Big Fish Audio | Sound On Sound john Walden | Cut'n It Up 3 Product Review
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Cut'n It Up 3 | Sound On Sound

Reviewer: john Walden | Rating: 4 out of 5 Back to Cut'n It Up 3 product details

As suggested by the title, this is John Tejada's follow-up to the original two titles in this hip-hop series, comprising over 100 construction kits in audio, Acid ised WAV, and REX formats. In testing, I explored the WAV loops and one-shot samples using Sony Acid Pro v5. The set includes nearly 1500 Acid ised WAV files, totalling about 1GB. Usefully, both tempo and key are specified in the folder name for each kit. Each construction kit is based around 10 or more loops/one-shots and also includes between one and four short 'pre-mixed' WAV files that demonstrate how the individual files can be arranged.

The original recording tempos range between 95bpm and 110bpm, and the majority of them are in minor keys - this gives the melodic or chord-based loops a 'down' feel which is very much in keeping with current hip-hop sounds. In terms of content, Cut'n It Up is certainly an apt title as, aside from a main drum loop within each kit, the rest of the loops and one-shots are dominated by chopped-up sounds, hits, and chord-stabs. Auditioning these individually might leave you wondering whether anything really musical could be constructed from them at all. However, the pre-mixed loops are an education in themselves and demonstrate John Tejada's production chops - the end results can be very musical indeed.

Styles vary across the various construction kits, but a commercial tone dominates. There is plenty of radio-friendly hip-hop or R&B material here - think Outkast, Nelly, or Missy Elliot rather than the grittier ends of these musical styles. The sounds themselves are uniformly good. The drum loops offer some nice grooves and the kits used, while varying in style from classic drum machines to what sound like processed live kits, all have plenty of bottom end and attitude. The majority of the construction kits include one-shot snare, kick, and hi-hat samples for those that want to construct some variations - although the REX files obviously add further flexibility for slicing and dicing. Guitars and organ sounds are plentiful, but there are also lots of horn, synth and turntable loops or hits. An additional collection of turntable scratches is included and many of these are, usefully, quite rhythmic.

While I'm not sure there is anything revolutionary about the musical territory of Cut'n It Up 3 , it is jam-packed with excellent material. With some suitable adjustment of tempo and pitch, it is perfectly possible to mix and match between the various construction kits to add further variety. All that would be required to complete the picture is your choice of rapper and melodic vocal hook. The only real downside is for those working in library/production music, as the license terms do not allow the loops to be used in that context. Otherwise, for producers of commercial hip-hop or R&B, Cut'n It Up 3 is well worth auditioning. John Walden


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