Sounds from the Modular

Review: Sounds from the Modular, a sample library from Loopmasters

This is one of the rather unique library, featuring the sounds of Analog Modular Synthesizer at their best. Especially since it’s made from some boutique class modules and processors, such as listed at the bottom of this review. Something that most people are not able to purchase or have enough skill to match the programming quality of the beast.

Expect to find all types of modular goodness in 24Bit Quality, from the 1.66 GB material. What impressed me is that, other than capturing the raw character of modular synthesizer, it’s also full of lush sounding pad which sounds like it was being processed with a quality delay and spring reverb within a very musical context rather than just some random modular pattern. I found it easy to apply in many form of electronic music. For more flexibility, many of the material are available in the dry and wet version.

My favorite contents are from the: Rhythm FX category, which is a typical of modular sequenced groove and sounds like it was driven using an analog sequencer or a very good use of the LFO module. The result is some tight and unique musical grooves that can only be had from a modular synthesis. Using the REX2 files with another application such as the Spectrasonics Stylus RMX, which can instantly play the sliced loop in the drum kit style really open a whole possibilities. The same can be said with the Rhythm category, which I found to be on the safer side, rather than experimental as the former. The loops are all sampled in 128 BPM for easy adaptation with current dance music.

Compared to the other favorite library of mine, the Zero-G Modular Beats by Roger Grondberg, which is full of steady and powerful groove. I found it to be on the safer side and not as raw sounding as the limited selection loops from this library. Both are complementing each other, the former wins the Quantity of a dedicated Beats library, while Sounds from the Modular wins for the rawness of the library in every other category not available in the Modular Beats.

As mentioned, the other favorite are from the Pad Category, which also has a pre-assigned sampler version for Ableton Live user like myself. Since this is a wonderfully captured sample of the real Modular Synthesizer, I can safely say that it gave me some of the most raw and big sounding pads and sweeps, compared to any virtual synth in my collection, even compared to some real analog synthesizer. The Bass Loops category is also versatile for those who are looking for some Modular patterns in the low register with raw, aggressive and impressively “low” frequency up to the deep sub territory.

I found the Texture and Sound FX category to be the most useful part, since I’m a fan of random noises as well as some strange percussive part, analog bleeps and modulation madness. Both really delivered with the modular glory. In my new composition, adding some of the Texture and Sound FX, transforming a rather usual track, into something that only possible by plugging tons of cable and dive deep to the modular jungle. I’m happy to add those type of sounds, without spending thousands of dollar on the real equipments or burning my brain with such a masterful skill that will take many years to learn.

The rest are useful category for many applications, such as the Bass multisampled and Bass Single non looping patches, as well as chord stabs which are really came to life with a touch of other plug-in or processor, since the basic samples are on the expressive side. I’m using the SFZ version within a powerful application such as the Camel Audio Alchemy. The eight remix pads, gave me instant variation with a bit of granular, additive, resynthesis or combining the samples with the virtual analog engine and great effect section for an imaginative modular beauty, that can never be achieved without such raw material. Especially the Textures, FX, Noises and Blips SFZ file, which contain dozens of sounds in one patch. It automatically made hundreds of variations in an application like the Alchemy for instant sci-fi madness. My favorite is the Chord folder, which is becoming much more useful with such type of remix features.

Compared to the Puremagnetik B-System Collection which consists of three great libraries such

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as the Atmospheres, Basses & Leads and Percussives. I found the atmosphere library is more into the darker side, while this library is more on the edgy and brighter sounding side. While the Basses and Percussives of the former is more metallic sounding, this library is more on the beefy side. There is no leads patch in this library to compare, so again both are complimenting each other nicely.

But if I should choose only one library from anything that I had tried, played and tortured. This one is definitely my choice and personal favorite, simply because of the range of sound categories, the amazing programming skill and the type of material that suites best to my type of music and current project. Big kudos to Mike Hulme of U & A Recordings, I can’t wait for the sequel of this success.

The Library is also available in several popular formats such as the Acidized Wav and Rex2 loops within the Zip (main) format, which is very useful when being used with the Stylus RMX. The Rex2 loops are easily being exported to the S.A.G.E format, using the converter. Also included, all single (non looping) sounds and the Sampler Patches for Kontakt, Halion, NNXT, EX24 soft samplers.

Other available formats are: Apple Loops, Reason Refill, Ableton Live, Wav Loop Pack and One Shots & Sampler Patches format. More information regarding the format version can be seen from the product page: t.co/bRjEwMFY

Pro: I don’t have to spend my hard earned cash on such beast or spend my family time with all the cables and electricity with the hassle of the maintenance, but able to tap into some of the glorious world of modular synthesis sound, with great quality and variation.

Cons: I’m not going to buy the real modular in a while and lost many of the great excitement of using the beast and the opportunity to meditate with it, away from anybody. Surviving with the Modular Virtual Instruments we all love and care.

 

Kit List

  • EURORACK MODULAR
  • Analogue Systems: RS-95e, RS-380
  • Bubblesound: uLFO (with customised voice chip & tracking upgrades)
  • Wiard/Malekko: Oscillator, Boogie Filter
  • Tiptop Audio: z2040
  • Intellijel: uFold, Quad Invert
  • Doepfer: A-101-2 Low Pass Gate, A-138b & A-138c Mixers (OP Amp upgrades: OP484FPZ & LM4562NA), A-143-2 Quad ADSR, A183-1 Dual Attenuator, A-132-3 Dual VCA (CEM3360 chip).
  • Makenoise: MATHS, ModDemix
  • Kenton: Solo USB

Outboard Gear

  • Analogue Solutions Telemark
  • TL Audio C-5021 Valve Compressor (with custom valve upgrade)
  • Dbx 266XL compressor/gate
  • Mackie 1604VLZ Pro
  • RME Multiface
  • Guitar pedals: Electro Harmonix: Deluxe Memory Man, Small Stone Nano & Stereo Poly Chorus, Malekko: Spring Chicken, Blackout Effectors: Musket Fuzz v2, Boss: DS-1, WMD: Geiger Counter.

3 thoughts on “Sounds from the Modular”

  1. Nice review Crystaline. I don’t often purchase sample packs & the like, but this looks pretty amazing. May have to take a closer look. 😉

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