Review: Samplephonics Sample Pack - 'Analogue Witchcraft' [Software]

Review: Samplephonics Sample Pack - 'Analogue Witchcraft' [Software]

"This is, without a doubt, the best sample pack I have come across..."

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Last Edited by: Jack Stovin October 5th, 2012.

Sound designer and composer Paul Rez is the man behind Analogue Witchcraft. Originally from South Africa, he was in a successful band named Lark and was hailed as one of South Africa’s most influential electronic acts. He then went on to create soundtracks for short films as well as advertisements, documentaries and collaborated with global brands. With a background like this I can certainly see why Samplephonics approached Rez to create a sample pack and bring his own innovative and original slant to Analogue Witchcraft.

Rez’s years of experience can be heard through the quality of the samples and his use of delicious analogue equipment really enhances the artistic attributes to this sample pack. The use of analogue equipment includes the Studer Tape Machine, which was created by the pioneering Swiss company Studer who have been creating professional audio equipment since 1948. The UA LA610 which is a classic tube microphone preamp, a Moogerfooger, an analogue effects module that is a direct descendant of the original modular Moog synthesiser (and yes I love witty name play on a certain rude word). Also used are the Maestro Sustainer pedal and an Audiomulch and Reaktor for digital manipulation.



Analogue Witchcraft consists of seven imaginatively named folders which I am coming across more and more often from music production companies and it does give that enticing feeling that makes you want to listen to these creatively named sounds. These folders are, Acoustic Guitar Day Care, Flawed Foley Melodies, Half Buried Drum Loops, Organic Mechanic, Retriggered to Tape, Synthi Hurtful Bass Loops and Uncooperative Sequences.

Here are the descriptions that Samplephonics have given of each folder with which I have also added my own thoughts:

‘’Acoustic Guitar Day Care consists a collection of acoustic guitar loops and samples, played in a variety of unorthodox ways and processed in Reaktor and Audiomulch for some subtle effects.’’ There are some really delicate and original guitar samples, something completely different from what you would find in your typical acoustic guitar sample pack. Here you will find some beautifully simple sounds mixed with more intricate and complex guitar samples.

'Flawed Foley Melodies contains experimental rhythmical and melodic loops recorded from various natural sound sources.’’ This is filled with a metallic mix of guitar picking, bells and various percussion and eastern influenced sounds and rhythms that are eerily unsettling and perfect for creating a mood.

‘'Half Buried Drum Loops is a collection of distorted, twisted and warped leftfield drum loops and breaks.’’ This is packed with fantastic effects that bring these loops to life, with some retro 80’s sounding loops like ‘Landscapes’ to the more modern glitchy and dirty sounding ‘Ungodly Fuzz’.

‘'Organic Mechanic contains a contrast of organic and mechanical sound sources, melodic patterns.’’ As it is described this folder is packed with mechanic drones, hums and scratches mixed with the cleaner, natural organic sounds.



'Retriggered to Tape contains various quirky music loops with added tape personality.’’ I personally love the sound you get from tape machines and in particular the Studer Tape Machine has a true analogue warmth to it and the sonic influence from the Studer gives colourful character to these samples. For a better understanding here’s a little tech lesson for you. A problem tape machines have is speed control and because of the nature of the mechanical tape transport system it produces artifacts that are known as ‘wow’ and ‘flutter’. Take for example flutter, the audio effects this has are side-bands and noise modulation which effectively creates a grimey, dirty sound to the audio. This is, as described by Samplephonics, the ‘personality’ that these samples have.

''Synthi Hurtful Bass Loops is packed full of gnarly twisted bass loops, recorded from a selection of analogue synth loops, bass guitars and upright basses.’’ After listening to these loops I can understand why they have ‘Hurtful’ in their name, these loops sound so filthy and dirty it is almost hurtful to listen to, but hurtful in a good way. I always feel a bit foolish when I use words such as ‘dirty’ to describe a sound but sometimes there’s just no other suitable word in the English language to use.

‘'Un Cooperative Sequences features various twisted and circuit bent synth loops and samples.’’ This features some real sci-fi synth loops, muddy bass sequences and funky drum sounds. Samplephonics really have gone all out on this sample pack with creative effects and fresh loops.

This is certainly one of the more diverse and innovative sample packs that I have come across with all the loops having been well recorded and finely polished. Analogue Witchcraft has creative and exciting material that motivates creativity, something which only a truly brilliant Sound Production company can do. What struck me most about Analogue Witchcraft was the vibe I got when listening to the samples, I could feel my creative juices flowing and urging me to compose a piece of music for film. For me the samples created an atmosphere to film or TV more than anything else, don’t get me wrong there is certainly a melodic content that could be used for pop/electronic/drum and bass music, but I feel that this sample pack is aimed more towards media composers. With sample names such as 'Car Bomb', 'Alien Flares' and 'Movie Loops' you can probably get a picture of what I mean.

I have only come across Samplephonics once before with their Organic Loops Elements sample pack, which I also highly rated, and after listening to a second top notch sound library from them I am mightily impressed. What’s more is that all products of Samplephonics are royalty free, so they are licensed to you for your use. This is, without a doubt, the best sample pack I have come across and it’s not often that I will give such a high rating but Samplehonics definitely deserve this one!

Info:
BPM: 115-125
Size: 802 MB
Format: 24 Bit Wav, Apple Loops, Rex2, Kontact, EXS24 and NN-XT

For more information visit: Download Loops & Samples | Synth Sample Library & Guitar Loops | Royalty Free Wav Samples

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