Best sample packs of the month: March 2021
We round up an eclectic bunch of loop packs and share an ever-growing free sample resource.
There seem to be more new loop packs each month than anyone has any business keeping track of. However, we’ve done precisely that to bring you our top picks. This months selection includes finely crafted synth basses, beautiful, soulful vocals, radio-ready piano riffs, and rare Greek instruments. You can also grab a tasty selection of free analogue synth instruments to bolster your sound library at no extra cost.
1.F9 Audio – F9 Origins Classic Basses Vol 1 & 2
Price £24.50 each or £34.50 for both
Contact F9 Audio
The house music maestros at F9 Audio have turned their attention to classic bass sounds for this two-part sample odyssey. Each volume contains 100 patches, meticulously sampled from a wide range of analogue and digital synths and processed through a high-end hardware chain. You get perfectly crafted subs and low-mid harmonics that will cut through on small speakers. As with its other releases, F9 has gone the extra mile to provide pre-built macros that use Ableton Live’s Racks and Logic’s Smart Controls, as well as preview clips and 135 bassline MIDI files.
2. ModeAudio Altitude – Cinematic Loops & Rhythms
ModeAudio is one of the first places to turn for deep and thoughtful sounding sample collections, and its latest release is no exception. Altitude features 593MB of sweeping synths, shimmering textures, pulsating rhythms and smooth ambient layers. It’s the mix of more cinematic and organic textures blended with emotional synth work that makes this pack stand out. You’ll find 160 loops in total, plus 20 sound effect samples and 60 key and tempo-labelled MIDI loops.
3. Nomark Two Fingers Sample Pack
Amon Tobin is an artist well known for his intricate sound-design, beat production, soundtrack work and legendary AV live show. He also has a lesser-known alias called Two Fingers that focuses on heavier bass music. This release puts his unique sound at your fingertips. It contains a heady blend of analogue sources and exotic DSP processing, with original grooves, percussive loops and complex basses. If you get in quick, you can also take advantage of a limited time offer that includes Amon Tobin’s other two sample packs in a three-pack bundle for $100.
4. Loopmasters – Vibes 15 Ska & Rocksteady Vol.2
The Vibes series moves from strength to strength, and the latest release is influenced by artists such as Skatalites, Prince Buster, Lee Scratch Perry and the earlier ska/jazz and slower rocksteady era. There’s over 1GB of content, including guitars, electric and double bass, keys, ukulele, drums, horns, percussion and more, with tempos ranging from 99 to 147bpm. The music is performed by seven of the finest session musicians and recorded live in isolation booths using vintage equipment and a Neve desk.
5. Loopmasters – Rockwell Drum & Bass Dissonance
Drum ‘n’ bass legend Rockwell returns with his second pack for Loopmasters with over 550MB of big, saturated 808s, distorted textures, looped chords and blistering drum loops. With releases on Metalheadz, Critical, Shogun Audio and more, Rockwell’s energetic and detailed sound has garnered support from some of the industries biggest names. There’s a focus on creative production combined with low-end weight and high-energy rhythms from 160 to 176bpm. More specifically, you’ll find 186 loops, 239 one-shots and 112 sampler patches ready for you to rock out your next d’n’b, jungle or footwork tracks.
6. Renegade Audio – Retro Funk Vocals
Contact Renegade Audio
If you’re after some classy, soulful female vocals, then look no further than Retro Funk Vocals Vol.1. This pack includes over 2200 upbeat loops across six song folders, with lead vocals and adlibs, plus four and five-part harmonies performed by singer Selena Evangeline. The pack weighs in at a whopping 7.2GB it comes with dry and processed versions of the loops. The processed versions are extensive, including 50s megaphone, lo-fi, Eventide Harmonizer, vocoder, several reverb and delay styles, and even a multi-effects version.
7. Samplestate – Piano House Anthems
Piano house is a genre that shows no signs of slowing, with uplifting tracks finding a place across the radio and the world of club music. Samplestate’s latest release is inspired by Paul Woolford, Gorgon City and Calvin Harris, with a nod to classic 90s house alongside modern productions. There are over 100 loops included at 120 and 125bpm and in various keys, plus MIDI loops to add flexibility. You can expect to hear plenty of Korg M1 piano alongside sounds from the Korg Triton and an array of boutique analogue and digital synths.
8. Soundiron – Ancient Greek Strings
The Soundiron team are masters of sampling less common instruments from around the world. This collection features seven deeply sampled stringed instruments for Kontakt that evoke the spirit of ancient Greece, including a Barbiton, Cithara, Lyre, Goat Horn Lyre, Pandura, Phorminx and Trigonon. The main instruments feature eight round-robins and four dynamic velocities per string, plus close and overhead mic positions and several articulations. There are also 20 sound-designed ambiences taking the entire library to 8.23GB in size.
9. Principleasure – Instrumental Audio Pack
We can all dream of having an infinite synth cave, but few of us can afford it. Thankfully artist Principleasure has made bespoke recordings of his incredible synth collection and made this 5.5GB pack available for free. You can expect to find sounds from the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and Prophet T8, Oberheim OB-8, Roland TB-303, Jupiter-6, MKS-80, Juno-60, SH-101 and Korg MonoPoly. Everything has been captured without additional effects or processing through a Prism Orpheus audio interface and is presented as uncompressed WAV files in various keys and tunings, at multiple velocities and filter settings. Also included are patches for NI Kontakt so you can get playing straight away.
10. BandLab Sounds Martin Badder
Sample inspiration needn’t cost the earth. Head over to BandLab Sounds for a massive selection of free samples to download and use in your productions, including vocals, sound effects, instruments, beats and synths. This month sees the addition of a pack by deep house producer Martin Badder that features 107 loops covering deep basses, big house beats, useful effects sounds and plenty of upbeat piano and Rhodes riffs. All samples are key and tempo-labelled for DAW use and can also be loaded straight into BandLab.
Read more Buyer’s Guides here.