2014 has been Sample Magic’s busiest year to date. In the last 12 months we’ve released over 80 products in more formats than ever before – including dedicated product lines for Ableton and NI’s Maschine – so as the year draws to a close and we put our feet up for Christmas, it’s the perfect opportunity for the team take stock and pick their favourite titles of 2014.
David Felton (Director)
I’ve always been a fan of chillout and ’80s synth pop. Forget classic Roland TR- machines; my desert island luxury has always been a LinnDrum. Synthwave packs in hundreds of beats, synth excursions and anthemic new wave riffs along with an unbeatable folder of inspiration loops. When I’m short of musical ideas, delving into Synthwave is all I need to get creatively refueled.
Vinyl & Tape Drum Hits gave us a chance to go to town on everything that’s great about analogue. With over 6,000 drum hits, it was a release in which attention to detail was paramount: every transient of every drum needed cutting precisely and the mastering process at the high end is always a matter of superlative skill. The result? A mammoth collection of drum hits that just seem to fit the groove and bristle with chunky, warm old-school flavours.
Sharooz Raoofi (Director)
Authentic, well-made, useful in every production situation – this is my go-to toolbox! So well produced and curated, the guys behind UK Techno have used a variety of classic tools and their experience as top techno artists in their own right to create a pack that captures the distinct sound of UK techno.
Barry McManus (General Manager)
It was another big year for quality underground house music. Inspired by legends like DJ Sneak and MAW and given a modern twist by the likes of Darius Syrossian, it felt like deep, jackin’ tech-tinged house was rightly a firm favourite on dancefloors from Manchester to Ibiza. House Nation taps into that vibe, fusing classic influences with modern production techniques in a collection that captures the sound of the underground.
Beat making is my favourite part of the production process, so I’m always on the lookout for fresh drum sounds and tools to play with. Drum Synths instantly appealed: 160 custom-designed drum presets modeled on the best hits from a smorgasbord of classic drum machines and modern modules. Rich Gale’s raw talent – and keen attentional to detail – is remarkable even by Sample Magic’s exceptionally high standards – and it shows in this pack. The sounds are fat, punchy and loaded with character and the Maschine integration makes it so easy to jam out banging beats.
Lukas Lyrestam (Label Manager)
Ease of use and functionality is always at the top of my list when it comes to production and nothing delivers in a more consistent and rapid fashion then our collection of Ableton racks. Whether it’s dialling in mix-bus processing, finalising a club master or just dialing screwed, distorted or rhythmic FX chains, it all happens flawlessly and with minimum CPU usage. Ableton is my default DAW and with such an arsenal of well conceived macro controls it’s now even easier to get the exact sound I want.
My kind of house music has always been rough around the edges and Analogue House delivers exactly that. Unique, driving and and gritty as hell, it’s an exploration par excellence of lo-fi aesthetics that really hits the spot. Oddball unresolving arpeggios sequences are beautifully manipulated in gritty modular textures while deep, dubby synth stabs take you deep down the rabbit hole. The beats are fat, funky and tastily distorted giving them a raw dancefloor vibe which refuses to let go. A wholly original collection that sums up the very best of what’s been going on in clubland this year.
Henry Brown (Technical Support)
Being a fan of French house and electronica for years, it was only logical that one of my favourite packs we released this year would be French House. The collection covers all the bases for in me in the genre, and upon first listening I instantly knew that this was going to be a great release. A killer pack.