Mode Audio presents String Theory, an awesome sample pack, focused especially on genres like Hip-Hop, Downtempo, and possibly Dubstep. It contains 27 bass guitar loops, 74 guitar loops (processed and unprocessed), 36 synths and keys loops, 35 drum loops and fills, 12 percussion loops and 16 SFX and vinyl noise loops plus 130 samples from guitars, drums, and percussion instruments. Also, there are 81 MIDI files. I’ll be reviewing the String Theory pack for Ableton Live, which also includes 12 Live project templates and four Drum Racks.
To me, the single most important thing about any loops & samples pack is how does it sound, and this sounds awesome. Both samples and loops are in Wav 44.1KHz / 24 bits. Of course, the Ableton pack also includes the corresponding .asd files.
All loops are four bars length, and they are mapped in tempos between 87 BPM and 104 BPM (which are like standards for Hip-Hop) and tonalities include Em Fm G#m Am A#m and B and C#, which to me, seems like a weird selection, but, I’m sure they have their reasons.
It’s quite nice they’ve included all loop’s tails in the samples folder so you can use those for endings which are a nice thing, despite most of the times hip-hop tunes end in the fourth beat of the bar.
Speaking of samples, drum one-shot samples are amazing! and right in your face! (well, actually all loops are very in your face, which is nice for these genres).
They sound awesome and are very well processed. you get tons of those typical Hip-Hop modern abused kicks, plus some crunchy snares and hats.
At first I was a bit afraid that drums would be the typical TR-808 kits -don’t get me wrong, I love the 808!- but, they are awesome and loops have a very human feel, they are not robotically straight, and there are actual dynamics and swing, which is a blessing these days!
Speaking of live recordings, basses, percussions, guitars and keys are as live played as they can be, and that’s absolutely great, you can feel there’s an actual human playing there.
Besides the Dry Guitar loops, everything else is heavily processed, I mean, it would have been great to have this amazing Rhodes loops a little bit cleaner. I guess that would have made some more room to use them in other genres, but, I guess they are meant for hip-hop producers mostly, so, the processing is a good thing.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m reviewing the Ableton Live pack and it includes some session templates which sound amazing without doing anything else! These session templates have 2 two parts which of course you can mix and match to taste!
If you are producing Hip-Hop, this obviously is a no-brainer for £18, but, if you are not, to me, those drum samples and those bass and guitar loops are worth spending the money. Remember this, you can never ever have too many drum samples, and these ones sound great!