Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 01/04/05 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Drum Mosaics

ACIDized loop library from Tony McBride By Frank Moldstad

If youre weary of auditioning drum loops to find an appropriate groove, or if you dont have the time to build a track from one-shots, Tony McBrides "Drum Mosaics" loop library takes a more interactive approach that you'll appreciate.

Instead of one-shots or canned grooves, the building blocks in this library are patterns played on individual drums and cymbals. Accompanying the 3,000-plus drum loops (on a two-CD set) is a unique method of matching patterns to song structures. Using Mosaic Score Sheets (downloadable in PDF format from Loop-d-Loop Productions' web site) with patterns in musical notation for each drum, you can find precisely the beat pattern you want. Once you get the hang of it, the approach makes it possible to create sophisticated and natural sounding drum parts. 

Creator Tony McBride is an experienced drummer who assembled the collection and sells it direct from his web site for $89USD. The loops are ACIDized for use with Sonys ACID and compatible programs, and everything is dry (no effects) for mixing flexibility. They were recorded at 100 bpm, and are mostly in 4/4 time except for some shuffle beats, which are in 6/8. They are presented in the standard CD sampling rate of 16-bit/44.1k.

On disk one are four folders, called Hi Hat Mosaics, Kick Mosaics, Mosaic fills and Snare Mosaics. Disk two has folders for Ride and Crash cymbals. Opening any of these folders leads to dozens of subfolders, arranged as A1, A2, A3, A4, and so on, each containing loop files. This may seem confusing at first, but the multiple folders are key to locating the right grooves quickly, using the Mosaic Score Sheets.

Like the loops on disk, the Mosaic score sheets are organized by drum sound, and they feature the same lettering scheme. Various beat patterns for each drum sound are written in standard music notation. Anyone with a passing knowledge of written music will find the score sheets easy to use (and if you cant read a note, its a good way to learn!). In each drum category, there are rougly 50 different Mosaics folders, each containing a 4/4 beat variation with loud, medium and soft loops in stick and brush versions -- as well as 6/8 shuffle beats. Compared to the process of auditioning one loop after another, its vastly quicker to scroll through the musical staffs, spot a likely pattern, and go straight to the corresponding wave file on the CD.

Each measure in the Snare mosaics above shows a different pattern. Snare patterns go from A1 to L4. Measure D2 shows a Shuffle pattern in 6/8.

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Related Keywords:loop library, drum groove, drum loops, ACIDized, Tony McBride, Drum Mosaics, Loop-d-Loop Productions

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