Production Department Picks of the Month

For this month’s pick we are going to look at a couple of outstanding percussion libraries. These aren’t collections of standard shakers and tambourines but instead you will find Riqs, Dehollahs, Tablas, Tavils, Kanjeeras, Dholak, and many other percussion instruments from both the Middle East and India.

First, let’s look at Rhythms of Arabia.  Rhythms of Arabia is a finely crafted collection of percussion loops from the Arab world.  Inside this product you’ll find over 1000 loops played in various different rhythmic styles from that region.  The product is organized by BPM with various folders of different instruments contained within.  The loops are recorded dry, giving you the freedom to place them in your music with ease and maximum flexibility.

Score of India contains a few similar instruments to Rhythms of Arabia but stands alone with it’s own unique vibe and feel.  As you may assume from the name of this product, Score of India is a perfect fit for any film/tv score needing a boost of energy and drive from authentic Indian percussion.  Whether you are scoring an action packed drama, a soaring landscape, or a high speed chase scene, you’ll find a perfect fit with these loops.

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Production Department Pick of the Month

It’s February, and as it’s been cold up here in the United States so let’s heat it up a bit with a couple of products just begging to be used in your next chart topping track.  This month I’ll be looking over a couple of Hip Hop products that provide you with live instruments that normally wouldn’t be accessable to most people.

Nothing sets apart a track more than the use of live strings.  Live string players are expensive and it takes a lot of experience to record and capture the nuances of these instruments.  Big Fish Audio has made it a bit easier to include live strings in your Hip Hop, Pop, or R&B tracks with Urban String Sessions. Urban String Sessions provides and excellent assortment of live string loops recorded in a mid-size studio setting.  Each loop includes various parts and sections broken out to allow for further arrangement and custom mixing.  Any way you slice it I think you’ll love how quickly and easily these loops will fit with your music.

My second selection for the month contains live played Indian percussion played along with hip hop beats.  Hip Hop India was played by master percussionist Sanket Athale.  What truly makes this library stand out from ordinary ethnic percussion libraries is Sanket’s ability to incorporate expertly played Indian percussion with a modern approach. Take a listen to the demos and you’ll hear what I mean.  Every instrument was recorded in complete isolation allowing you to select and choose the exact group of instruments of your choosing.  No sample library one-shots will ever replace the nuance and feel of a live player and Hip Hop India is truly no exception.

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A must-have percussion loop product

Elemental Studio Percussion is great for making quick and easy percussion parts without having to dig through tons of libraries to find a simple percussion loop.  For example if I need a basic shaker to accent the rhythm section of a song I’m working I can quickly find exactly what I need. I got a beta version of this product from our production director about 2 months ago and I’ve used this product over and over since. This one is a must have.

Elemental Studio Percussion

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General - Instruments

Up-and-coming percussion from Cinesamples

One of our most popular partners, Cinesamples, just announced that they’ve got a new series of percussion libraries up their sleeve for release later this month. Those of you who enjoyed Drums of War should have a lot of fun with their new offerings! They tell us there are extensive dynamic layers and round robining, three mic positions, and tempo-synced crescendo rolls that’ll benefit the suspended cymbals and snares. As a composer myself, I’ve gotten great mileage out of Cinesamples‘ huge action drums and meticulous attention to sonic detail, so I can’t wait to get to work with these.

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