Prime Loops claims all the big producers use its products, and that might be a fairly accurate statement, since its samples packages tend to offer decent quality and clarity. Its EDM Essentials series, with sample packs focusing on individual genres, just rolled out a Minimal option in November, but with Dubstep, D&B, Progressive, and other EDM-focused series out there, is this one worth buying, or is it something more ornamental?
Press statements say this pack offers “minimal samples with maximum impact.” More specifically, however, the collection of loops and one-shot samples overall gives the quality a professional may lean toward, but also the usability a newer producer may look for.
As has been the case, Prime Loops makes its products easy to use. The Minimal samples may be used directly from downloading the pack (valued at roughly £15) into the mix through drag and drop functionality. Editing just requires clicking and dragging to make adjustments to the tempo once a sample is selected.
Based on Minimal Manifesto, these 188 MB of 24-bit samples cover 153 total options. Sounds are divided over five possible folders: Basslines, Drum Loops, Mixed One Shots, SFX, and Synth Loops. All work with most major software samplers and remain free from royalties issues, so no clearance forms are required.
Prime Loops claims the pack offers versatility: complex song structures, broken chords, melodic and rhythmic transformations, gradual changes, and experimentation, just to name a few. Listening to the options available, all of these essentially get covered. You hear your standard four-to-the-floor house beats, some arpeggiated synth lines ideal for creating a secondary rhythmic element, and various synth melodic aspects, from grander chords to monophonic keyboard lines appropriate for an afterhours set. The clarity remains consistent, if not close to professional quality.
Essentially, though, this pack has potential to work two ways. One, what’s there is adequate to put together minimal productions from scratch. You’ve got your heavier and mildly dirtier sounds, and you’ve also got your classic Ibiza club sounds. Alone or in various combinations, they create the framework for a serviceable, if not uninspired, minimal house or trance track; or, combined with Prime Loops’ other packs, they beef up a track, lending a bit more substance and dimension. So, in this regards, consider the pack as a secondary collection.
On the other hand, though, the combination presented here doesn’t outright scream minimal. Certain elements, particularly the percussion, could easily blend into practically any other EDM track. The synth variety isn’t anything to write home about, either, and could really just be an extension of Prime Loops’ Progressive package.
So the question remains, should you get it? On one hand, EDM Essentials: Minimal offers the components to easily put together a basic track, along with functionality that doesn’t require too much skill to use. As well, it serves as a supplementary component to expand your library and enhance existing productions. But the lack of identity here, especially compared to Prime Loops other products, puts it in an also-ran status, so before you toss out £15 to expand your library, think about your musical goal first.