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Zero-G Creative Essentials for Reason (Boxed)

Zero-G Creative Essentials for Reason (Boxed)

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Zero-G Creative Essentials for Reason (Boxed) - Press Reviews

Reviewed by: Sound on Sound
January 2003
Sometimes size does matter, and Zero-G's Creative Essentials Refill for Propellerhead's Reason software is a good example. Many SOS readers probably started out their sampling lives with some of the budget audio sample CDs from the 31-strong Creative Essentials series. Now Zero-G have reworked the entire contents of this extensive library into a single, three-CD Refill package for use with Reason, providing over 9000 individual samples. Considering that the original 31-CD set would have set you back about £600, the £99 price tag for this re-working of the collection looks like a real bargain.

The three CDs contain eight Refills. The five NN19 Refills are Dance Instruments (mostly based on single samples rather than multisamples), Live and Sequenced Riffs, Vocals (some single samples and some multi-phrase sets), Instruments (single-sample and multi-sample types here) and Percussion. Two Dr:rex Refills provide Drum Loops and Groove Loops, the latter a collection of ReCycle-d musical phrases using a huge range of different instrument types. The final Refill is a collection of ReDrum Kits and Samples.

Anyone familiar with the original Creative Essentials series will know it covers some diverse musical ground. With individual tiles such as Dance Vocals, Spices of India, Vintage Keyboards, Jungle Frenzy and String Textures, the complete series has something for almost every musical occasion — and all of that is presented here. In attempting the mammoth task of working through the collection, I was impressed with the overall quality of the sounds and I feel that the sampling technique behind both the single-sampled and multisampled instruments is of a very high standard. True, some of the multisampled instruments are perhaps not as technically sophisticated as a dedicated Reason library might be, but they are all usable in their own right.

What really impressed me was the Dr:rex loops, of which there are over 2000! The Drum Loops cover jungle, dance, hip-hop, techno, reggae, funk and various ethnic styles, amongst others, and everything I tried seemed to have been processed with considerable care through ReCycle. As a result, most of the loops worked well at a variety of tempos. While the sheer number of loops provided is already impressive, the ability to re-program them further via MIDI just makes the collection that much more versatile. The Groove Loops, while fewer in number (only a few hundred!), also work pretty well at a range of tempos. The various brass grooves are good fun, and there are also some excellent electric guitar loops.

The ReDrum Kits and Samples ought to form a good bread-and-butter collection for most Reason users. All the usual suspects are present, from 808 and 909 samples through to 'real' drums and percussion instruments. Some of the samples are dry, while others are processed in some way. I particularly liked some of the 'ambient cymbals', for example. As well as 26 full ReDrum Kits, there are also more snares, kicks and hi-hats than you could shake a rainstick at (although, sadly, I couldn't find a rainstick — but plenty of other ethnic percussion samples are included).

Most of the samples in the Creative Essentials series have been around for a while (and you may well recognise a number of the loops present here!), but there's still plenty of good stuff in this collection to get the muse working. The huge variety of styles covered ought to appeal to any Reason user who is looking to cover all the musical bases without digging too deeply into the pockets. At £99, the Creative Essentials Refill is simply excellent value for money.

5 Stars
Reviewed by: Knowledge
November 2002
The Creative Essentials series has been reformatted into three CD-Rs containing Reason type soundbanks for use with Reason modules such as Dr Rex, NN19 Sampler, plus Reason 2's new Advanced sampler module. All the sounds and samples are taken from the Creative Essential series released a few years ago on Zero-G. All the sounds have been formatted for direct importing into Reason (well handy!). There is a massive amount of music here (around 7GB of samples!) and very diverse from string sections and grand pianos through to breakbeats, drum & bass, dance and ethnic vocals, synths and cosmic sound FX. It really is a big collection and there are some gems in there, especially the breaks. This is aimed at those on a budget set up, running Reason giving instant access to orchestras and a whole range of sounds and instruments, drums and breaks. It definitely is a must for the
collection, especially for those with limited samples at the moment as this gives you an instant library to draw from. The breaks range from hip hop loops through house grooves and d&b breaks. The usability is a little inconsistent, but definitely worth having.

Reviewed by: CM Reason Special
Summer 2005
Zero-G have been big players in the sample CD market for as long as most of us on 'CM' have known what a sequencer is, and they have a hard earned reputation for producing quality material. Their 'Creative Essentials'series is a collection of 31, covering such bases as 'Upfront Lead Guitar', 'Live Bass Grooves', 'Spices of India', 'Brass Elements', 'Dance Vocals', 'Funk Construction', 'Synth Bass Loops', 'Techno Prisoners', 'Orchestral Flavours', 'Dance Drums', 'Drum & Bass Percussion Tools' and 'Trance Formation'. Need we say more? This package offers all 31 saved in Reason ReFill format for just under a hundred notes. Even though some of the collections are beginning to show their age slightly, that’s still staggeringly good value.

5/5

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