Review of Anodyne Techno sample pack by Zenhiser

Review of Anodyne Techno sample pack by Zenhiser

Anodyne Techno is a 2.2Gb collection of royalty free techno sounds and loops. It is available as a 24 bit wav download from Zenhiser (AU$50 regular price).

The pack contains a total of 551 files including 50 full mix loops, 108 mind bending synth lines, 50 hypnotic basslines, 150 outer world beats, 150 versatile drum sounds, 28 simplistic synth one shots and a bonus percussive loop section ranging from 123 – 126 BPM in a number of different folders as shown below:

The basslines are numbered by BPM and key. These are solid bass sounds with a subtle movement, they’re really deep often with subtle movement, filter sweeps or gating type effects. There are sub bass sounds with some arps too.

The drumbeats folder has 150 loops in total. There are 50 individual loops, each with 3 variations that are labelled by number, (a), (b) or (c) variation and bpm. The (a) and (c) are two versions of the beat with the (b) variation acting like a break. These loops have a great range of sounds from stripped back to more detailed with effects. They have a driving rhythm and solid groove.

The drums 01 – 05 folders contain 70 kicks, 15 hi hats, 15 claps, 25 percussion and 15 drum fx one shots for you to create your own drum loops. These contain a wide range of great sounding drums and percussion sounds which can be layered to give a range of sounds.

The drums 06 folder contains 15 bonus loops which are percussive loops to add extra interest to the one shot sounds or a great element to other loops.

The full mix loops folder contains 50 loops labelled by key and bpm. These are ideal for reprocessing with modulation / glitch effects, slicing, resampling and/or layering the results together.

The one shots – synths folder contains 28 one shots labelled by key. These are ideal for further processing with samplers and effects.

The synth lines folder contains 50 synth loops in (a) and (b) variations labelled by key and bpm. These are excellent sounds with interesting arps, movement in the sound and a subtle saturation and reverb.

Verdict

One meaning of Anodyne is ‘not likely to cause offence or disagreement and somewhat dull’ but this sample pack is far removed from bland. It is an excellent sample pack containing a variety of sample loops and drum hits with a solid and distinctive sound. They provide inspiration for creating a wide range of more melodic / ambient techno sounds. The loops layer really well together and give options for a stripped back sound or a fuller sound and everything in between. They are also well suited to further processing in samplers or by other effects.

I’ve used various loops from the pack to create the album ‘entanglement’ which is embedded above. I’ve used two different DAWs and two completely different processes. The first three tracks were created in MuLab 7 as more conventional tracks and the last three created in Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock 3 as experimental techno. The loops layered together really well and to make each sound fit within the mix I’ve used EQ to remove some of the low end from the bass drums and add a sizzle; gentle compression to boost certain frequencies and a tape emulation to add character.

I’ve used a number of effects, in MuLab I used DW Drum Enhancer (Audified) on the drums; Blueface SC5 (Black Rooster Audio) and Fission (Eventide) on the bass; SpecOps (Unfiltered Audio), Subvert (Cryogen) and H3000 Factory, Tverb and Blackhole (Eventide). They were mixed using VHL3C and VEQ5 (Black Rooster Audio).

In Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock 3 I’ve used a number of the sampling / granular tools – groove slicer, groove mangler, sample grain player, joggle player and also the Seslatero add-on. I’ve used a number of effects – VLA2A, VPRE-73 and VEQ5 (Black Rooster Audio); Cryogen (Glitchmachines), VHL3C, Cypress TT-15 (Black Rooster Audio); H3000 Factory (Eventide). I also used Litote (Inear Display) and Type A (AudioThing) on the master.

All tracks were mastered in MuLab using Magnetite, Blueface SC5 and VEQ5 (Black Rooster Audio).

After creating the album, I also experimented some more with different ways of using the synth one shots. I picked notes from a chord and loaded them into the Polygon sampler by Glitchmachines. This is a four slot sampler with granulators, filters, metalizer, stutter and ring mod effect that has extensive modulation options using LFOs and envelopes. It gave some very interesting and atmospheric sounds, especially when processed with delay and/or reverb. These one shots also worked very well in the udrone sampler in Usine Sensomusic Hollyhock 3, this created a kind of layered percussive effect as this sampler can play the sample back at different pitches which can be layered. I then loaded a full mix loop into Polygon, changing the granulator and range settings for each instance, this created an excellent dark ambient, very atmospheric sound.

Creative use of effects and samplers can therefore greatly extend the range of sounds and styles that this pack can be used for.

Loopcloud