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Mini Reviews MTM

Songwriters Drumpack 1 & 2

Manufacturer Toontrack  Price €15 each Contact Time+Space 01837 55200 Web www.timespace.com

Drummers can be an unpredictable bunch at times, losing the delicate lyrics of your finely crafted song in a sea of drum fills and excessive cymbalhitting.Toontrack, the masters of all things drum-related, has decided to give the power back to the composer with the Songwriters Drumpack – two volumes of MIDI drum loops that can be easily arranged into a complete song.

Each pack contains just over 450 individually played files that are optimised for one kick, one snare,

are optimised for one kick, one snare, are optimised for one kick, one snare,

two toms,one floor-tom, two crash cymbals and one ride cymbal in EZdrummer and Superior Drummer.Of course, given that these are raw MIDI

files you could use them with any files you could use them with any files you could use them with any software instrument or sampler, but previewing the grooves is easiest from within Toontrack’s own software.

You get amassive range of fills, four-bar and eight-bar loops in ballad, mid-tempo, half-time, up-tempo and shuffle fills, four-bar and eight-bar loops in ballad, mid-tempo,

half-time, up-tempo and shuffle half-time, up-tempo and shuffle half-time, up-tempo and shuffle half-time, up-tempo and shuffle styles, with swing and straight feels plus 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures.The grooves styles, with swing and straight feels plus 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures.The grooves are categorised into songs (14 in Pack 1, 13 in Pack 2) with intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge and fill sections.

in Pack 1, 13 in Pack 2) with intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge and fill sections.

intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge and fill sections.

To make things more flexible and easier to arrange, each groove is also presented with subtle and easier to arrange, each groove is also presented with subtle and easier to arrange, each groove is also presented with subtle variations of increasing intensity, which makes it a doddle to lay down flowing verses and bridges that build in excitement. If you’re after tight beats with amore commercial edge you’ll want to opt for Pack 2, played by veteran drummer Peter Fredlander.However, if you’re after a hint more shuffle, check out our personal favourite, Pack 1, played by Swedish session drummer Richard ‘Huxflux’ Nettermalm.

Both packs contain plenty of instantly usable grooves with enough variation and flair to sound interesting and live, but not so much as to draw attention to themselves. AH

MTM Verdict Nicely balanced,tight and expressive grooves in a variety of styles and tempos. Pack 1 ★★★★★★★★★★ Pack 2 ★★★★★★★★★★

Logic Pro 9

Manufacturer Focal Press  Price £27.99 Contact 01865 844640 Web www.focalpress.com

From the original Notator on the Atari through to the modern Mac-only software, Logic has always had a place in many a producer’s heart. Because of this, there are a huge number of books, tutorials and internet forums dedicated to explaining how the software works. Logic Pro 9 is the new book from Focal Press, written by Russ HepworthSawyer and MTM’s own Logic expert, Mark Cousins.

One thing that sets this book aside from the many others on offer is the layout. Cousins and Hepworth-Sawyer have taken a process-driven approach, with each section loosely following the structure and order of the writing, production and mastering of a track.

The 11 chapters start with an overview of the interface, layout, connections and integrating hardware audio equipment.Chapters 4 and 5 go into starting a project and recording and editing audio, plus hints on how to use Flex Time and manage your assets. If you’re more interested in synths and

MIDI, these are covered in chapters 6 and 7, with specific detail given to the ES2,EXS24 and Sculpture synths.

The book goes onto mixing and mastering and finishes with sections on multimedia production and optimising your system. It’s in the closing chapters that things get especially interesting, with useful details on how set up Logic’s Environment. As a bonus there’s an accompanying website with useful links and nearly 190MB of free loops. AH

MTM Verdict Well laid-out and packing plenty of tips and tricks for beginner and intermediate Logic users. ★★★★★★★★★★

MTM Reviews     What our ratings mean…

Let’s be honest  – this product   is, at the very  least, the best   in its class. Attractively  priced as well   as capable of  delivering   great results.

Choice

A very good  product – one  that we would  single out above  all others . Indicates a step  forward in the  implementation  or application of  a technology.

★★★★★★★★★★ EXCELLENCE AWARD 10/10 The best in its class.This product produces superb results, is well implemented and sensibly priced. ★★★★★★★★★★ 9/10 This product comes highly recommended and has an effective balance of features and performance. ★★★★★★★★★★ 8/10 A recommended product with features, performance and pricing that meets the needs of its target market. ★★★★★★★★★★ 7/10 A good product,but you’ll want to check that its features and performance meet your needs. ★★★★★★★★★★ 6/10 This product has merit,but some improvements or amore competitive price would bring it closer to its target market. ★★★★★★★★★★ 5/10 Certain oversights in this product’s design and performance could limit its usefulness. ★★★★★★★★★★ 4/10 Buyer beware: this is a sliding scale of poor quality, overpricing and/or disappointing performance.

OUR REVIEWS POLICY At MTM we take our reviews very seriously indeed.  We aim to offer  you nothing but the best information and expert opinion, helping  you to make the right purchasing decisions. Our reviewers are  experts in their field and talk to the manufacturers throughout the  reviewing process to ensure accuracy.

magazine November2010 | 129