The Beauty of Loops
The major benefit of recording loops is the fact that every analog drum hit has a slightly different shape and vibe to it - a human quality that one-shots (even round robins) can't touch. When you sample the machine directly from the source and add your own flavor to it (tastefully, of course!) via preamps, compression, saturation, etc, the unique sonic qualities that emerge from the sounds become even more evident now that you're recording 4 seconds worth of a kick, instead of a fraction of a second. Grabbing a 4 bar loop of 909 kicks and layering that with an 8 bar snare roll can sound quite convincing immediately.
But in addition to the sonic benefits, the on-board step sequencing of the 909 - both its limitations and intricacies - is just as inspiring. Whether you're grooving between the flam and shuffle settings or choking the closed and open hi hats, the 909's programming features are somehow more limited yet more immediate and inspiring than newer drum machine (just ask Jeff Mills...It's been 25 years and he's still not bored with it).
The Recording Process
So with this in mind, we recorded hundreds of loops ranging from clean, unadulterated transients (most people don't realize an unprocessed 909 kick has a HUGE spike) to trashy, squared-waved 909 trash. We set out to do all the stuff that ITB sequencers struggle with - analog pitch modulating snare rolls by hand, shuffling tom flams, and more.
Opting for a variety of both straight and shuffled rhythms, we recorded everything from simple and dry to complex patterns with over-the-top outboard processing. We focused on capturing different types of loops that would be applicable at different stages of your production process. The more stripped-down loops and patterns are great for inserting into pre-existing productions, while the more effected and unique loops are a great starting point or background energy. In the same way, the individual drum loops provide a much greater level of flexibility and detail, while the whole beats and tops can get you started a lot quicker. All of this is to say there should be something for everybody in here.
Going Deeper With Hardware FX
A great thing about recording loops is that time-based hardware FX will have more of an impact than when sampling one shots, since you're literally dealing with longer audio length, which means there's more oppurtunity to hear the results of time-based FX modulation.
So we ran beats through an old 'n funky spring reverb, compressed it, and then sent it to the mercurial ADR Compex compressor, gate, expander, / overall mystery machine. We wound up with a similar signal chain to "When the Levee Breaks" but with 909 sequences. TLDR; the 909 and John Bonham used to have nothing in common, so we decided to change that.
We also ran the 909 through a huge modular, Lexicon PCM42, and a keep-it-cheap "90s station", using many of the same techniques that groups like Daft Punk and Model 500 made standard in their early productions, driving the 909 into (original) 1642 Mackie pres and through classic Ibanez and Lexicon single rack effects units.
In the End...
These loops can have a lot of different uses depending what you're after. You can easily utilize them as your main drum sounds for quick and authentic 909 drums, or you can layer them in the background of your pre-existing DAW sequences, kind of like a rock drummer's "room mic".
There is definitely some type of magic that happens when you start layering and editing audio loops against DAW-sequenced one hits. Especially with compression and FX, you can create a dynamic energy in between the notes (kind of like the air picked up by mics in between acoustic drum hits) that is impossible to achieve solely with one hits. The purpose of this library is to provide you with that energy.
•500 Raw 909 Loops @ 120 BPM
•15 Midi Groove Files
•Whole Beats, Individual Drum Loops, Tops & Combos
•24 bit WAV, REX2, & Apple Loops
CLiCK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD