Big Fish Audio | EQ Magazine Craig Anderton | Hit Zone Product Review
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Hit Zone | EQ Magazine

Reviewer: Craig Anderton Back to Hit Zone product details

This collection of Top 40/hip-hop/pop style construction kits has a goal of unabashed commercial potential. The core of the set, 32 construction kits, typically include a dozen different elements - all elements played together, just drums, just kicks, snares only, bass, keyboards, etc. These are definitely rhythm track-oriented samples that beg to have lead vocals placed over them.

Tempos hover in the 65 - 118 BPM range, with one at 132 BPM. Eleven additional tracks of "Beat Zones," collections of complete drums-only loops in the range of 65 to 115 BPM, each have 1 to 12 related loops per "zone."

The biggest surprise is the amount of creativity in the keyboard and effects parts. When auditioned in isolation, they sound almost like elements of experimental electronics that somehow escaped their cages and migrated to pop music projects. Although they make complete sense in the context of the construction kits, they wouldn't be out of place in any dance-oriented music.

Basses tend to be of the "huge low end son of dub" type, with a few of the "synth filter burble" persuasion. Drums, which are electronic, have that old school, "rounded/warm" sound common in today's hip-hop. Any of the construction kits sound like they'd fit right into anything by groups like Destiny's Child.

When I frist loaded these CD-ROMs, I was surprised to find that although they were claimed to have acidized WAV files, there is no embedded acidizing information. But on contacting Big Fish Audio, the company was able to track down the source of the problem: a pressing plant error that effects only the first pressing. Owners of the first pressing who require acidized files should contact Big Fish Audio.

But that's the only blemish on this otherwise well-recorded, creative, and radio-friendly set of samples - pop goes the Hit Zone. (2 audio CDs, 2 CD-ROMs with WAV versions of the same files, $99.95)

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