Review of Atlas – Chillwave Loops by Mode Audio

Review of Atlas – Chillwave Loops by Mode Audio

Mode Audio has introduced Atlas – Chillwave Loops, a 563Mb collection fusing the lush, Shoegaze-influenced guitar riffs and warm, analog electronics of Chillwave with the dynamism and presence of uptempo live drums.

It is available in Wav, Rex2, Reason refill and Ableton Live pack formats from Mode Audio (£18 regular price).

This review is for the Wav sample pack which contains the files in four different folders, namely ‘Atlas Loops’, ‘Atlas Tail Samples’, ‘Drum Samples’ and ‘Midi’ folders.  All loops range from 86 to 130 bpm.

‘Atlas Loops’ contains a number of sub folders – basses and bass guitars, drums and percussion, drums (full loops), electric guitars, electric guitars (dry) and synths and SFX and all of these samples are either 100 or 120bpm.

There are 25 bass and bass guitar loops including a range of excellent sounding grooves with a punchy, deep bass. I really like how the bass guitar loops give you a different element from other sample packs.

There are 44 drum and percussion loops containing a range of kick, tom, shaker, claps and top drums that allow you to layer your drum and percussion sounds for a full or more stripped back feel.

There are 19 full drum loops that combine the above loops into a full punchy drum sound with just an edge of saturation.

There are 33 electric guitar loops with a range of acoustic and slightly distorted grooves, leads and riffs in clean and processed (reverb, delay) versions.

There are 49 synth and FX loops containing piano, synth riff, synth lead and pad sounds with a full, warm saturated sound.

Atlas Tail samples are an addition we’ve seen in other Mode Audio packs. On the face of it they allow you to apply a natural reverb tail to sample loops which is really useful in itself. However, they are also excellent sound sources in their own right that can be manipulated and mangled to add interesting elements to your tracks or could even be used as a starting point for new tracks. There are 69 tail samples in the pack, primarily for guitar, synth and and pad samples.

The Midi loops folder is a very welcome addition to the sample pack and contains 76 fully featured midi loops. Typically 4 bar loops, these can be used with your own sounds or edited to create subtle or stark contrast and variations.

The drums sample folder contains 68 individual samples of kicks, toms, snares, shakers, hats and more that allow you to tailor drums to your particular sound and create your own rhythms.

Verdict

This is an excellent value sample pack containing a superb variety of loops with a warm, saturated sound that create moody, atmospheric tracks. As well as the potential to mix and match loops based on bpm and key, the loops hit that sweet spot giving the best of an electronic sound and live instruments. They layer and combine well together, the range of loops allows you to create a whole range of sounds from full to stripped back as well as the ability to use individual sounds as building blocks.

The tail samples are excellent and allow a natural decay, often an issue with other sample packs. The inclusion of midi loops are also very welcomed to give even greater flexibility and potential.

I’ve created the two-track EP ‘eternally | against the flow’ embedded at the beginning of the post to highlight the sort of sounds that you can produce with the pack. It’s a cross between indie, chillwave, downtempo and shoegaze.

Loops are processed with various Eventide Effects – Ultrachannel, SP2016 Reverb, H949 Dual Harmoniser as well as khs delay and limiter. Vocal loops are from Function Loops.

All tracks arranged, produced and mastered in MuLab 8 using Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Elevate (Newfangled Audio), Stage (Fiedler Audio).

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