Electro City is a Kontakt sequencer, effects engine, and loop library from the award-winning American company Sample Logic. For those of you who know Sample Logic’s Rhythmology, this is a huge step in the right direction with endless new options for creating music.
Let’s begin with what Electro City virtual instrument can do. You have 4 sample engines where you can load in any of over 1000 samples to mix together. Each sample is broken down into a 16 beat stepper.
The stepper can be shortened into fewer steps making it possible to create loops of different lengths. The 16 different parts of the sample can also be rearranged as you like for example placing parts from the middle at the beginning and so forth.
You can transpose each piece of the sample over 3 octaves, designate 1000’s effect presets or choose different parameters for each piece of the sample. One may also favor randomizing particular settings and just see what happens.
Deactivate portions of the loop or the effect of the FX on certain portions of the loop. Latch the samples so they loop if you’re playing live (not just 1 loop but many loops) and there’s a master bus with Fx options as well. This all translates into an enormous amount of sound design power.
First impressions are the samples sound incredible! Very well produced and high quality. You can take a drum sample and rearrange it into something entirely new and it melds seamlessly. Transposing can be done globally in order to change the key completely or you can just transpose each piece of the sample.
This allows you to create your own harmonies and melodies leaving the original sample un-recognizable. You can also compose new parts for pre-existing tracks and find the correct key effortlessly.
This in no way affects the quality of the samples. I’m using Maschine as a DAW and controller and the session opens mapped for performing. I can trigger each sample individually or all at the same time, and adjust the volume, the intensity and there’s a filter assigned to each sample.
Kontakt Player allows you to make further midi mappings as you see fit. At the top of the interface, I can choose to search for a 4 sample track or I can choose each loop individually for each core.
I can search for samples in the browser-based on genre and or keywords. There’s something for everyone here. From EDM, House and Trap loop to more obscure stuff like Latin and Grunge. Each core has a slot that I can just scroll through the loops allowing me to mix the samples up in spontaneous ways I might never have thought of. In that regard, this is not a genre-specific engine.
Each core lets me turn portions of the sample off or choose between every second step or skip every downbeat and so on. For instance, I can mix a 16 step sample with a 7, step sample set it to reverse.
The Fxs engine functions similarly. When I open the browser I can route genre or keyword based global effects, or as in the samples, for each slot. I can also route effects to individual steps in the loops with different settings. The FX button reveals the options.
The first layers offer Volume, Pan, Transpose, as well as Stutter and Reverse. Stutter rolls the sample step and Reverse turns it backward giving you a really long attack sound. These 2 are loads of fun. I can assign the effects to individual steps or automate the steps.
On the second layer, we can choose our effects. You’ve got everything from Compressor, Reverb, and Delay, to Cabinet, Lo-fi and Pitch Shift to name a few. These can be adjusted by pushing on the diagonal arrows next to each effect slot. Here we have yet another window for manipulating our samples. We can choose for example different compressor types or set the delay to step mode for automation.
If you’re getting the gist, Electro City Kontakt instrument is about tweaking, tweaking, and more tweaking. Without having any idea in mind I just throw it open choose some samples, Fxs settings, start fiddling and create something completely unique and professional.
Who is Electro City for? If you have music in your head and you want to get it out this won’t work for you, it’s about tweaking and seeing what comes out. If you’re a Dj looking to start producing your own music and you don’t necessarily play an instrument or know a lot about music theory Electro City is a dream come true.
With all the options and possibilities to shape stellar samples, you’re sure to get great new self-made material for your sets. If you love producing dance music on the fly and are looking for everything under one hood check this out. If you’ve been working a lot with drum machines or Volca products and you want to go digital for example into Logic or Cubase, Electro City Kontakt library will help you feel at home for your first endeavors.
In general, the way you can just open browse and create with this much power and quality is truly magical. Electro City costs 299€ and considering what you can do with it’s a worthwhile investment.