Wave Alchemy specializes in cutting-edge sample libraries that are lovingly produced by us - for you. What we don’t do is rip sounds from vinyl, CD, mp3 or any other source and pass them off as our own! Everything we produce is 100% original.
The sounds on all of our products are guaranteed 100% royalty free. No more worries about sample clearance! more
Drum Tools 01 Deluxe massively expands the sonic capabilities and tonal character of the original collection... Now featuring over 3800 additional tape variations recorded at three saturation levels to a Studer A80 MK1 analogue tape machine via a vintage Neve 1073 pre-amp!
Drum Tools 01 Deluxe offers over 5800 exquisitely produced minimal drum samples. All drum sounds in the collection have been built from the ground up using a jaw-dropping array of analogue circuitry and exclusive high-end outboard gear. Great care has been taken to capture the tone / vibe and warmth of the equipment used and all sample editing and file naming has been done by hand for maximum precision.
"What a fantastic, and infinitely useable sample CD - I'm very impressed!" Chris Lake
The drum samples in Drum Tools 01 have been created by the creative layering and processing of drum machines, exotic synthesizers / modulars, field recordings and the recording of live drum and percussive instruments.
"I LOVE IT !!! The drums will play a big role in my productions for the next months / years" Robert Babicz / Rob Acid
Drum Tools 01 is an essential purchase for anyone looking for high quality, 100% original drum samples. Although designed with Minimal Techno & Tech House music in mind, Drum Tools 01 would also make an essential toolkit for producers of House, Trance, Electro or even down-tempo / hip-hop styles.
Whats included in the sample pack?
“You´ll always find something useful in this drum collection!” Martin Eyerer
If you are an avid user of high quality drum samples be sure to check out our newly released Drum Machines 02 sample pack.
1950 24-bit wav drum samples, 3854 tape saturated drum hits recorded to 1/4” tape via a Studer A80 Mk1 tape machine, 1950 16-bit wav samples, 13 ready to play drum kits optimized for Battery, Kontakt, Halion, Exs24, Nnxt, SFZ & Ableton Live 8
Additional Purchase Options
Drum Tools 01 has been produced and recorded by Wave Alchemy’s Daniel Byers and Steven Heath. The two have all the gear necessary for making modern electronic music and, more importantly, know how to achieve the right sounds for the various sub‑genres tackled by each of their sample collections.
Minimal Techno & Tech House is a very specific title, telling us exactly what to expect from the content, although it is also applicable to electronic music in general.
As indicated by the word ‘tools’, the collection contains the basic building blocks needed for producing minimal techno and tech house, the onus being on the musician to use them in the right way. Indeed, there are no editable ‘sound banks’ like those used by Ueberschall’s Elastik player, nor are there any loops or grooves. There are, however, kit patches formatted for all the major software samplers and dithered 16‑bit versions of the 24‑bit WAV files to cater for hardware samplers and memory‑precious setups.
Some libraries inexplicably divide their content across an unfathomable system of folders - Wave Alchemy, on the other hand, have done the right thing and organised their 1950 samples into a logically conceived set of folders, which can be navigated in a matter of seconds.
The main folders are dedicated to individual sound types like claps, crash cymbals, hi‑hats and kick drums. Where it’s been necessary to narrow things down more precisely, however, the library employs further layers of sub‑folders. Percussion, for example, contains the descriptively named Blips & Pops and Toms & Tones folders, amongst others. Similarly, in Snares, a Classic Snares sub‑folder holds a familiar, but essential, set of hits, while Layered Snares contains non‑standard creative combinations. Folders such as Sound Effects and Glitch collect together miscellaneous experiments, which are reasonably varied but still recognisably appropriate for the genre.
Also included is a list of gear that was used for generating sounds and shaping them, highlighting the point made by the team that everything was ‘created from the ground up’. Predictably, Roland’s TR808, TR606 drum and TB303 bass synthesizers were called upon when crafting some of the content, as were a Korg MS20 and ARP Odyssey, but there are also some live recordings and material created on slightly more exotic instruments, such as the Vermona DRM MkII and Elektron Machinedrum.
