Pre-cleared loop and sample packs aren’t difficult to come by these days. At times, however, the generic quality of these packs can produce the suspicion that they were produced by an engineer whose forte was software development and not musical composition. Thus it’s definitely noteworthy that Loopmasters has gone to the trouble of getting an artist roster with considerable name recognition to assemble fairly extensive custom packs of loops and samples for download. In the case of Glimpse’ contribution to Loopmasters’ artist series, thoroughness seems to have been a high priority: while with a lot of packs you simply get WAV files you can slice and dice to your heart’s content, here in addition to a 850MB collection of 24 bit samples you’ve also got various patches for soft samplers like Kontakt and Hallion, or, if you prefer, specialized files for Ableton and Reason.
As one would expect, the material inside Glimpse’s Deep Analogue Techno pack is ready to use, fresh out the box. In the “music” section it’s not always apparent what’s what, as the loops are grouped according to key rather than instrument, so you may have to rely on the element of surprise, which in producing electronic music can be a very good thing. As the title implies, Glimpse’s collection of analog equipment is in full effect. Among the more melodic loops you’ll find Rhodes-ish chord changes and assorted key twinkling, a nod to the abstracted jazz motifs one associates with “deep” these days, but also more unusual concoctions like fuzzy, weird looped guitar and lo-fi bell clusters that sound like they were fun to record. The drum patterns are also often vintage-sounding, so you get those classic dull tom slaps and hi-hats that go pssssht!
Of the diverse amount of raw musical elements available here, it’s the loops of hi-hats that just might be the most useful—the hat sounds themselves are undoubtedly crisp and they’re orchestrated in nimble little syncopated patterns that would probably take you an inordinately amount of time to carefully manicure yourself. Considering the musical milieu that Gimpse belongs to—with releases on big tech house labels like Crosstown Rebels and Cadenza—it’s perhaps no surprise that these loops are some of the standouts, as they’re often the stock and trade of that part of the electronic music world.
Making use of pre-cleared loops and samples—even those as inventive as Glimpse’s—in your productions requires a sense of judgment. If you exclusively use pre-cleared material to build your tunes, it sort of takes all the fun out of it—such material is best considered like spices on a meal: a supplement that can give your composition a crucial kick. They’re the oregano and rosemary of electronic beats. I’ve had producers on more than one occasion tell me that they use sample packs on their tunes, because, well, it just doesn’t sound right without them. And while dropping some Glimpse loops into your productions won’t guarantee a record deal with Crosstown, there’s a good chance they will give your work that little something extra that can so often turn a decent track into a killer one.