We had the chance to do a little review on Batucata from Uberschall, a sample library with percussive samba grooves. The sample library is made for Elastik which is Uberschall`s own sample player. The library contains 1.58 GB, 600 Loops and Samples.
A quote from the Ueberschall webite about Batucada:
“The hypnotic percussive rhythms of the Brazilian carnival are built on Batucada, a samba-based style with an African influence and played up-tempo and ensemble.
This library captures the excitement and passion of the style with both ensemble and solo performances. Build your own carnival atmosphere in an instant.”Ueberschall
Let’s check the library and dive right into it!
The installation is pretty straight forward. All you have to do is to unzip the Batucada zip file and drop the Batucada.elastik file into the Elastik library folder. In my case all my sample libraries are installed on drive E: – so the full path to the elastik file is: E:Sample_LibsUeberschall – ElastikBatucada
Now you can start you DAW and open the Elastik Player plugin, go to Setup and then click on Add to add the new library. Now as the last step the library needs to be registered – therefore you can choose between on line or off line registration. That`s it. Quite easy :)
After the installation is complete the Batucada library is available in the Elastik Player. Within the Batucada folder there are 3 sub folders:
- Percussion Grooves (These are full ensemble grooves with pre-mixed loops),
- Percussion Breaks (As the name says these are breaks, less busy and more variations) and
- Percussion Kits (A selection of construction kits, with each instrument presented as a separate track. Each kit comes with intros, breaks and main parts)
Category 1 Percussion Grooves
The Percussion Grooves category is divided into 8 sub folders: 1 Boosted Grooves 120, 2 Boosted Grooves 120, 3 Clean Grooves 135, 4 Clean Grooves 135, 5 Clean Grooves 120, 6 Clean Grooves 110, 7 Clean Grooves 90 and 8 No Kick Grooves 135.
All in all there are about 140 loops in this category and the Tempo ranges from 135BPM to 90BPM. The loops contain several different samba percussion elements like Surdo (Bass drum), Snares, Bells, Shakers and sometimes even whistles.
Category 2 Percussion Breaks
The breaks are also divided into sub folder. This time there are 4 folders: 1 Boosted Breaks, 2 Clean Breaks, 3 Boosted Surdos 120 and 4 Clean Surdos 120.
As the name implements within this category there are all the breaks located. They do fit to the first categories loops but there is not really for each loop a complementary break.
The two surdo categories are recordings of the surdos only without any other percussion sounds.
Category 3 Percussion Kits
These are no drum kits as the name also could imply. Instead of drum kits in this directory are 13 sub folders. Each folder could be best described as a construction kits. Several of these folders do have other sub folders like Intro, Main and Break. Each of these has one loop called xzy_perc_mix that represents the full mix of all sounds but also several loops with the individual percussion instruments like agogo, tambourine, surdo and so on.
With the construction kits it is possible to quickly build a complete samba or batucada track as there are all necessary elements available. With the access to all the individual percussion stems several variations and combinations are possible.
Listen to the audio track – In the first 2 bars you hear the individual stems/ loops all on velocity 127 and in the second 2 bars you hear the prepared mix.
Unfortunately the final mixed loop (xzy_perc_mix) that acts as the reference, sounds different as the sum of all individual instrument loops (see screenshot). Even after adjusting the volumes of the individual loops/ stems the mixed version sounds slightly different. I guess there was some reverb added in the mixed loop. (screenshot)
Appart from this the construction kits are the best part in the library in my opinion. With the intro and break variations a nice arrangement can be realized quickly.
As mentioned above, a quick arrangement can be created in a relatively short amount of time. In the audio example i used the construction kit 12 Coco 112. First everything sounded a little dry and therefore i used the option to use more outputs on the Elastik player. Within Cubase the Elastik player allows up to 16 stereo outputs. I routed the individual stems to seperate outputs and added 2 different reverb effects. I began with the lowes surdo drum which acts like a huge bassrum. Also a litte EQ and the Waves Low Air plugin made the drum cutting through the mix and giving that extra punch. All other drums where routed into the same Cubase convolution reverb REVelation with the Drum Cave Natural Preset. Than on the percussion bus a little parallel compression helped to glue everything togeher.
Listen to the sound examples.
A – small batucada example arrangement without any effects
B – the same arrangement with reverb, little EQ and parallel compression on the drum bus.
Pros and Cons
+ Good sounding loops
+ Very easy to handle – Arrangements can be built in minutes
+ With the Elastik player the tempo synchronisation does work very well and a tempo change from 20BPM can be easily done without drastic artefacts.
– Mixed versions sound different
– Loading time could be faster
The library is directly available at the Uberschall website for 49,00€
More information: Uberschall / Batucada
Overall Sound Quality - 80%
Features & Content - 70%
Stability - 80%
Workflow - 90%
Pricing - 90%