Review of Vortex sample pack by Mode Audio



Mode Audio has introduced Vortex, a 426Mb collection of royalty free ambient loops and stab samples ideal for a wide range of ambient, downtempo and minimal styles available in Wav, Rex2, Reason (also contains 4 NN-XT presets and 5 combinator effects patches) and Ableton Live pack (also contains 1 Ableton Live 9 set and 5 audio effect racks) available from Mode Audio’s Website (£18 regular price).

This review is for the Wav sample pack which features 150 loops ranging from 80 – 124 bpm and 60 stab samples arranged in 3 folders.

‘Vortex kits’ contains 4 sub folders comprising ‘Ambiences’, ‘Noise’, ‘Rhythm’ and ‘Subs’ each of which contains 20 samples which are tempo labelled;

‘Vortex Loops’ contains 2 sub folders comprising ‘Ambiences’ and ‘Atonal ambiences’ each of which contains 35 loops which are tempo labelled;

‘Vortex stab samples’ contains 60 samples in total.

Vortex kits

ambiences have a great warmth and saturation. There’s a variety of cinematic, string, synth and piano type sounds with a subtle movement and a great tension..


A variety of crackles, hums, hisses, rain type sounds, percussive and glitchy type sounds


These are excellent rhythmic loops, some of them are drum sounds but not your typical drum loops, these are excellently processed with saturation to give a unique sound. There are also found sound or percussive impact sounds which give further variety.


Again these have excellent processing, a subtle movement in the sound and a great bass presence.

All of these layer together really well to give a great sound with interesting variety and movement.

The Vortex loops have a variety of cinematic sounding string, synth and piano type sounds with a really good selection of tonal qualities. The atonal loops have a great edge of tension and dissonance to them.

The Vortex stab samples are very similar sounds to those in the loops – string, synth, piano, sub and percussive sounds with a short decay which add an excellent element to the loops.


This is an excellent value sample pack which contains a variety of sample loops and stab sounds with a warm, saturated sound which have a kind of nostalgic quality. The sound quality is excellent and by focussing on ambient sounds the samples layer and mix together really well giving inspiration for a huge range of sounds.

These loops lend themselves to being used in samplers or as a starting point to create something new and original through further processing, manipulating and mangling. They can be used as is although I found that I needed a reverb or delay to provide a natural sounding decay which is to be expected. I really enjoyed using these loops and experimented with further processing to produce an EP titled ‘the white ship’ which was created using only sounds from the pack and is embedded above.

This album was inspired and is named after the short story ‘The White Ship’ by H P Lovecraft. I’ve recorded the album in Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock III using a number of the inbuilt samplers including U-drone, x-fade looper, grain voyager, groove mangle and processed these with various VSTs –

Ultratap (Eventide)

Outer Space (Audio Thing)

Incipit, Litote, Amalgame (Inear Display)

Teufelsberg Reverb (Balance Mastering)

Hornet Spaces (Hornet)

Dreamscape (Minimal System Group)

I’ve also used a couple of third party samplers – Polygon (Glitchmachines) and Dust (Soundmorph)

The songs were mastered in MuLab 7 using Overtone (Soundspot), Stage (Fiedler Audio) and Neutron (iZotope).