Record, professionally produce and release a cover version of You Give a Little Love from the musical Bugsy Malone. All from crowdsourced singers and musicians. With a music video. All in 24 hours.
WHAT’S OUR GOAL?
Raise LOTS of money and, hopefully, morale. The completed song will be available on Bandcamp in the last hour of the event and a week later across all major streaming platforms. It’s our care package for the ears.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We need singers — LOTS of singers — and proficient musicians with unusual instruments, with the ability to home record audio and video, to help us complete this challenge and raise lots of money.
Leading high-end professional audio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio is initiating a campaign called Together we create to support the audio community with activities aiding creativity and offers to ease the music-making journey while staying safe at home.
“Stay at Home and Mix with…” is Antelope Audio’s new live stream series, allowing anyone to learn the tools of the trade utilised by some of its favourite producers and audio engineers. Engaging with these YouTube sessions will yield valuable mixing tricks and recording secrets. Meanwhile, more product-orientated live streams offer insight on how to make more effective use of some of Antelope Audio’s acclaimed hardware and software. “Stay at Home and Mix with…” stream scheduling is available — alongside past stream replays — here: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/2020/04/stay-at-home-and-mix-with-a-live-stream-mixing-series/
Many musicians have already turned their home into a studio space while quarantined during the Coronavirus crisis. Creatively, though, these challenging times are an opportunity to produce something longer lasting and more meaningful. Music has always managed to bring people together through good times and bad. “Boat of Souls” is a joint effort between songwriters, artists, and musicians to create a song that will inspire and bring people together. The theme of the song is: “We are all souls in one boat and together we can overcome this challenge.” Joining the LITTLE BIG BEAT STUDIOS project, Antelope Audio is on a quest to prove that social distancing does not necessitate losing the connection between individuals, and everyone is invited. As a starting point, original drum beat, guitar harmony, and rhythm samples created by LITTLE BIG BEAT STUDIOS will be uploaded to their website, where anyone can download them as a basis for creating their recordings. Samples and video contributions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. But not everyone has access to the tools needed to take part, and, as an acknowledgement, Antelope Audio has prepared a limited number of emergency recording kits, available on a first come, first served basis to those who are really in need of support. Stay tuned for more information on the project and how anyone can participate here: https://en.antelopeaudio.com/2020/04/boat-of-souls/
Antelope Audio has also announced some supportive offers that are available during the Together we create campaign. Anyone purchasing a Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, Zen Studio Synergy Core, or Orion 32+ | Gen 3 audio interface between April 1 and May 31, 2020 will receive a Together we create voucher valued at $1,000.00 USD/€1,000.00 EUR. Valid until May 31, 2020, this can be redeemed against additional real-time effects purchases from the expandable library of the audio interface in question, kickstarting an Antelope Audio music-making journey as a truly experimental experience. Existing owners of those audio interfaces can benefit from a $200.00 USD/€200.00 EUR discount against additional real-time effects from the expandable library of the audio interface in question with a minimum combined purchase value of $300.00 USD/€300.00 EUR by applying the WECREATE code — active until April 30, 2020 — at checkout.
Clearly this is an unprecedented time in our collective history, one which will be long remembered. As Antelope Audio collectively continues to navigate its way through today’s troubled waters, it is here to help — hence working tirelessly to launch activities and offers to ease the music-making journey while encouraging people to stay home, be creative, and not lose faith in things getting back to normal, ultimately. Until then, stay safe and keep making music. After all, making music is something people do together. Music connects. Music overcomes distance. Music is capable of transcending social distancing, which we all respect during these trying times… Together we create. Presently priced at $999.00 USD/€999.00 EUR, Discrete 4 Synergy Core comes complete with a Together we create voucher valued at $1,000.00 USD/ €1,000.00 EUR — valid until May 31, 2020 — with which purchasers can choose additional real-time effects online from its expandable library (https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/discrete-4-synergy-core-real-time-fx/) and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Discrete 4 Synergy Core webpage (https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/discrete-4-synergy-core/), which also includes more in-depth information. Presently priced at $1,495.00 USD/€1,495.00 EUR, Discrete 8 Synergy Core comes complete with a Together we create voucher valued at $1,000.00 USD/ €1,000.00 EUR — valid until May 31, 2020 — with which purchasers can choose additional real-time effects online from its expandable library (https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/discrete-8-synergy-core-real-time-fx/) and can be ordered online directly from Antelope Audio via the dedicated Discrete 8 Synergy Core webpage (https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/discrete-8-synergy-core/), which also includes more in-depth information.
It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed Loopcloud. That was back at version 3. It’s fair to say that Loopcloud has undergone somewhat of a revolution since then.
The first point to note is that Loopcloud now offers a subscription service. That said, you don’t have to subscribe to Loopcloud, you can use the free version and take a pay as you go approach and purchase sample packs from loopcloud.com and these will appear in your Loopcloud library. The free version lets you browse and search over 20,000 samples, add your own samples, access the loop editor, offers a multi-track with two tracks and you’ll get 5 free samples a day.
There are 3 subscription plans available and you can also try the Studio subscription plan free for 30 days.
Artist – includes the full Loopcloud experience, 5GB cloud storage, FX, multitrack (eight tracks), 100 credits per month, a library of 3.5 million samples – plus 10 free samples per day.
Studio – includes the full Loopcloud experience, 50GB cloud storage, FX, multitrack (eight tracks), 300 credits per month, a library of 3.5 million samples – plus 20 free samples per day.
Professional – you can sync up to four computers and still get the full Loopcloud experience on each. You’ll also receive 250GB cloud storage, FX, multitrack (eight tracks), 600 credits per month, a library of 3.5 million samples – plus 50 free samples per day.
A summary of these plans and the prices of each is shown below:
Loopcloud has undergone somewhat of a revolution in its relatively short history and it is invaluable if you use loops in your music. Despite my misgivings about subscription services, Loopcloud does offer excellent value for money and the 30 day free trial is a no brainer.
The whole song creation process is streamlined, it goes way beyond a sample loop manager to being a total creative tool. It handles changing the bpm and pitch of loops with unnerving ease; auditions multiple samples; layers loops to create new ones; applies creative effects. I’ve tried using loops without it – noticeably a much slower and more laborious task. Whilst you could argue a DAW can easily handle these tasks and you’d be right, having all of this workflow in Loopcloud is so much quicker.
Cloud storage is another benefit of a subscription plan, it allows you to save valuable hard drive space.
Subscription also allows you to use Loopcloud credits. You’ll get some per month dependent on your subscription plan as shown in the table above. These allow you to buy individual loops rather than whole packs which provides much better value for money as well as purchasing presets and plugin expansions. You can buy more credits if required and they cost between 3 – 5p each depending on whether you buy 100 (£4.99), 250 (£7.99) or 500 (£14.99). Loops typically cost 1 or 2 credits; play packs are typically 40 credits; drum packs are typically 60 credits.
The addition of two VSTs – drum and play extends the use of loops and offers further creative potential.
I use it extensively, the albums embedded at the top of this section are examples of music I have created using Loopcloud.
Loopcloud runs as a standalone program with a VST you load into your DAW that automatically links to the standalone program.
The top section contains the free search box as well as drop down menus for instruments, genres, labels, format, key & bpm. To the right are your account settings and menus.
The main part of screen can be switched using the home and library tabs. Home is the Loopcloud store view, library shows your own collection, you can add your own samples as well as containing your purchased ones.
Below this are a number of controls including bpm and pitch. When you connect to a DAW, Loopcloud will automatically use the DAW’s tempo. You can manually or automatically alter the sample’s pitch. Other controls on this row include zoom, editing tools and a handy pattern generator that has a large number of presets for kicks, basses, arps, leads, percussion and many more. This is really useful to create drum patterns or add variation to sample loops.
The bottom part of the screen displays the tracks and the waveform of the selected sample. The tracks can be used to quickly audition sounds and see what they sound like together. This is very useful when playing loops from different genres, Loopcloud easily handles stretching samples to fit the bpm and key. You can of course do this in a DAW but Loopcloud makes the whole process so much easier, from searching to find the loops to adjusting them to fit. An example of how good these features work is that you can select loops from different styles, bpm ranges and keys and the adjustments that Loopcloud makes means they fit together and you can create interesting and inspiring grooves in seconds.
Another option is to combine multiple loops and export them as one and a very cool feature is to apply effects to a loop. There are a range of delays, reverbs, filters, grain stretch and more. You can edit and automate parameters. Again you can do this in a DAW but it’s so much easier doing this in Loopcloud to export the processed sample for use in your project.
This can create anything from filter sweeps and subtle movement to mangling the loop to make it unrecognisable.
Loopcloud also has two plugins, Loopcloud Play and Loopcloud Drum.
Loopcloud Drum is a sample based drum machine that is very well featured. There are a number of packs included with more available from the Loopcloud store and you can import your own samples too.
Drum goes beyond a basic drum machine, it reminds me a bit of Breaktweaker by iZotope in that it has drum sounds as well as synths and percussive sounds and can produce complex drum patterns. It has a 16 step sequencer with A and B patterns and a couple of different play variations. There are a number of controls to adjust the sound – tuning, envelope, filter – as well as reverb and delay effects and a well featured mixer.
You can also export patterns as audio or midi and save them in Loopcloud so that you can use midi patterns with other kits for example. This is very flexible, you can export a kick pattern or combination of multiple samples as required.
There are also ‘load locking’ options so you can load effects or parameters from a different pack whilst keeping the same samples or vice versa.
Loopcloud Play is a sampler based instrument that like drum has a number of factory presets and further presets available from Loopcloud. Each preset has a limited set of four controls and filter settings with access to full settings in edit mode that gives you full control over parameters such as sample start, stretch, LFO, tilt; filter and amp envelopes; distortion, reverb, chorus effects; mod wheel assignments and a limiter.
Play has a similar load locking option so that you can set parameters with filters, envelopes and effects and load a different preset with these settings.
Whilst Loopcloud runs perfectly ok on my somewhat aging laptop, I found that Drum works in Hollyhock but not MuLab and Play doesn’t work in either so it’s worth checking the specs.
Beatport joins with Loopcloud, Plugin Boutique, LANDR, iZotope, and Roland Cloud to identify groundbreaking new artists, and give away over $100,000 in prizes and a Beatport release to 50 winning producers.
Carrying on Beatport’s 16-year tradition of fostering the growth of the electronic music community, the Beatport Producer Challenge will scour the world for 50 producers on the cusp of greatness. Partnering with Loopcloud and Plugin Boutique, LANDR, iZotope, and Roland Cloud, the Beatport Producer Challenge will create a path to notoriety for talented producers across Beatport’s ten most popular music genres.
Utilizing the diverse platforms and software available from Loopcloud, Plugin Boutique, LANDR, iZotope, and Roland Cloud, aspiring producers will have until Monday, May 11, 2020, to create a wholly original piece of music to enter into the competition. Winners will be awarded highly-prized software and subscriptions, totalling over $100,000 in value from these great partners. In addition, every winner’s track will be released and exclusively promoted to the Beatport community, giving unprecedented focus and attention to each of the 50 winning entries.
In order to augment and enhance the producer’s toolkit for the Beatport Producer Challenge, each entrant will get a one month free trial of Loopcloud, giving them a choice of 4 unique sample packs, 300 credits to spend, and full Loopcloud functionality.
Additionally, all producers entering the competition will have access to a free trial of LANDR’s incredible mastering and distribution platform so they can master their completed track for free before uploading it for consideration in the Challenge.
Likewise, all entrants will have access to a 30-day free trial of Roland Cloud, complete with Techno Patches and Patterns for the JUNO-106, JUPITER-8, SH-101, TB-303, TR-808, and TR-909.
Beatport’s world-class curation team will choose 50 winners for the most popular ten genres: Techno, Tech House, House, Melodic House & Techno, Deep House, Drum & Bass, Minimal / Deep Tech, Trance, Dance / Future / Bass House, Afro House.
The 50 winners will receive;
One year of Beatport LINK PRO+ and $50 in credits on Beatport.com
One year of Loopcloud Studio
Plugin Boutique Scaler Music Theory Tool
An iZotope Beatport Bundle with an Iris 2 Sample-Based Synthesizer, DDLY Dynamic Delay, Mobius Filter, and Elements Suite
One year of LANDR Pro and Lethal Synth plugin; and a One Year Roland Cloud Membership.
Speaking about the Challenge, Robb McDaniels, CEO of Beatport said, “Since beginning our strategic partnership with Loopmasters in 2019, we have wanted to harness the full power of our respective audiences to give producers around the world access to a unique opportunity to exhibit their skills. Combining the power of Loopcloud and Beatport’s industry-leading curation, along with other great companies in our industry such as LANDR, iZotope, and Roland Cloud, we are able to give producers the platform they need to showcase their talents”
Matt Pelling, the founder of Loopmasters also stated, “We are proud to be involved in this initiative which brings us all closer in difficult times, and shines a light on those with exceptional talent to the wider music community.”
Pascal Pilon, the founder and CEO of LANDR added: “We’re proud to be supporting our community through this initiative and to be working with our peers. Now is the time to come together and as musicians ourselves, we know how important it is to stay connected.”
Get free plugins, tutorials and sounds with Loopmasters and Plugin Boutique’s #StayInCreate initiative.
A collaboration between iZotope, Producertech, Plugin Boutique, Loopcloud and Loopmasters, #StayInCreate brings a package of free plugins, tutorials and sounds to producers everywhere.
Producers can find out more and access these deals from the Loopcloud Blog.
For musicians and creative people, there has never been a more important time for making music and staying true to our passion. Making music not only inspires us, but it also inspires others and brings people together. It is a way to escape, a way to motivate us, and it is essential for our wellbeing.
What’s Free in the #StayInCreate Package?
iZotope Neutron Elements (VST/AU/AAX)
Usually $129, Neutron 3 Elements is a complete solution for mixing, using iZotope’s high-end algorithms in a channel strip formation, with artificial intelligence to help you find starting points for your mix.
Three Months of All Access Membership at Producertech
With years of expertise in online training for DAWs, synthesis, mixing skills, DJing, arrangement and more, ProducerTech is one of the most trusted names in online music production education.
Producertech’s All Access Membership gives users unlimited access to 400+ hours of tutorials, hundreds of projects and presets, over 10GB of Loopmasters samples, plus written notes and assessments, usually at a cost of £9.99 per month. As part of the #StayInCreate package, Producertech is offering three months of All Access Membership (after the 14-day trial) for free, providing a wealth of expert advice to help take your production skills to the next level!
Daily Sounds for Loopcloud Users
Loopcloud gives you access to four million sounds right inside your DAW, ready to audition in tempo and in key with your current project. There’s extra creativity on tap with the Loopcloud Drum and Loopcloud Play plugins, which come free when you download the main Loopcloud software.
Right now, users of the Free Plan get up to 5 free sounds to download per day. However, by starting the Studio Plan free 30-day trial, users can get up to 300 sounds per month as part of their plan, as well as an additional 25 free sounds every day.
Plugin Boutique Radio (VST/AU/AAX/Standalone)
Radio lets you stream and sample from a diverse list of internet radio stations, inside your DAW, and records the last 30 seconds of any streamed material, ready to drag and drop into your projects. Finding new samples to inspire your music has never been done like this before.
Coupon codes for the plugins can be found on the Loopcloud blog link above to be redeemed at PluginBoutique and the offer is valid until Offer valid until 3rd May at 23:59 PST
We all find ourselves in a different position than what we set out for at the beginning of 2020. The world is changing, and it’s a strange and unknown time.
As musicians and creative people, there has never been a more important time for making music and staying true to our passion. Making music not only inspires us, but it also inspires others and brings people together. It is a way to escape, to motivate us and it is essential for our wellbeing.
During this time, Loopmasters and Loopcloud have teamed up with Plugin Boutique, Producertech and iZotope to create a free plugin, tutorial and sounds package that we call #StayInCreate. On Thursday 16th April at 17:00 BST, details of the full package will be announced.
One of the elements of this includes free points to use at Loopcloud. To take advantage of this, new users will need to be registered at Loopcloud by 17:00 BST on Thursday 16th in order to benefit.
What is Loopcloud?
Loopcloud is the multi-award winning platform that allows you to easily search 4 million unique royalty-free samples, loops and instruments in the world most fully-featured sample manager.
If you have a Free Plan or a free 30-day Studio Plan trial you will get 30 free points (up to 30 free sounds) added to your Loopcloud account.
If you are a current subscriber on a Paid Plan you will get 300 free points (up to 300 free sounds) added to your Loopcloud account.
The free points will be added to each user account by 17:00 BST on 17th April.
All the other included elements of #StayInCreate will be announced shortly.
Mode Audio has introduced Rift – Dark trip hop loops, a 601Mb collection with massive bone-crushing drum beats; driving bass guitar and snarling electric guitar riffs; smoked-out, deeply atmospheric synths; cinematic strings and piano loops.
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 ‘Drum Samples’, ‘Midi’, ‘Rift Loops’ and ‘Rift Tail Samples’ folders. All loops range from 75 to 126 bpm.
‘Rift Loops’ contains a number of sub folders – basses, drums, electic guitars, Instruments and SFX, percussion and synths.
There are 28 bass loops, primarily bass guitar with a range of sub and plucked sounds. They have a range of excellent sounding grooves with a punchy, deep sound. I really like how the bass guitar loops have a natural, live type of sound.
There are 55 drum loops containing kicks, top drums and full loops that allow you to layer your drum and percussion sounds for a full or more stripped back feel. These have a saturated, acoustic feel with a great vibe.
There are 23 electric guitar loops with a range of riffs, plucks and strums in clean and distorted versions. These loops also have a live feel to them.
There are 43 synth loops containing chords, pads, leads and riffs with a full, warm saturated sound.
There are 28 Instruments and SFX loops containing pianos, keys, strings, noise and vocals.
There are 14 Percussion loops that allow you to add an extra dimension to the drum loops.
Rift 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 64 tail samples in the pack, primarily for electric guitars and synth loops.
The Midi loops folder is a very welcome addition to the sample pack and contains 90 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 85 individual samples of kicks, snares, claps, hi hats, rims, toms and shakers that allow you to tailor drums to your particular sound and create your own rhythms.
What I love about this sample pack is not only the brooding sound that’s somewhere between dark trip hop and EDM but how well the different loops fit together. There’s a brilliant combination of live drums, live basses, guitars, synths and instruments that combine effortlessly and offers loads of creative potential from stripped back to full on sounds.
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 four track EP ‘a perilous venture’ embedded at the beginning of the post to highlight the sort of sounds that you can produce with the pack. This highlights the quality and versatility of the sounds. ‘A perilous venture’ and ‘trepidation’ let the sounds speak for themselves, I’ve applied little processing apart from reverbs, delays and EQ. ‘Jumping at shadows’ uses more processing, Physion (Eventide) on the drum loop and Fracture XT (Glitchmachines) are used on other loops. ‘Soaring’ uses a number of instances of Shaperbox 2 (Cableguys) as well as various reverbs and delays.
Reverbs, delays and EQs are various Eventide effects – Ultrachannel, SP2016 Reverb, H949 Dual Harmoniser, Blackhole and H3000 Factory. All tracks arranged, produced and mastered in MuLab 8 using Magnetite (Black Rooster Audio), Elevate (Newfangled Audio), Stage (Fiedler Audio) and Youlean Loudness Meter.