Big Fish Audio | Virtual Instruments Magazine Chris Meyer | Electro Magnetic Fury Product Review
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Electro Magnetic Fury | Virtual Instruments Magazine

Reviewer: Chris Meyer Back to Electro Magnetic Fury product details

I like the idea of industrial music, but rarely do I find an industrial sample library that lives up to the promise of the genre. It seems that many try too hard to be abrasive, clever, or obscure, while providing isolated loops that give you too little variation to build an entire, cohesive song around. The promo materials for this collection-promising it was "downright dangerous" and would "blow through your speakers" with "punishing drums and beats" and "ear-shattering FX"-made me assume we had another entrant in the too-abrasive category.

Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this library hews much closer to the intelligent industrial mindset, combining ambient and exotic elements with a pulsing groove.

As is the case with most Big Fish loop libraries, Electro Magnetic Fury repeats its content in AIFF (Apple Loops), WAV, and REX2 flavors. The AIFF version weighs in at just over 1.5 gigs of 44.1kHz 16-bit stereo files.

There are 95 construction kits listed by tempo and occasionally key. The kits each contain a 30+ second demo plus from three to 16 component loops, ranging from two to 12 bars in length (four being the most common). Typically, one part is presented in two or more variations, and there is usually an ambient loop among the components.

Although these kits are intended primarily to be rhythmic backing tracks, there are often tonal (dare I say melodic) elements, including pitched drums, vocoded rhythms, processed traditional instruments, and the occasional sequencer. Tempos range from 67 to 200 bpm, focused around the low 100s. In addition to the kits, there is also a folder of 17 "atmospheres": lovely 30 second to two minute droning, ambient, mostly tonal beds with an occasional rhythmic pulse that would make great intros or bridges.

As I hinted in the intro, what struck me most about this library was that the atmosphere wasn't nearly as harsh and monodimensional as I expected. There is indeed an abundance of strong grooves and distortion, but some pieces are downright ambient, while others wander into house or even lounge territory. There is also more of a feeling of understated mystery, dread, or power than pure chainsaw mayhem. Many kits throw in surprising elements such as African chants, Middle Eastern percussion, Far Eastern strings, military snares and toms, ambient hits, and a lot of bandpass-filtered beats.

The only thing I can hold against this collection is a lack of variation, as most components are only presented in one version. As a result, quite often you will need to create movement by switching elements on and off, rather than being able to pull up evolutions of the existing parts. Many who create music in this style are already used to working this way. For those outside of this genre looking for additional spices and flavors, I think you'll find a surprising number of useful layers and elements to include in your own work.

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