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CM84 - Ska System!



We have gone back over 30 issues and unearthed a collection of 1783 top quality sounds from the archives.

There are construction kits, bizarre sounds and beats in typical Groove Criminal style, alongside a massive collection of bpm-based beats and pristine multisamples from Cyclick Samples.

Topping off the collection are a host of drum hits of all shapes and sizes, over 1,000 of them in total, from SoundofBCM.


These samples have been lovingly prepared by:

This month we decided to get the Gates out and take them for a walk round the block. For the Gated Synths we created some nice stacks (i.e. mixing together the outputs from several synths to create one sound) and ran them through a dual gate (a Drawmer DS201). The gating was triggered through the gate's side-chain by very simple drum patterns, i.e. just a snare sample repeated in 8th beats, 16ths, triplets, etc.

We made all of them at 150bpm, as using a load of different tempos would have created a very disparate collection of samples. When using this technique it is important to use a strong sound source for the side-chain so that the gate has a clear signal to turn it on and off. By adjusting the amount of level the gate reduces the signal by when it is 'off' you can control how hard the gating effect is - more reduction means a harder effect. If you have attack, hold and release controls for the way the gate reacts to the source signal you can really control the character of the effect.

The Gated Bass was treated in the same way - we just used a very simple electric piano patch to get a rounded low sound. The effect on some of the lines is a resonant band-pass filter.

The Beats were made with a sampler/synth and a load of effects to give a wide palette material to compliment the gated synths.

Hope you enjoy the samples and happy gating.
Cyclick Samples.

Groove Criminals


A selection of loops and lines from DrumDrops in Dub Volume 1 and Fistful of Drummers commercial loop collections for you to use entirely royalty-free. The line-up includes a variety of sounds in WAV, REX 2 and AppleLoops formats.

Check out the loop packs available from DrumDrops at their website.

Drumdrops in Dub Vol 1

Multi track

Fistful of Drummers

Multi track


Pete Lockett Percussion

A series of loops from the percussionist Pete Lockett.
All samples are loops. Big drums and dustbins recorded at Air studios, London.

The 8 Part Percussion basket contains a multi-layered groove at 120bpm, split up into its individual voices and in combinations of instruments. The instruments included are Cahon, Tabla, Congas, Shaker, Triangle, mad Lockett bell, EFX hi-hat and Tambourine.

Anklungs are odd bamboo instruments from Asia which are shaken to produce trills.

Pop by my website for everything percussive!!!

Lockett 8 part percussion

Lockett Anklung

Lockett Big drums n dustbins

Lockett Bongos

24bit Multisamples

This month we return to the halcyon days of the turn of the 1980s. The airwaves were undergoing a welcome respite from the angst-ridden and edgy punk that had been the prominent music of the time. The radio was buzzing with the energy of Ska. An upbeat update of reggae, Ska mixed the stuff of raw Rock and Roll with skittering horns and organs. Though it was a far cry from punk rock, it was just as removed from the progressive rock and disco of the Seventies. Epitomized by the ebullient sound of the Two-Tone Records roster, Ska reached what may have been its finest (and perhaps final) day with the release of “Ghost Town” by The Specials. An eerie slice of slo-mo reggae, it spoke of desolation with the authority of Bob Dylan, and said more about the then-current state of affairs than anything the punks had offered up.

We tried to capture both the wacky and the weird sides of the Ska sound. You’ll find joyous brass bursts alongside oddball analogue strings and fairground organs. These sounds were produced using a variety of organs and synthesizers from the good ol’ days, as well as a few acoustic and electric sources. We sampled our Hammond Chord Organ and our M-100, and we called our Jupiter 4 into play as well. In addition, we made use of a nifty Yamaha SK20 “Symphonic Ensemble” for some chorused and tremolo organs and strings (the SK20 was one of the very first affordable appearances of FM synthesis…used in its organ sounds).

There is a multi-sampled acoustic drumkit and a swirling bass guitar, among many others. As usual, they are pre-mapped in a variety of sampler formats, and as always, you’ll need to copy the whole folder onto your drive if you plan to use anything other than the DS-404 (or else your sampler will ask you where to find the samples).

Scot Solida
The Electronic Garden



24bit SkaLoops

email: RJAD by clicking here

SKA is the order of the day in this selection of 500 samples.

I’ve chosen 3 basic tempos and included guitar riffs, bass lines and a few organs, drum loops and single hits.

The guitars used were a Fender Strat and Les Paul Custom using all the different pickup selections to give tonal variety. The organ sounds were from a Roland XV 5050 recorded via S/PDIF.

The bass was recorded primarily from the bridge pickup to give the most rounded (at times almost square wave) sounds and played with and without a pick.

All guitars were recorded through a Line 6 Pod for guitar in to an M-Audio Delta 1010LT card, with varying amounts of compression, and a few have stereo effects like chorus and a Leslie sim.

I hope you find some raw elements to use and abuse. I’d suggest liberal compression would be an excellent starting point.

Send me an MP3 if you come up with something that cooks!
Until the next session….

Richard James



Samples by:
C Y C L I C K     S A M P L E S
email: Cyclick by clicking here

For this collection we created some basic backing tracks based on ska drum loops from Future Music/Cyclick Samples Drum Styles Vol.4. These came in two tempo groups - 130bpm (straight rhythm) and 136bpm (shuffle rhythm). The bass and organ lines included here are from these backing tracks created for recording the brass section lines.

The brass was played by Brian Hargreaves (tenor saxophone), Ian Ross (trombone) and Rob Webb (trumpet), and damn good they are too (as you will hear in the samples). They were recorded using Groove Tubes GT57s (wide diaphragm mics) on the trombone and sax, with a Joe Meek JM47 on the trumpet. The smallest amount of EQ and compression was used on the initial recording. For mixdown a little tape saturation was applied as well as a small plate reverb. The bass was played on a 1976 Musicman Stingray and the organs were tweaked in NI B4.

The sample names contain all the relevant information about their contents - name, tempo, minor or major, line number, key and sequence number. The line number is common to all samples so the accompanying bass and organ samples can be identified, e.g. Brass136mn02-Bb2 goes with Bass136mn02-Bb and Organ136mn02-Bb2.

The sequence number is only found in the organ and brass samples as there are between 2 and 4 of these per bassline. Sometimes there are more 4 brass samples and 3 organ, or vice versa, but the first 2 or 3 always match up. This does not mean that the samples won't work with each other out of sequence - they are all quite interchangeable and can create a whole host of combined lines. All the samples have been played in 5 different keys - Bb, C, D, F and G.
The bass samples are all cut to whole bar loops, but the brass and organ samples have an extra bar on the end to allow for the reverb tail decay. The solo brass samples (130bpm major only) often start with silence - this is because some lines start around the 4th beat of a bar. We have cut these so the sample starts on the downbeat at the beginning of a bar.

We hope you enjoy these samples and find good homes for them.












MIDI Drum Breaks

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