Dance Pack 2 For GarageBand
Zero-G’s Dance Pack 2 For GarageBand DVD has just been added to its range of Apple Loops libraries. Dance Pack 2 contains a selection of some of the better, and some of the worst, libraries that Zero-G has previously released on CD. See also: GarageBand 11 review.
Supplied in Apple Loops format, they are all instantly usable in Apple’s new music powerhouses GarageBand and SoundTrack, plus Logic Pro 7, Logic Express and Final Cut Pro. Apple Loops are stored in a type of AIFF file, so they are compatible with most audio software. You can import Dance Pack 2 samples into Pro Tools, for example, although Pro Tools will not automatically adjust the tempos of imported loops to the session tempo as GarageBand will. Still, you can always do this manually.
So what does every Mac musician want? If you believe Apple, you’re always going to want new loops and sounds to feed into your hungry software. “You don’t need to be a musician any more,” says the hype, “just stick loops together in a sensible order with GarageBand and you’ve got your own compositional masterpiece.” This is a lot like painting by numbers and removes the need for much in the way of creative input – software for the creatively challenged, as it were. Still, at last year’s Macworld On Sound Seminar Tom Robinson demonstrated how easy it is to put song ideas together in GarageBand, using loops to quickly create the backing music and singing your lyrics over the top of this. So from a songwriter’s point of view it is a useful concept.
With Dance Pack 2, Zero-G is offering a huge injection of loops and sounds that could bring forth a massive rush of inspiration if they hit the right spot for you. And with over 9,000 samples, covering R’n’B, Drum and Bass, Funk, Trance and more, there’s a fair chance you’ll find something you like if you’re into dance music.
The samples are organised into folders representing the original CD album releases. Pure Hip Hop has lots of useable bass lines, drum loops, excellent Rhodes riffs and some brilliant scratches. The Pure R’n’B drum breaks are OK, but the construction kits are not too inspiring. Pure Trip Hop is pure tripe as far as I can tell, although there must be a couple of half-decent drum loops in there somewhere. Vocal XTC’s female vocals aren’t too bad, but the male vocals are complete rubbish.
Dance Pack 2 is not without good loops, but they are buried within thousands of mediocre ones. Zero-G seems to have fallen into the trap of favouring quantity over quality. The pack is still fair value, but would be better value with only half the loops.