s pedigree in every way. Pop music producers, film and television composers and hobbyists alike can all find something to like about this vast collection of loops.
Starting with their first virtual instrument in 1986, Big Fish Audio’s talented producers, composers, musicians and visionaries, have become the “go-to” resource for countless composers for blockbuster film and television projects as well as other forms of audio media. Escape Modern Pop and EDM is a library of construction kits, and loops in dance, pop and EDM and lives up to Big Fish Audio’s pedigree in every way.
Pop music producers, film and television composers and hobbyists alike can all find something to like about this vast collection of loops. There are fifty (Yes 50) construction kits to choose from and each is produced in the styles of today’s hottest pop composers.
Browsing through the kits, I found kits that sounded like traditional upbeat Dance Pop hits, Urban laced pop, Electronic pop, Emo pop, Quirky pop, Adult pop, Euro pop and some crossover Pop Rock. For the most part, this collection is full of hooks and bound to provide a strong foundation for your next hit. A personal pet peeve of mine, is the current trend to use vocal “snippets” in everything. Vocal “snippets” allude to actual vocals but never quite deliver on the promise. I get it. All the cool kids are doing it these days so, why not? You’ll be pleased to know you’ll have plenty of opportunity in this library. It is virtually brimming with these vocal teases and allusions.
Construction kit tempos range from 76bpm to 142bpm. Depending on your preference, you can get the kits in Multi-format versions, including Acidized wav, Apple Loops and Rex files or you can purchase versions converted for RMX or Kontakt.
For those working with Wav or Apple Loop versions, you’ll find that each kit includes very well-organized folders, loops and one-shots to help you easily select and navigate through the massive amount of inspiration included in this set.
Simply navigate to the kit you’d like through the numbered folders to select the demo, loops or one shots for that kit. Logic Pro users can import the kits into Logic’s loop browser for streamlined access to the loops within a given project.
If you’re not familiar with importing loops in to the Logic Loop Browser, I made a brief video on how to import the loops. [BFA EMP Adding Apple Loops Video] Please note that older versions of Logic Pro do not support the separated Apple Loops and Untagged Loops (typically wav files,) as shown in the video, however, the process for importing loops in earlier versions of Logic is exactly the same. Once imported, kits are organized by kit number and files within the kit provide info like tempo, key signature, beat length or whether or not the loop is a one-shot. You can see how loops look in Logic’s loop browser in the image below.
Acidized Wav files and Apples loops work essentially the same way, in that you simply drag and arrange them in your project. Each loop ends up in its own track (at least the way I work) so keeping drums, keys, bass and guitar separate in the mix becomes second-nature. This allows you to add effects, adjust levels and panning for each track individually. You will see I often add the kit’s Demo file to use as a reference track when building songs from kits.
Work flows change slightly in the KLI or Kontakt version of Escape Modern Pop. First, previewing the demo versions of each kit is accomplished by selecting the DEMO.nki file located in the folder marked Part 1 inside the Escape Modern Pop folder. Demos for all the kits are mapped to your keyboard for previewing. Information about each demo is displayed in the KLI user interface so in the case of the demo I chose, the kit number is 04, the bpm is 120 and the key signature is G minor. It’s worth noting the D#1 in parentheses, indicates the key on your keyboard, this particular demo is mapped to.
Once you’ve selected a kit you want to work with, navigate to the kits folder in located in the Part 1 Folder. (Kits 1 – 25 are located in the folder labeled Part 1. Kits 26-50 are in the folder labeled Part 2.)
When you load a kit, you’ll see that all the instruments have their own key assignment and each instrument’s FX can be adjusted individually from the KLI interface. In addition to these controls are drum and sliced loop options which can yield some nice variations to loop compositions. I prefer to record each instrument to its own track within Logic Pro to give me the most flexibility for FX and Panning and this includes instantiating tracks dedicated to sliced loops and drum variations.
In the screen shot above, you can see how each instrument sits in its own track, allowing me to adjust and control effects independently. By clicking the FX button beneath each channel, you’ll access the controls to affect the corresponding instrument. Additional FX can be added to your DAW’s midi tracks, making endless possibilities for additional filters, LFO’s, delays and step processes.
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Taking a closer look at the KLI instrument, you’ll see where all the controls are located for each instrument in this particular kit as well as 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 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.
Escape Modern Pop and EDM is a very strong package of current pop influences. The 50 kits each contain drum one-shots, so you can build your own rhythmic variations. Wav, Apple Loop and Rex fans will find some processing present on loops that may limit their use outside of the corresponding kits, however, this is not a deal breaker. Having spent the same amount of money for far fewer kits, I would say that Escape Modern Pop and EDM is a great value at $129.00. Only you can decide if these loops will suit your needs so be sure to check out all the demos available both here and at Big Fish Audio.
The Kontakt Version of Escape Modern Pop requires the full 5.7.1 version of Kontakt. Kontakt users will receive 3.56 GB of content (666 individual patches) in two compressed files weighing in around 1.34 GB for Part 1 and 1.24 GB for Part 2.
RMX users will receive pre-converted files in 2 compressed files weighing in at 1.21 GB and 1.25 GB while Multi-Format purchasers will receive 844 Acidized Wav, Apple Loop and 650 Rex files.
Compressed download sizes for Acidized Wavs and Apple Loops are fairly close at just about 1.25 GB for Parts 1 and 2 while Rex clocks in at just 1.23 GB for everything. For more information, please visit Escape Modern Pop from Big Fish Audio.