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Music Tech Review

The ever-prolific Sample Magic team are mainly known for their extensive and high-quality library of house, techno and electro samples packs. Their latest release, however, looks at the seemingly unstoppable dubstep scene, with a little extra grime thrown in for good measure. Dubstep & Grime is available as a complete download or in individual formats and includes 24-bit Wavs (741MB, 757 files), Stylus RMX-compatible REX2 files (579 files), Apple Loops (581 files) plus EXS24, Reason NXT, Kontakt and Halion patches.A huge kit list of hardware and software was used to create the meaty sounds, with each hit and loop custom-edited and fed through an all-analogue signal path. Nearly all of the loops are at the standard dubstep speed of 140BPM, which makes chopping and changing elements and building up layers a breeze.The pack is divided into loops, folders of bass, drums, combis, synth & music, tops and vox, plus drum, FX and bass hits with accompanying sampler patches. In order to increase the flexibility of the sounds, the drum loops are presented with a range of variants including shuffling glitch hats and tech percussion mixed with both live and electronic-sounding kick/snare grooves. The drum hits are heavily processed and solid but with plenty of extra glitch sounds to add variety, while the FX section adds ambient background sounds, screeching synth sirens and massive reverbed hits to the palette. There is also a folder of dark and raspy synth and music loops which, while lacking in hooks, could certainly add a little more high-end interest to your tracks.However, the most important part of a pack like this is, of course, the bass! Sample Magic's programmers have excelled themselves here, with an exceptional collection of 101 ripping loops that actually manage to break out from the typical wobble bass conventions and offer some highly original sounds.Although there are nods towards grime and more traditional dub, the main focus here is squarely on dark, heavy tech sounds. The inspiring first-class production makes this one of the best dubstep samples packs we've heard so far.Verdict Bursting with heavy beats and filthy synth bass loops, this is a must-check for aspiring dubsteppers.Rating: 9/10