Ah, yes: Books and their covers. Given the title and the evocative woodcut-style cover art by Nancy Nimoy, here I was expecting an African-influenced percussion collection. Instead, this library contains 50 construction kits well suited for a film composer or adventurous ethnic-hybrid producer, providing alternately lush cinemaesque landscapes and urgent chase sequences. Although heavily percussion-driven and indeed tribal in flavor, there are also several melodic parts both percussive and instrumental, plus massive “pads” (sustained chords and other musical textures) to fill out the compositions.
The construction kits range in tempo from 65 to 190 bpm (beats per minute), centering in the 85 to 130 range. There are 8 to 25 component loops per kit (giving a total size of over 1.5 gig for the 24-bit 44.1 kHz AIFF or WAV versions), which is a generous number that allows for the creation of complex, varied compositions. The keys as well as occasionally the chord progressions are listed for each folder. Three of the kits are also in time signatures other than 4/4 – an all-too-rare occurrence in sample libraries.
Overall, the arrangements are a heady blend of multiple acoustic instruments plus occasional synthetic lines, decidedly more ethnic than Western orchestral in flavor. As a person who regularly seeks out ethnic percussion libraries to perform and compose with, I was quite pleased with the drum components alone of Primal Drums; the melodic parts are a wonderful bonus that takes this library into film scoring territory. As always, I suggest you check out the product’s web page to hear the demo and decide for yourself if it’s worth the $99.95 list price.
As noted earlier, I’m reviewing music construction kits that can be used with desktop audio software to create underscores and soundtracks for video and motion graphics. Click here to read a primer on creating music using “loops” and other audio snippets such as these.
(FTC Disclosure: All of the sound libraries I’ll be reviewing were given to me by their vendors in the hope – but not expectation – that they would be reviewed. I have no other relationship with these companies.)
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