by Hector Ibarra
As a visually impaired musician in a world flooded with software-based instruments that are very much more often than not inaccessible, it is difficult to find a product for computer-based music production that truly gets me excited by being both affordable and accessible. So when I came across the drum loop and sample libraries from Beta Monkey Music, I was hesitant to get my hopes up as to what they were offering. After some digging for the right library to try, in this case a solid kit for metal for which I could rely on to sketch out song ideas when it’s not yet worth getting out a real kit and the snake pit of cables and jungle of stands that come with recording it, my bank account was $30 down and my computer was busy downloading the Double Bass Mania VII: Pure Modern Metal library. The purchase and download were quick and simple, with the purchase of the license allowing you access to all formats available: REX2, Apple Loops, and 16/44 and 24/44 wav. Allowing you access to all formats alone is more than worth the price, in my opinion. Each format comes in its own archive, breaking down the download into four smaller files. Once you unpack these, the real magic begins!
The libraries come with a wide variety of loops in different tempos, and are already trimmed for immediate use. More importantly for this frustrated blind musician, the libraries also come with single kit elements, with hundreds of samples available spanning the entire kit at different velocities. After some trial and error, I had a full kit mapped out for my MIDI controller using Reaper’s RaeSamplomatic 5000, and I was set to go! Though there was quite a bit of struggling at the beginning, mostly due to getting used to using this new setup, the results I was able to get were phenominal. The kit elements are already panned, so I was able to get a great preliminary mix right from the start. The sound quality of the samples were fantastic, and as previously mentioned, more than worth the relatively low prices for these libraries. More can be found for these libraries, including sound samples and purchasing info for each (and some bundles!), visit Beta Monkey Music at https://betamonkey.com
Stay tuned for some upcoming tutorials on using these and others like it for your own music, as well as my own victories and mishaps after diving into the deep end of computer-based music production!
by Hector Ibarra