In general, the samples are clean and punchy, having been recorded using some truly top‑end analogue processors, although one or two clearly overloaded something during recording. The editing, apparently done by hand, ensures that the attack of each sample comes in straight away, so layering multiple sounds works well and there is no particular need to trim samples further.
Creating samples can be fun, but it’s sometimes better to let experts do the work. That is precisely the point of this very well-conceived product.
Wave Alchemy is a relatively young company based on Nottingham; they've been around since 2008 and in that time have established themselves as providers of top quality samples for bedroom producers and industry professionals alike. This is the first in their Drum Tools series, Minimal Techno and Tech House.
Rather than sampling records or using the same soft synths that everyone rinses, the guys at Wave Alchemy build their sounds from the ground up using high end hardware. The list of equipment used should be enough to get any self-respecting production geek drooling - Jomox XBase 999, Elektron Machinedrum, ARP Odyssey, Thermionic Culture Vulture, SSL EQs and Compressors, API 512c Preamps, and (lots) more. Of course, all this kit is useless if the people pushing the buttons don't grasp the finer points of how to use it, but a few hours spent playing with the sounds should be enough to demonstrate that they most certainly do.
Initial impressions are that the collection positively drips with class and inspires creativity; when I was flipping through the previews in Live I often had to stop myself from loading sounds into a sampler and laying down some patterns. The sounds don't fall into the common trap of being overcooked with freaky fx to make them interesting, instead the focus is on subtle character and rich tone. They have that indefinable quality (fatness, warmth, whatever) that comes from a good source processed well and recorded with a high end preamp - the difference in quality is noticeable when compared to similar collections.
The pack is organised logically with folders for kicks, claps, snares and so forth, as well as prepared sampler instruments in all commonly used formats and 13 drum kits. I like how the samples are subdivided into descriptively named folders (eg. punchy or solid or minimal), as it can really help to improve workflow. One thing that I also like and you don't see much elsewhere is the inclusion of a folder of 'Drum Tools' - a collection of transient clicks and sub notes that are specially designed for layering up. Also provided is a folder of bonus sounds; in this case some very useable stabs & chords, and some less interesting 303 squelches. When I assess a sample pack of this type, I tend to look at the kick drums first, and I can honestly say that this is one of the best sets have in my sample folder. The sound quality and character on offer are stunning - each one is flawlessly engineered with the perfect bass weight to them, and will provide a rock solid foundation to your track with very little additional processing required.
Overall, this is probably one of the best sample collections I have come across in recent months; although billed as a minimal and tech house set, you will easily be able to use the samples in any sort of electronic music such is their quality. It's also ludicrously cheap at a mere 35 quid for the download, so if your drum sample library needs an injection of real class you need look no further. Highly recommended!
This impressive new release from Wave Alchemy contains just under 2,000 individual drum hits in 24-bit and 16-bit WAV format, along with sampler patches in the most common formats, including Battery, Kontakt, ESX24 and Halion.
Although it’s clear that the sounds were designed with Minimal Techno and Tech House in mind, most of the samples are versatile enough to fit into any production style.
It’s clear that the Wave Alchemy guys have put some serious effort into the creation of Drum Tools 01 and as a result it comes highly recommended for producers of all electronic genres.
There is certainly no shortage of drum sample packs on the market these days. Compared to even 5 years ago, the sheer volume of samples available to musicians to buy is almost overwhelming. Even with that taken into account, however, there is no doubt that loops dominate the market, and it can sometimes be difficult for musicians who prefer to program all their beats from scratch to find a good selection of single hit drum samples. Fortunately, a few developers have stepped up recently to fill that void, among them, the very talented guys at Wave Alchemy.
Their latest release consists of nearly 2,000 single electronic / minimal drum and percussion hits all expertly processed through an array of very pricey, high end gear. Although the name of the library indicates that it was created with Minimal Techno and Tech House in mind, you'll find these drum samples are extremely usable in virtually any genre that needs purely electronic drum sounds. Although the drum samples come pre-compressed and EQed to perfection, the settings are generally transparent enough that if you need to do further processing to make them more appropriate for your genre of choice, you can do so fairly easily. Sounds are all in 24-bit WAV format (16-bit versions are also included for all you luddites) and, helpfully, sample instruments for Ableton Live, Battery, EXS24, Halion, Kontakt, and NNXT are also included to save you the trouble of mapping all the sounds out manually.
Sounds are neatly arranged into folders for claps, crash cymbals, drum kits, drum tools (more on this in a second), glitch, hihats, kick drums, percussion, snare drums, sound effects, and a folder of bonus sounds made up of TB-303 riffs and chord/stab sounds. Most of these folders are further divided into descriptive categories to help you find the type of sound you're after (for example, classic, layered, processed, punchy, etc.) much more quickly and efficiently.
If you're familiar with Wave Alchemy's products, I probably don't have to bother telling you how great these sound. The kicks have plenty of oomph and the perfect amount of low end, the snares smack and crack in the mix, the cymbals sizzle and cut through, and the percussion, glitch, and heavily processed sounds all sparkle with originality and can add lots of interest to an otherwise ho-hum drum track. There really are very few other companies who do electronic drum sounds as well as Wave Alchemy. Many sample developers brag about their studio full of expensive kit, but few show that they truly know how to use it to its fullest as well as these guys.
If you find yourself skeptical, head on over to the Drum Tools - Minimal Techno & Tech House web page where you can download a selection of free drum samples from this library and check them out yourself. I hate to come across as a fan boy, as I have nothing to do with the company, but I've yet to receive a library from these guys that wasn't spectacular. This one is no exception. If you need electronic drum sounds of uncompromising quality, this ought to be one of the first places you look.
It can sometimes be a depressing feeling when you test your track on a club system for the first time. The kick drum that seemed to be doing the business in your home studio loses its low end and sounds more like a builder tying to knock through from next door. Precision production is a necessity if you want to rock the clubs!
Luckily, the good people at Wave Alchemy are drum scientists of the highest order and their new samples library, Drum Tools 01, is a massive collection of handcrafted minimal drum hits designed to get both the speakers and the dance floor moving.
The pack comes as a download or on DVD, with 1,950 24-bit drum hits, plus 16-bit versions and sampler instruments for EXS-24, Kontakt, Battery, NN-XT, SFZ, and HALion.
The immense number of samples has been thoughtfully divided into descriptive folders for drum type and style (e.g. deep minimal kicks, punchy kicks, solid kicks etc).
A large amount of vintage and modern kit has been used to create and sculpt the many synth stabs, glitch ripples, noise effects, and kick, snare and hats hits.
Some of the good sounds may seem quite similar, but this just gives you more options, and the sheer number available means there is plenty of variety, from more traditional 808 kicks and snares to some original heavily processed sounds.
There’s also bonus collection of TB-303 licks, some superb synth chords and stabs, plus some sub-enhancing and transient attack drum tools.
Where you’ll truly appreciate the collection depends on in you’re the kind of person who can tell the difference between 472 different electronic kicks. But for those who can, Wave Alchemy has crafted an immense library of both solid and original drum sounds that are relevant for all styles of electronic music, not just minimal.
Verdict - An immense collection of finely crafted electronic drum samples
Producing your own music can be a difficult affair. Finding sounds, instruments and initial ideas to use becomes a bit of a chore. The most difficult part of the song writing process for myself is the rhythm section. Being a drummer I find it hard to replace the beats and sounds that I conjure up in my head, and then replace with drum samples. Finding the right sample for the right part in the track is time consuming and quite tedious, but you have to get it right.
Having such a choice can sometimes be a product's downfall, even though you may think the more that you get for your money the better. Drum Tools 01 features over 1,900 carefully tailored audio gems ready for your ears to tuck into. Producers and home music makers need this to add to their collection just for the value, even if they don’t use the samples! Looking at creating your own music and wanting to sell it? Well using these drum samples is 100% Royalty Free and allows you to create your music without the worry of record labels chasing your ass.
Originality is key to your tracks, the last thing you want is similarity within a given sample. Just by the way that these samples are recorded makes the drum hit samples original and unique to Drum Tools 01. The time put into this pack by Wave Alchemy shows through within the collection, it has both quality and quantity.
Drum Tools 01 is exactly what it says, it is a tool to use within your production stages. There are so many drum loops available to producers that allow a few clicks, a drag and a drop, then boom, a track is made. Take Apple Loops as an example, you can create songs within minutes. Chuck in Garage Band and you have an album created within a few hours, which is ridiculous. If the quality is just not there, there is nothing worse than loops that don’t actually loop without a bunch of editing. Fair play, Apple Loops set everything up brilliantly and make things very easy to work with.
For us producers it is refreshing to receive the individual sound files as single hits and stabs. Having these drum sounds in such a format allows the producer to create their own instruments, mainly drum kits for this particular sample pack. You could move these into a plug-in such as ESX24, which comes as a default with Logic. Simply find your samples you want to use and tailor your own instrument. I personally work using hundreds of cut up samples, so I usually just grab the sounds I like and stick them straight into the arrange window. Kind of like building blocks, but usually it just turns out like a huge audio game of Tetris.
Due to the type of sample pack it seems only obvious to lay the samples out in an appropriate order. As soon as you open the disc you find a bunch of folders labelled with their content, which makes life a lot easier. There are a few options to go from here to use the pack, I simply copied all of the files to my hard drive so I could use the samples as and when they were needed. Using the Apple media browser allowed an easy transition from file to sequencer, with a simple drag and drop.
Technically this should be easier for the beginner music maker to get hold of and get moving swiftly, but that isn’t the case. With looping samples, everything is pretty much put on a plate and is so easy to come up with ideas. With Drum Tools 01 all of the samples are individual, so coming up with ideas of where they will fit into the track or beat becomes more of a chore. If you have no ideas where the track is going or what you want then its hit and miss trying to find the right sounds for you.
When I make music, I can hear what I want to put into the track before actually getting the sound playing. It kind of plays in my head as I’m listening, like a sub conscious thing (sometimes this process doesn’t work!) so when searching for a sample, I already have an idea of what I’m looking for in a sound. Drum Tools 01 is perfect for this situation, but takes a long time.
Wave Alchemy have looked ahead into this issue and put together 13 drum kits for various sampler patches to use straight away. They cover a few different styles that are more than enough to get started with. ESX24 kits are available within the pack along with install instructions on how to get these patches working.
What the sample pack does is create a whole heap of different sounds and clips that you would never achieve when buying a bunch of synthesizers, modular synths and solid state recordings. The time and money spent on recreating these sounds would just be ridiculous. So thanks Wave Alchemy!
Minimal Techno & Tech House Drum Tools 01 takes it to the next level by using analogue circuitry and outboard gear to create its audio drum samples. The quality of the recordings are very high, featuring some very unique sounds indeed! You can tell that care has been taken whilst building each of the samples. Some are just completely raw, singular bog standard recorded sounds, then others are complex stereo panned, reverbrial compressed beasties.
Manipulating the drum sounds is ridiculously easy, especially when using the Apple Loops Utility. It’s all done on a plate for you, all that is left is the creativity and drive to listen to each sound for the track and stick them in. For me it’s a cut and paste job, chucking the boxes all over the place and playing around with it all. Its just as simple as that, pop the disk in, listen to the samples, throw them into your mix. Done.
The Bottom Line
Simple and quality can be two words used to sum up Wave Alchemy’s Drum Tools 01. With more samples than you will know what to do with, the sample pack is definitely a must buy for any amateur/experienced producer. With almost two thousand snippets of musical morning glory you will be more than capable of producing some outstanding pieces of music. If you have the endurance and skill to use Drum Tools 01 to your full potential then this isn’t just an essential buy, it’s a must have to add to your collection!
Everything is made to suit your needs no matter what genre you are making music for. The pack is designed for Minimal Techno & Tech House music, but if you didn’t know that in the title you wouldn’t think anything of it due to the tracks being so original and diverse. A few of the stabs and synths do seem to be tailored towards that direction, but there is so much to get on with you can skip through finding the little gems you need.
Wave Alchemy have definitely spent a lot of time and care within this sample pack, the detail and differential space between the audio samples are something to be very proud of. Even nailing it down to the structure on which the samples are put into categories and labels. The only down side is trying to find the right sample for you, if you can call that a bad thing!
Why choose Drum Tools?
p>The beauty of sample libraries like this is that they feature sampled material from a unique combination of analog sound sources processed with high end outboard gear, so Drum Tools still sounds “different” from everything else I already have.
The list of gear used is quite impressive
Sound Sources - Future Retro XS, Korg MS20 & ER1, Jomox XBase 999, Airbase 99 & Mbase 11, Vermona DRM MK11, Elektron Machinedrum UW, Roland TR808, TR606 & TB303, ARP Odyssey, Minimoog Voyager, Nord Lead 3, Waldorf Pulse, and various live recordings & percussive instruments
Sound Shaping - Thermionic Culture Vulture Mastering Version, Sherman Filterbank 2, Moog Filters & Envelopes, Korg MS20, Empirical Labs Distressor, SSL E Series EQ & Compressor, SPL Transient Designer & Gainstation Preamp, API 512c Preamp
With close to 2,000 drum samples it is no luxury to have things well ordered. Wave Alchemy shows attention to detail by creating a clear folder structure; main folders like claps, kicks, snare drums, etc, and subfolders within most main folders to help you find the exact drum samples you are looking for.
Besides claps, hihats/cymbals, kicks, snares, and percussion samples, a bunch of perhaps not so obvious sounds are included in this library as well
Can hardly wait to get started? Wave Alchemy also included an Ableton Live 8 pack and 13 drum kit patches in all popular sampler formats for your instant gratification.
Still need 16-bit? A complete dithered copy of all 24-bit drum samples ready to rock your 16-bit hardware like your MPC.
Let me quote the Drum Tools product page once more
After many months of creative sound design and sonic manipulation we are extremely proud to announce the release of our first Drum Tools library – Minimal Techno & Tech House.
Wave Alchemy really took the time to create a package of both a high quality AND quantity of samples. I’d be proud of this release too, well done guys!
So what do I think?
The Drum Tools 01 library is subtitled “Minimal Techno & Tech House”, but of course these drum samples are well suitable for any electronic music genre. The sample quality is of the same high standard I have come to expect from Wave Alchemy - superbly recorded, processed and edited.
Almost 2,000 unique drum samples for a little under $60 USD… If you do not yet have a comprehensive sample library for electronic drum sounds, Drum Tools 01 would certainly be a great choice.
For those like me, who already have more sounds than they will ever use, Drum Tools 01 still offers some interesting material. The glitch, sound fx, and chords and stabs folders include many unique and usable samples that I found very inspiring.
Wave Alchemy is offering a very generous Drum Tools Teaser pack, featuring 150 drum samples from the full release (You can check these out at the top of this page by clicking the 'free samples' tab) So go and check it out and see how you like this library. I think it’s the bee’s knees!
As noted previously here on ANR, smart developers are standing out from the crowd by using unique recording chains to create their sample libraries. Enter Wave Alchemy with their latest offering, Drum Tools 01 - Minimal Techno & Tech House.
Drum Tools 01 is available as a download containing over 1900 electronic drum samples. The list of sound sources and signal processors reads like a who’s who of classic and boutique studio gear, including top-shelf drum machines (Jomox, Elektron, Roland, etc.), analogue synthesizers (Korg, Moog, etc.), EQ’s, compressors, and filters. But Wave Alchemy didn’t stop there, the sample set also includes “field recordings and the recording of live drum and percussive instruments.”
For sample packs of this size, a logical and consistent file structure is crucial. On this front, Drum Tools 01 delivers. Opening the library’s main folder reveals that the drum samples are well organized into six instrument categories. The usual suspects are here, such as ‘kick drums’, ‘snare drums’, and ‘hi hats’. Also included are more exotic samples, via the ‘glitch’, ‘sound effects’, ‘303 licks’, and ‘chords & stabs’ folders (the latter two offered as ‘xtra bonus sounds’).
