"You get three discs. The first contains all...
"You get three discs. The first contains all the drum loops, the second features all the other sounds and the third disc contains WAV files for all the sounds found on discs 1 and 2. Starting with the loops, it's obvious that the Zero-G team have been very busy bunnies over the past few months. How does more than 600 breakbeats, lasting an average four bars each, sound to you? To me it sounds like great value for money - and from both a sound quality perspective and a programming point of view I can't think of another product on the market that comes anywhere close. There's no speeded-up James Brown cliché here, just elegant, inspired and furiously sampleable dancefloor material.
The arrangement of the loops is also extremely logical, with all the breakbeats intelligently assigned to tempo groups of either 155, 160, 165 and 170bpm. Soundwise, there is always plenty of 'boom' and 'tick', with crisp hi-hats, lively snares and beefy kick drums; the processing is kept to a tasteful minimum, meaning that all of these loops work fine as is, but there is still room to add more effects if you need to.
Disc 2 features a huge variety of pads, basses, guitars, vocals and effects that stop short of being a true construction kit yet are all nicely categorised into the same tempo groups as the drum loops. The bass riffs are particularly impressive, combining good numbers of analogue lines and a masterfully played acoustic double bass. The synth pads are also worthy of note, featuring sounds from all the coolest analogue synths complete with nicely appointed filter and effect work. Tracks 34 to 44 contain a massive guitar section that offers both conventional rock and jazz playing as well as more effect based performances perfectly suited to the jungle and drum & bass genres.
There then follows a large number of miscellaneous keyboard, piano, string, synth and vocal sounds presented as riffs, effects and high-definition multisamples. Unusually for this type of release the vocal samples aren't bad - plenty of lo-fi grot mixed with short but interesting spoken and sung performances. The whole thing ends with a large collection of single-hit drum samples of all types, and you are generally left with the feeling that a better set of drum & bass sounds would be near-impossible to assemble at anything like this asking price. This release offers some of the finest examples of everything you would expect to find, but one of the great joys of Total Drum & Bass is the wonderful surprises it keeps up its sleeve. Who would have expected to find such impeccably recorded live string section phrases, or solo flute and sax riffs, or sumptuously mellow Rhodes piano lines? Total Drum & Bass, like Total House before it, is a near-perfect example of what dance-oriented sample libraries could and should be, combining thought, attention to detail and consistent levels of quality and musicianship to give the end user tons of options and yet still manage to say something new about the genre.
Roll on Total Orchestra, Total Guitar and Total Voice!
- Paul Farrer, Sound On Sound.
"No less than three shiny discs grace this...
"No less than three shiny discs grace this little gem. Ya gets one for the loops, one for instruments and vocals, and, as a friendly touch, one more with the whole lot in WAV format. Usability is obviously high on the agenda for this offering, and it shows in the layout and vast array of timbres and general variety of stuff available here.
From manic fast Latino-tinged loops to Roni Size-esque loops, there is a spectrum of - albeit esoteric, at times - d'n'b to keep the purist and the pioneer equally happy. The instrument and vocal section sways between lush acoustic bass lines, some freaky subs, and odd pads, guitars and synths. And then you get a load of very usable vocals; everything from Indian vocoded weird stuff to standard 'ooohhs' and one-word snippets. The glory of the whole collection is how easily the parts can fit together in numerous ways. Hell, it may just be all the up-and-coming d'n'b producer might need."
Awarded 8 out of 10
Awarded 8 out of 10
"We remember how impressed we were with the Total House collection that we reviewed some months ago, so hopes were high for this drum'n'bass bundle - again comprising three discs. As you'd expect, drum loops feature pretty heavily, and we were impressed not only by the programming, but also by the range of kits and the processing used. Instrument-wise, you get deep basses, lush pads, mellow and spiky guitars, warm electric pianos and some interesting vocal snippets - and there are single hits and notes to boot. In fact, this is an almost bewilderingly vast collection, and one that would take months to exhaust."
"An excellent source of all things drum & bass....
"An excellent source of all things drum & bass. Disk 1 is full of 600 drum & bass loops - everything is here from all the original loops, to new made up breaks and loads that were featured on the Jungle Warfare series. Loads of lively, sharp breaks plus lots of mental effected frantic loops. This CD is the definitive source of drum & bass loops - anyone doing drum & bass, from the novice to the experienced producer, will love this CD simply because of the volume of breaks and the quality of the loops and fills.
All the original breaks are here but reprogrammed with new rhythms. They have created the original sound of speeded-up hip hop breaks, but with a phat and crisp sound at the same time. Worth buying just for the breaks but CD2 features live bass loops, phat bass stabs and deep sub bass lines! There's a massive section of pads, a large section of guitars, keyboards, synths, strings, weirdo FX, vocal FX, riffs, hits and individual percussion, kicks, snares and cymbals. There is so much on this CD that I'd be here all day describing them, but let's just say this is the only drum & bass sample CD worth checking".
Overall Rating (out of 10): 9
Overall Rating (out of 10): 9
Drum n Bass sample CDs usually leave me cold. They rarely have enough truly usable (read: not hopelessly cliched or tone-deaf) breaks, and too few plumb the kind of organic, jazzy groove depths that cats like Photek and Amon Tobin go for. Enter Zero G, whose Total House has already claimed "classic" status and whose new Total Drum n Bass including loops, guitars, keys and pads- stands poised for the same accolades. It isn't just the clarity and loopability of the set's 620 (!) beats that make them so happening, it's the variety: Toonky snares, synthetic cymbals, 909 kicks, you name it- in a variety of grooves ranging from house-leaning to fusion-approved.
"Sure, you've heard plenty of similar breaks before: lots of the material here suggests everyone from Grooverider to Source Direct. But in beats ranging from 150 to 170 bpm, Zerg-G has put the accent on flava and they haven't dumbed down this sampler for the dance-floor only crowd. I used some of these breaks in a jazz session and consistently got oohs and ahs every time I trotted one out. The CD offers killer stuttering kick drums, syncopated snare flourishes, and some subtle processing that contours certain beats perfectly. DJs will love the easy loop point accessibility and danceability of these breaks, while producers and musos will dig the clear, woody, natural sound and uncorrupted sonics.
"Disc 2 ( disc 3 is the set's WAV file collection) includes toney upright bass lines and loops, and ungodly selection of analog and digital synth pads that would make LTJ blush, synth and upright bass drops, and loads of guitars- from twangy Hawaiian-style and lounge to Hendrix-y space jazz and creamy distortion waves. The Rhodes piano samples are huge plus, as are the genuine string samples, which recall the long preambient chamber tones of Samuel Barber and Gavin Bryars (the MIDI string samples should die, as should all MIDI strings-yuck.) The 70 snare hits, 60 kick hits and shakers, hi hats, and percussion round out an almost decadent abundance of usable sounds and groove templates.
"Will Total Drum n Bass become an instant classic like Total House? Judging by its astonishingly good selection and sheer volume of options it should. Like, totally."
- By James Rotondi, REMIX Magazine.