"This library apparently aims to capture...
"This library apparently aims to capture 'the true essence of the 1970s. Quite what that really was is arguable - but the 'Funk & Disco Essentials' subtitle should clue you in to the fact that this collection aspires more to the dance-floor grooves of Chic and James Brown than the chart-topping sing-alongs of The Bay City Rollers or Mud. The software front end for this collection of samples is a limited version of Native Instruments' Intakt. This playback software was discussed back in SOS February 2005, so I won't recap any of that here, except to say that this instrument is compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X. You'll need a quick CPU and plenty of RAM to get the best results, and a DVD-ROM drive and 1.4GB of free hard disk space are required.
The emphasis in the sound library is firmly on loops and phrases. The samples are arranged into 43 different construction kits, together with a further Toolkit library consisting of various extra bits and pieces. Various Hammond B3 and Wurlitzer sounds, guitars, basses, synths, trumpets, and various drums and percussion instruments are all included. I have to say that the quality of both the construction kits and the Toolkit samples is very high throughout. Regardless of how you happen to feel about the ongoing trend for kitsch nostalgia, there's no denying that this collection is extremely convincing, both musically and in terms of production.
Funk, soul and disco sounds predominate, although there are a couple of rockier kits thrown in as well. In each case you're given the complete kit, with all the component parts conveniently mapped out across the keyboard. If you ever need to assemble plausible-sounding retro backing tracks in a hurry, you'll find Sounds Of the '70s very useful indeed. Equally, if you prefer to be a bit more experimental, you won't be disappointed. Native Instruments have equipped Intakt with an impressive array of sound-mangling tools, and the raw material provided by this sample library can easily be taken and twisted into something new and unusual.
Sounds Of The '70s does a good job of reproducing the characteristic sounds of its chosen era, and will appeal to anybody who needs quick, easy access to a convincingly retro sound palette. And, of course, Intakt's ability to deconstruct and deform these same sounds may endear it to producers of hip-hop, drum and bass, or related dance styles."
"Infectious, 70s samples, lovingly...
"Infectious, 70s samples, lovingly mastered to vinyl before being digitised.
It seems that 70s revival follows 70s revival and the perennial flare-wearer never need look far for opportunities to indulge in velour trouser-based activity. Haven't we all had enough? Zero-G think not.
Sounds of the 70s comprises 41 soul, funk, disco and punk (but mostly soul and funk) construction kits. Nine toolkits of purely single-shot sounds are also included. Each loop is featured as a full mix, with variations, and as individual parts. You can tweak and mangle to your heart's content using Native Instruments' Intakt host - the powerful beatslicing engine that enables you to free your loops from the constraints of fixed tempo.
The sound library, written and produced by Mike Wilkie and Matthew Corbett, weighs in at around 1GB and is not full of the clichés you might expect, featuring many respectable and usable samples, all recorded in the most authentic way possible. Instruments from the age were played and recorded as they were in the 70s and then, to top it all, everything was mastered to vinyl using 70s valuve EQs and compressors, before finally entering the digital domain.
All the material is original and after a while you find yourself gyrating like Travolta and pointing skywards, your eyes glazing over and a dancefloor-filling house remix thudding away in your head. Each loops has been written with two sections and the individual parts that go together to make them are mapped across the keyboard, so you can add and remove them at will.
This is a very usable collection of 70s sounds that benefits from meticulous attention to detail in production and deftly manoeuvres around the dark abyss of cheesy 70s predictability."
"Few and far between are contemporary...
"Few and far between are contemporary sample libraries that capture the true essence of the disco sound - and none that I've come across quite as well as Sounds Of The 70s. Produced by Mike Wilkie and Matthew Corbett, this package is a dynamite production tool of super high quality seventies revival - ranging from soul, disco, funk to punk - accurately and honestly capturing an era where the 12-inch, the remix and the DJ were born.
INTAKT-hosted, and loadable into KONTAKT, over 1.4GB of construction and instrument kits load from a single DVD. Covering tempos of 90-165 bpm, the 43 construction kits offer up thematic assortment of four and eight bar compositional phrase ensembles, containing one or two "full mixes", plus several isolated instrument tracks. The instrument Tool Kits deliver 21 B3 organ hits; 33 bass, 36 guitar and 57 trumpet phrases; over 70 Rhodes & Wurlitzer flourishes; a handful of synth riffs and Roland rhythm partner beats; and 10 lively sounding drum and tabla kits. The Wurly flourishes, in particular, are a grand slam with their dusty, decidedly vinyl feel and upwards of 8-bar lengths.
Construction themes range from stabby, jazzy and dirty-fonk disco; to soulful and laid-back 90 bpm chillin' and crusin' grooves; to more raucous, free spirited rock-inspired delights. With names like "Dukes of Starski", "Steely Pan", "Herbs With Alpert" and "Power of Tower", you can quickly add familiarity without the hassle of sample clearance.
I can't stress enough that this library is the real deal, not once trying to be modern or anything but classic disco. The playing and styling is top-drawer throughout, and the drum loops are some of the best and most original I've heard. Perfect for adding the organics of vintage dance into today's electronic tracks. Well worth the higher price!"
"...The 70's were a rich time for pop...
"...The 70's were a rich time for pop music... Capturing the variety of this rich musical stew in a sample library is nearly impossible, but Zero-G does an admirable job... The Intakt sample engine also bring a tremendous amount of power to the end user. Sound of the 70's retains the rich array of tools from the full version of Intakt, which lets you massively mangle the provided samples. Users that already have the full Intakt or Kontakt samplers can also load the patches and sampes from the Sounds of the 70's DVD, offering additional flexibility... All this technology would be irrelevant without great samples: Zero-G provides 1.4 gigs of original samples that faithfully capture the grooves and feel of seventies tracks...
The quality of the samples is excellent... They cover a lot of territory, and should be great for dance, soundtrack work, hip-hop, and any other place where a little retro sound is wanted... Because the samples are already looped and sliced as needed, it's very easy to get started... In addition to the construction kits, Zero-G ices the cake with B3 organ, bass, drum, Rhodes, synth, guitar, trumpet and Wurlitzer samples and riffs... Conclusion: Zero-G successfully recreates the Sounds of the 70's with their latest sample library. The library is massive, with 1.4 gigs of source material, and gives you plenty of options for customizing the samples, courtesy of Native Instrument's Intakt engine... Most importantly, the samples capture both the feel and sound of classic 70's tracks. The library should provide inspiration for many types of music... Gives you that authentic 70's sound, without the costs or legal hassles of sampling old vinyl... Perfect for musicians working in dance and hip-hop genres, but should also be useful for anyone that wants to inject a bit of 70's groove into their tracks...
Great samples and construction kits capture the feel of classic tracks. Zero-G has done all the work of looping and beat slicing the samples. Intakt is flexible and powerful for customizing the samples.."