Rounding out the library are the preset drum kits, samples for deeper sound design and creativity in the ‘drum tools’ folder, and, finally, this entire library dithered down to good old 16-bit for some lower fidelity goodness. Further, kick, snare, and percussion samples are arranged into subfolders by tone and type. Need a ‘punchy’ kick drum? You got it. How about a ‘layered’ snare? Check. Looking for some ‘blips & pops’? Who isn’t? Go get ‘em. Good file organization equals less time searching and more time creating.
OK, time for the main event - the samples. What better way to audition Drum Tools 01 than to load up one of the 13 included drum kits? The developers really went the extra mile here by providing the kits in a variety of popular formats, which we can divide into three main categories. First off, the kit samples are copied from the main library and housed in their own folder, allowing for near universal compatibility with DAWs, samplers, and virtual instruments that load .wav files. Secondly, the same kits are presented in native sampler formats, allowing the user to load the kits quickly into Logic, Reason, Battery, etc. Finally, the drum kits are, uhm, packed into a Live pack, compatible with version 8 of the popular DAW.
How do the drum kits sound? Overall, the audio quality is excellent. The kits easily meet the expectations raised by the library’s impressive specs. And the sonic scope of the kits is inspiring. Each one has a unique character, demonstrating the variety and depth that can be drawn from this drum library. Standouts include the ‘Berlin Minimal’ kit, with its cone-rattling kick drum and analogue flavored tones, as well as the ‘World Kit’, with its wide range of percussive sounds. These days, 'fat' and 'warm' are terms that get thrown around quite a bit, but the included kits prove that Drum Tools 01 earns these all-important adjectives.
The included kits are an excellent launching pad for exploring the rest of the library. I began swapping out kit pieces with immediately useful results. While developing my own kits, I was struck by the rich, full sound of this library. As good as the drum samples without additional processing, these sounds are just begging to be tweaked. I placed a filter plugin after some minimal stabs and chord hits, and, well, a goofy little smile crept across my face. I also placed a convolution reverb on one of my DAW’s sends, loaded up some processed 808 sounds, raised the send level, and was genuinely blown away.
Wave Alchemy really hit the perfect balance with this library by creating samples that have plenty of character on their own, but without being so unique that the user is given little room to customize them. Considering the reasonable price of this library, as well as the depth and variety of the samples offered, Drum Tools 01 easily falls into ‘must buy’ territory!
Drum Tools 01 offers inspiring, unique sounds that are full of character and ready to be sculpted. This package is a great choice for anyone who is not satisfied with all too often vanilla-sounding drum samples that are included in some packs. Sound designers and beat makers should find plenty of quality material here too. In particular, the ‘drum tools’ folder contains samples for enhancing sub frequencies, as well as transient type sounds, to help add some complexity to your arrangement. Finally, while this library has a few minor flaws, the developers appear to be actively involved in listening to user feedback, making improvements, and adding value to the package
While there isn't really a shortage of electronic drum sample libraries on the market, Drum Tools 01 is well worth checking out. With well over 2000 drum samples (over 4300 depending on how you count) the main excitement is where the game is - the kicks and snares. Read on.
In my drum machine shootout, I've already showed how damn obsessed I am trying to find the perfect drum machine. Looking back, I believe this whole mania started way back in the 90s when I got a few floppies from Seba with his own assembled drum kits. The drum kits just suited me perfectly and since the departure of the EPS 16+ I still haven't found a drum kit I always reach for when starting to make music. Naturally, I am aware of the futility of my obsession, as the music I create have mutated many times since then, and in many respects, I am no longer the same person as I was back then. But, my need for finding that perfect drum kit seem to be etched into my DNA.
With that said, it's always with double feelings I start to examine new drum sample packs, and Wave Alchemys latest offering was no exception. Drum Tools 01 is almost 800 megabyte large and spans over a total of 4300 files - (almost 2000 of those are 16 bit versions), prepared and 'professionally dithered' for hardware samplers. Although I cannot hear any difference from my own dithering samples and these - I think it is a great idea to include 16 bit version. I got two hardware samplers in my studio and while they don't get as much use as they deserve - hardware samplers/workstations are useful and prepared samples most definitely makes things easier.
Apart from the drum sounds, there are also about a hundred chord and stab sounds and a bunch of 303 snippets in the form of a bonus category. But apart from that and the sound effect category - this is a drum sample library with a focus set on the synthetic.
The structure is clean and easy to navigate through. As there are quite a few samples here - for example, there are almost 500 kicks, but instead throwing them all into one folder, the samples have been divided into six categories - deep minimal, fx kicks, processed 808, processed machines, punchy kicks and solid kicks. Whether these categories actually help you find the right kick is a question that I discussed many times before in this blog, but Wave Alchemy is trying to bring order and structure and that deserves respect. The drum samples are also available in soft sampler format in a wide variety of formats - Live 8, Battery/Kontakt, EXS24, Halion, NNXT and SFZ. But before we go any further let's break down this library into numbers.
Total number of drums - 2099 (excluding the 16 bit, fx and tonal sounds)
Total number of files - 2295
Total (including 16 bit files) - 4260
Already with the claps (starting alphabetically here) Drum Tools 01 shows that this is not a mindless collection of lost & found and 'cool' drum samples. When going through a new library the first thing I do is to throw away the stuff I don't like. I'm very hard with this and usually a third or a fourth stays - the rest goes. My initial reaction with the claps in Drum Tools 01 was A Big Fat WTF. At the first listening - I could almost not find anything I disliked about the claps. Solid good material practically made for a drum dork like me. The claps are snappy and spans from synthetic 909-style to analogue synthesizer zap-noise-style - from the quite ordinary to the not so ordinary - but never becomes too weird.
Crashes are usually the part of most (if not all) libraries where the inspiration and creative spirits hits a low mark - but I don't blame the sound designers for that. Apart from the 909 crash and the electro analogue variations of the 808 crash - there seems to be very little source material to work from. Drum Tools 01 is about average in this respect. The crashes are good and Wave Alchemy tries to create something new by processing the sounds in various ways that sometimes make the crash sound like an outright effect. It's a good attempt and all in all good samples with a couple of fresh sounding sounds, but it's probably not the last word we'll hear when it comes to crashes.
The glitch folder contains sounds of an effectish nature - synthetic rather than analogueish. Personally I didn't fall for these sounds, but that comes from a person who doesn't understand the fuss about this whole glitch-thingy anyway. Sounding like a real block-head, I must say my pulse didn't get much higher with the sound effect category either. The sounds are mostly short tonal sweeps, ufo-esue analogue squeeks that just left me wanting to move on to the dedicated effect libraries of Wave Alchemy
When we are in our complaining mode we might as well clean it all out (yes, we're royal now). The extra bonus sounds category which contains the 303 sounds - and are almost as pointless as any 303 sounds in this genre. The cleaner sounds can of course be used for bass sounds, but trying to juxtapose these into some 303-ish thing is in my opinion a waste of time. The stabs however are a totally different story - seriously good material and with a good variety of sounds. If you are the kind of person who find inspiration with pre-fab stab sounds - this collection is going to make you Very Happy Indeed.
But enough of this prattle and let's go to the core and let's get dirty with what really matters - the kicks & the snares. It's difficult not to become impressed by this selection of kicks. The variety is staggering and the quality is outright amazing! The sub categories are logical and although they often contain variations on the same type they are still different - longer tonal bass drums have different overdrive settings so they growl in different ways. A good example of how the processing have been executed gets revealed in the section of processed 808 kicks. if you listen closely you can hear the characteristic 808 booming - but all in all, not any of these drum samples strike you as typical 808ish, which is a good thing. The style of the kicks goes from soft to hard to deep to mellow. The balance of processing is at a goldilocks zone - they are processed and full with attitude, but it never goes over the top and you can gladly process the sounds further with additional compressors or distortion units without the sound starting to fall apart.
