Review of Puzzle – Electronic Loops and Samples by Mode Audio

Review of Puzzle – Electronic Loops and Samples by Mode Audio

Mode Audio has introduced Puzzle – Electronic Loops and Samples, a 476Mb collection of ultra-modern Pop and Electronica loops and MIDI. It is available in Wav, Rex2 and Reason refill pack formats from Mode Audio (£18 regular price).

This review is for the Wav sample pack which features a total of 310 samples arranged in different folders. These are ‘Midi’, ‘Puzzle Loops’ and ‘Puzzle Tail Samples’ folders.

‘Puzzle Loops’ contains a number of sub folders – basses, drums, keys, pads and synth loops and all of these samples are either 100 or 120bpm.

There are 30 bass loops including sub-type sounds, grooves and plucked sounds. They have a deep sound with subtle distortion / tape saturation.

There are 42 drum loops containing a range of superb grooves. These comprise a range of drum kits, drum machines and sound effects processed in a variety of ways. They have a predominantly retro / lo-fi vibe and it’s great to hear such a diversity of styles.

There are 28 keys loops that are electric piano / rhodes type sounds with great character. Sultry chords and riffs with subtle distortion and saturation.

There are 30 pads loops with a range of ambient, atmospheric and riff sounds.
These also have great character and warmth from subtle saturation.

There are 29 synth leads loops with a variety of retro and modern sounds with riffs, chords, plucked sounds and laid back leads. Again, these sounds have great character and warmth

Puzzle 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 37 tail samples in the pack, primarily for lead and pad samples.

The Midi loops folder is a very welcome addition to the sample pack and contains 114 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.

Verdict

This is an excellent value sample pack containing an superb variety of loops with a range of retro, lo-fi and modern sounds that can produce a wide range of electronic styles. What I really like with this pack is how there is a much greater potential to mix and match samples based on bpm and key rather than type of sound. Of course DAWs can easily transpose and stretch samples but sometimes the results aren’t perfect resulting in sync issues so sticking to the original bpm is a guaranteed way for samples to layer well together.

The tail samples are an excellent addition and the inclusion of midi loops are also very welcomed to give even greater flexibility and potential.

Although containing a diverse range of sounds and styles, the loops in this pack do layer and mix together very well. I’ve created the album ‘fuse’ embedded at the beginning of the post to highlight the sort of sounds that you can produce with the pack. It’s really hard to describe by style / genre but the album is primarily downtempo electronica with ambient, experimental, lo-fi and hip-hop elements.

Track 1 uses loops processed with Blackhole, Ultrachannel (Eventide) and SpecOps (Unfiltered Audio);

Tracks 2, 4 and 5 uses loops processed with Palindrome (Glitchmachines), Ultratap, H949 Dual Harmoniser, Blackhole, H3000 Factory (Eventide)

Track 3 uses loops processed with SpecOps; Ultratap, Blackhole, Ultrachannel; Fracture XT (Glitchmachines)

Track 6 uses loops processed with Fracture XT; SpecOps; Blackhole, Ultrachannel; Cryogen (Glitchmachines)

Tracks 1, 3 & 6 arranged and recorded in MuLab 7; tracks 2, 4 and 5 recorded live in Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock 3.

All tracks mastered in MuLab 7 using Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Elevate (Newfangled Audio), Stage (Fiedler Audio).

Loopcloud Sounds