US Mags reviews of Raw POwer
Raw power reviewed at EQ Mag
Just in time for our rock issue, this little gem appeared with over 900 WAV files, 750 RX2 files, 200 hits, and a couple dozen NN-XT patches and Redrum kits. Files are organized by genre: Alternative, Artskool (heavy), England's Dreaming (punk and pop), New Wave, and New York Underground (sort of a rock grab bag).
You get bass, drums, guitar, and synths, along with some vocal effects (screams, yeah, countdown, etc.). Although Raw Power works well as a set of self-contained construction kits, I could also see using the files as accents to other songs. Don't get this for the NN-XT/Redrum patches; they're more bonus goodies. The WAV and REX files are the stars, and the slice editing isn't too bad.
It's hard to pull off rock loop CDs, but this one's good. Last week I needed a "generic rock bed" under the narration for a video; Raw Power would have been perfect. The loops mesh well together, and the playing is crisp. This CD won't win any awards for innovation, but it's cost-effective and works - if you need some rock "library" music, buy this instead. You'll be able to customize the sound more, and have fun while you're doing it.
Raw Power reviewed at Electronic Musician 4/5
Electronic Musician Magazine - 4 out of 5 - Gene Porfido
Raw Power ($69.95) is a collection of over 1500 samples and loops in several rock styles, primarily for use in Propellerhead Reason. The CD includes NN-XT and Redrum patches, REX2 samples, and WAV files. Produced by Jay Price and Jez Miller for Loopmasters, the sounds were recorded at various studios throughout London specifically for use in this library.
Raw Power is divided into five main folders, each based on a musical style. Each folder contains sub-folders that include drums, guitars, basses, and synth samples. Within each instrument's subfolder are individual folders for WAV- and REX-format files. The samples were recorded at 44.1 kHz, 16-bits, and the loops are anywhere from one to four measures in length. A sixth folder, Toolbox, contains Reason NN-XT and Redrum patches with full drum kits, vocal effects, guitar noises, acoustic guitar sounds, and synth hits. A PDF file with CD registration and additional Loopmasters product information is included, as well as a demo WAV file using samples from the Raw Power collection.
The Power of Inspiration
The five main folders-AlternativeUSA, Artskool, NewWave, NewYorkUnderground, and England-sDreaming-hint at the styles and bands that inspired this library (including the Stooges, Blondie, the Sex Pistols, and Radiohead). Each Guitar folder contains a mixture of electric guitar power chords and riffs, as well as acoustic strums. The bass folders include synth and electric bass guitar riffs played with a pick and fingers through a variety of amps and stomp boxes. The Synth folder has loops ranging from classic '70s Clavinet funk to early techno sounds. The Drums folders are divided into two additional folders, one for loops of beats, and the other for fills. The drums are played on a mixture of live kits and electronic drum machines.
Each style folder has its own tempo, with all of the samples conforming to the same bpm. The names of the individual samples hint at the feel, genre, or song they are modeled after. For example, AlternativeUSA, recorded at 145 bpm, includes a very Who-like guitar riff named "Can't Refrain." This folder also includes wah-basses, Rhodes riffs, and a variety of tasteful drum beats.
Artskool (135 bpm) contains much heavier guitar sounds, reminiscent of Hendrix and Van Halen, as well as bass growls and slides, fat Oberheim synth lines, and various hard-rock drum beats with flanging and other effects. NewWave (120 bpm) contains cleaner guitars with jazz-like '80s tones, tremolo riffs, and fuzz-box leads. The folder's synth sounds contain classic new wave lead lines, and the bass and drum loops are as raw and innocent as the music itself was when it first appeared.
England'sDreaming (140 bpm) offers guitar loops reminiscent of early Rolling Stones, Beatles, and other British bands from the '60s. Add a few classic stereo B-3 licks in the Synth folder, as well as some stock drum beats and fills, and it's the British Invasion all over again. NewYorkUnderground (130 bpm) is full of classic New York-style rock and alternative licks and beats. The crunchy guitars, echo-laden Rhodes, filtered Wurlitzers, and solid drum loops reminds the listener of the breakthrough acts that New York City spawned after the punk revolution landed from England.
Raw Power is an interesting collection of samples that is true to its inspiration. Although my first impressions were that the sounds lacked polish and refinement, as I began to explore the CD further I remembered that polish was not what these musical styles were about: they were about sound and attitude, and Raw Power does an admirable job of recreating both.
There are plenty of clean, open chords, licks, and riffs as well as dirty, power chords in the Guitar folders to piece together any kind of rocking tune. The guitar samples are well recorded, with good tone, feel, and the power to sound loud (according to the liner notes, they were recorded loud). The acoustic guitar samples are especially well recorded.
The basses offer a wide array of licks and tones, most of which are appropriately basic and straight ahead, and along with the drum beats and fills, they can drive the pounding rhythms that these styles of music are known for. Add in the classic keyboard sounds and memorable synth lines, and this collection captures the sound and feel of a musical generation that believed in baring its soul through music.
Raw Power reviewed at VI magazine (USA)
A library named Raw Power brings to mind heavy metal; in reality it covers a wide variety of modern rock genres. Producers Jay Price and Jez Miller have chosen an unusual organizational structure. There are five main stylistic folders, called Alternative USA 145 bpm, Artskool 135 bpm, England’s Dreaming 140 bpm, New Wave 120 bpm, and New York Underground 130 bpm.
Each of these contains folders of roughly 150 mostly 2-bar bass, drums (both patterns and fills), guitar, and synth loops. But these are not simple construction kits—for example the basses may be synthetic, fuzzed, straight, or flanged; the drums may be big-room acoustic kits or techno-processed machines. The styles range from the ’70s through the present, solidly anchored in the ’80s. Many of the drum loops in a given folder are related, although this is not always obvious from their names.
Most of the guitar and many of the bass loops are presented in different keys (a big plus), but you get only a single 2-bar loop for each key (not great for variety). Finally, a Toolbox folder contains nearly 200 single-shot samples and corresponding Reason patches. In short, there’s a lot of material here, but it will take some thought and work to realize its full potential. If you are doing short commercials, or higher-energy trance-like styles (such as early Chemical Brothers), you’ll very happy!