Big Fish Audio | RECORDING MAGAZINE Mike Metlay | Elemental Studio Percussion Product Review
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Elemental Studio Percussion | RECORDING MAGAZINE

Reviewer: Mike Metlay Back to Elemental Studio Percussion product details

This library comes on two DVDs; our WAV folder had 3.25 GB. There are eight subfolders named by tempo (two of which are in 3/4 and one in 5/4 time), plus folders for one-shot samples and non-rhythmic sounds. The latter two folders aren't available in REX2 format. Tempi range from 80 to 140 BPM with one doubletime folder at 240 BPM.

This library offers 18 instruments, played with restraint and good taste by studio percussionist Ernesto Diaz: agogo bells, bell tree, bongos, cabasa, congas, cowbell, djembe, egg shaker, guiro, maracas, rainstick, shakers, shekere, tambourines, timbales, triangles, vibraslap, and wood blocks, not all instruments are represented at each tempo, but all have multiple one-shot samples and two of them (bell tree and rainstick) have sets of non-rhythmical texture effects. When an instrument is played at a particular tempo, you get a variety of isolated loops in varying degrees of complexity. Most give you from 9 to 20 variations, but a few (the mid-tempo conga and timbale lines) can offer 40 or even 60 different choices so you don't repeat yourself in even long songs.

These instruments are played simply and close-milked for a minimal room effect, so they can be mixed with just about anything and not stick out like a sore thumb. The milking is clean and intimate; in one of the triangle patterns you can hear Sr. Diaz breathing softly in time with his playing.

These tracks are designed to be, as their name suggests, elements of larger compositions, tastefully played and relatively genre-neutral percussive spices that can accentuate any rhythm section. If you don't have access to a percussionist with a fine sense of time and taste and a big trunk full of cool rhythm toys, consider Elemental Studio Percussion as a great alternative to round out your compositions. Mike Metlay

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