For all of you who - like me - gets annoyed by kicks with too much layering of other percussive elements, such as hi hats, shakers or even snares, is going to be relieved. While there are cases where you can hear layering, it never gets too pronounced. The drums are generally very clean. Before moving on to the snares, I'd like to mention the odd, but cool section named Drum Tools. This is a collection of 60 samples which basically is a Build-Your-Own-Kick toolbox. There are 45 deep bass sounds and 15 transient clicks - all ready for you to combine in any way you desire to create the Perfect Kick (tm). Cool, clever and useful.
The same goes for the snares - they are very well organized and instantly gives you a sense of oooh-yes-yes. The fundament of the snares lies with the Roland electronic sound - but processed to the degree were it keeps its snappy soul but still feels fresh (if that makes any sense). I know I've been overusing the word snappy during this review, but that's the word that keeps coming up in my head. If you want to explore something more different than classic snares - the noise sub category gives you a lot of samples that are more vintage-electro noisy.
If you're into electronic percussion but are tired to death of the 909 toms and Roland congas, you will find lots of inspiring material in this section. The sounds range from electronic congas, toms and rim shots to hi hat-ish noises and squeeks - electronic percussion is a balance act between percussive sounds and effects and sometimes the sounds here feels more like effects and sometimes even go into the land of synth basses.
I am delighted to say there are 13 prepared drum kits included with Drum Tools 01. Ready-to-go drum sets is something I wish more of in general. Or to put it correctly - I wish there were more of good combined drum sets around. Creating good drum samples in an art by itself, but combining the sounds into a meaningful and useful package is totally another. The included drum sets are well combined and makes me wish for more. It's a great service that the kits come in so many formats. I tried the Ableton Live 8 format and the version for Kontakt - and they both worked without any issues.
Another nice touch in this library is that every sample has been uniquely named. The names might not always help you find what you're looking for, but it's looks a bit nicer with names such as technofuture, obese, vulture909, filterfetish, cluedo and pitchfreak than a bunch of kicks ranging from KICK-001 all the way to KICK-498.
When Native Instruments released their Synthetic Drums library for Battery/Kontakt in 2002, they were pretty much alone in that field. Today, almost every producer of sample libraries are releasing their own collection of drums for electronic music. In other words, the market is quite saturated.
In my experience there are two types of sound libraries. First we have the ones that start with a sound/loop and explores that with a number of variations and alternatives - and there we have the ones that only provide you with different ideas. Both approaches have their merits. The ones with different sounds ideas give you a lot of different material, which make the chances higher for you to actually find something useful. The problem when you find something useful - you will most probably start lusting for a couple of variations. The other approach has variations but not so many ideas. Drum Tools 01 tries to combine both ways and practically succeeds to eliminate the 'I wish I had more of XXX'. There are variations but still a broad variety of sounds which range from the almost clean Roland TR-camp to the very processed and ready for action. The crashes are a good example of this. Anyone who listened through a couple of sample libraries knows how little variation there can be among the crashes - some libraries sound like eternal variations on the 909 crash. But not so with Drum Tools 01 - in general I feel that there is a thought and a reason behind the inclusion of (almost) every sound.
To wrap it up - Drum Tools 01 is a very good drum package. Seriously good, as a matter of fact! It's executed in a very professional way, both in term of production but also in terms of structure. I felt very comfortable with this library and quickly became a starting point for me when building beats. The library has its up and downs, but its ups are where it counts and its downs doesn't really matter. All in all, Drum Tools 01 isn't the perfect synthetic drum library, but it comes damn close.
Pros - Seriously impressive collection of drum samples for electronic music. Skillfully processed. Good value for money.
Cons - Nothing serious to complain about.
This is Wave Alchemy’s first Drum Tools sample cd, with over 700MB of raw drum samples (all in 24 and 16-bit format). Inevitably, given its size, this set covers more than just the genres listed, and with 472 kick drums, 251 snares and a host of other drum samples (glitch, crash, claps, hats, percussion and effects), the 1950 samples offer immense choice.
There are also 13 genre-specific kit patches, though none for individual sound types. However, this sample set sounds brilliant and serves as a fresh, up-to-date library for those making electronic music.