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ReFill Review: Groove Bias – Impact Soundworks

5/5 Stars

groovebias

Category: Vintage Drum Kits

Price: $29.00

Shop Site: https://shop.propellerheads.se/product/groove-bias/

“Relive an era of classic drum sounds where funk was king! Groove Bias features three old-school multi-sampled drum kits and a set of hand percussion recorded through all-analog gear, tape, and vintage microphones. No digital equipment here, only the pure, unadulterated sound of the 60s and 70s. You’ll never sample an old drum break again!

Product details

The goal of Groove Bias was to create a set of deeply-sampled acoustic drum kits inspired by classic 60s and 70s records, along with the timeless breakbeats we all know and love. For decades, these sounds have been imitated and sampled over and over, but frequently with modern equipment. Not so with this library. Impact Soundworks’ motto was “the more tubes, the better,” and engineers were armed to the teeth with beat-up mics, analog gear, vintage drums and tape machines.

Groove Bias is a superb drum tool for a wide variety of genres. It’s ideal for hip hop, soul, and funk, but the warm kits and flexible dry recordings make it well-suited for classic rock, jazz, and fusion as well. With sound sculpting tools built into the Combinator patches, Groove Bias is even excellent for many EDM genres like big beat, drum and bass, or breakbeat: just slam it with even more compression, saturation, and dirt for an instantly huge sound.

For the tweakers, customizing your own kits is simple. Every drum part (snare, snare overheads, hihat, kick, etc) has its own NN-XT patch. So, you can tweak any Combinator kit to taste simply by swapping out NN-XT parts for the ones you want, or even create your own custom kits from scratch.

Of course, while the drum samples are as vintage as they come, they were also recorded with modern sensibilities: up to 10 dynamic (velocity) levels and 10 round robin variations per note means the ‘machine gun’ effect is a thing of the past. Snare rolls, double kicks, blazing hi-hat lines and tom fills are all no problem, even at very fast tempos.

The Kits

“Superfreak” (Milkboy Studios, Ardmore, PA)

As the name suggests, most of this 60s Ludwig ‘Silver Comet’ kit is rumored to have originally belonged to a certain funk music icon. The drums were recorded using high-end ribbon mics into an all-analog signal path, most notably a 70s Neve console with a few busted channels and lots of character. Outboard processors in the chain included gear by Empirical Labs, Tube-Tech, and Anthony DeMaria Labs. The saturation present on the higher velocities of some of the sounds, like the kick and snare, came solely from high gain running through all the tubes; no overdrive, distortion, or compressor saturation was applied!

“Tape” (The Audio Lab, Milville, NJ)

This one was a real hybrid, the centerpiece being a 30s Ludwig Pioneer Black Beauty snare. The kicks and toms were Tamburo original series, along with an extra 22” Tama kick. Our hats, cymbals and rides were a mishmash of faded, junked up old metal… just what we wanted. Everything in the kit was recorded through an analog signal path then finally to an authentic, 24-track Otari tape machine before being dumped into Pro Tools. Mics used for this kit ranged in age and manufacturer. Various workhorse mics from EV, Sennheiser, Shure and Audix were used throughout, and to get the trashy, crunchy room sound, we used a trashy 70s General Electric cassette recorder mic along with an RCA SK-30.

“Herodotus” (Real Music Media, Minneapolis, MN)

John Gump (a.k.a. KVRAudio member Herodotus) recorded this drum set, which is the same make and model as Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s drums! Mics used were a pair of Neumann KM-184s and Sennheiser 441s plus a Royer R-121. All of this went into some serious outboard gear like a classic UA 1176, Manley Labs VOXBOX, UA 2-610S and Manley Vari-Mu before finally going to a TASCAM reel-to- reel tape machine to seal the deal.

What’s Inside?

  • Over 3,400 samples / 4 Combinator patches
  • 5-10x dynamics & RR variations per drum
  • Individual NN-XT patches per drum part
  • Authentic analog recording w/ vintage gear
  • 3 drum kits from 3 separate studios / signal chains
  • 5 snares, 4 kicks, 9 toms
  • 3 hats (closed, loose, open, pedal)
  • 2 rides, 2 crashes, 2 splashes, 2 rimshots
  • Agogo, shaker, bongos, claps, cowbell
  • Tambourine, triangle, woodblock”
- Impact Soundworks

 

Tape Kit Combinator



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