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How to get quality Drum-Hits

A review of the Zip'o'Drums sample collection

By: Troy Woodfield

This is a honest review of the Zip'o'Drums product 
offered by KenFen Productions. 

I'm going to walk through the review process, starting 
with delivery and packaging and then looking at what the 
Zip o'Drums collection contains.

Description: 		The Zip o'Drums is a large collection of
			individual drum hits (plus some basses).
Number of samples:	1000+
Media:			Zip-Disk or CD-ROM.
Formats:		PC (WAV), Mac(AIFF) or AKAI format.
AKAI Articles rating:	97%

Delivery:

I sent an e-mail to KenFen Productions requesting a copy of Zip'o'Drums on CD, with .WAV format samples. I received a notification e-mail on the day it was sent. The product arrived promptly, in the format I requested.

Packaging:

The product arrived undamaged in a bubble-wrap envelope, after travelling half way around the world. The package contained a cased CD-ROM. The CD case has no inlay, which may bother some people. It didn't bother me, as it probably contributed to the lower-than-usual price. The CD itself has a nicely designed colour Zip'o'Drums logo, which differentiates it from other CDs.

Contents:

In my opinion, many sample CDs are over-priced and contain too few samples. This is not the case here. The Zip'o'Drums CD contains approximately 1000 individual drum hits, including: Snares, Kiks, Hats, cymbals, rides, claps, finger snaps, international drum sounds, 909 drum machine hits and a few 808 and industrial samples. The remaining space is used to provide bass samples. If I had to use one word to describe the samples, I would say: "Usable". Some of the sounds are FAT and Heavy and will shake-the-room, while others are dry and tweakable, ready for you to apply effects. There seems to be a good mix. Zip'o'Drums includes mostly conventional drum sounds, the type that you can re-use over and over...plus a few non-conventional sounds for good measure, like the international and industrial samples. The first thing I did was throw together a few drum loops, using Fruity-Loops. The results were very pleasing. My own drum hit collection is poor in terms of size and quality and is obtained mostly via Internet downloads. It was refreshing to have so many drum hits readily available. For example, Zip'o'Drums provided me with multiple snares to choose from. By simply changing from one snare to the next, I could significantly change the entire sound of my drum-loop ie: The samples are not all similar, each offers it's own unique characteristics. I am not an expert on sound quality, however the samples sound clean and clear, allowing me to create some of my best drumloops. Licensing is not an issue. The copyright notice states clearly that once you purchase Zip'o'Drums, you are legally and freely permitted to use the samples in your tracks. You are obviously not permitted to re-sell the samples. The samples are stored in a logical format, making them easy to find. However, there are instances where the naming standard is not adhered to. This causes some samples to appear out of alphabetical order which is a little annoying when browsing.

Cost:

The cost is US$35.00, plus postage ($3 USA, $4 international). This is cheap compared to other sample CDs. KenFen Productions have an on-line order system which allows purchases via the Internet using credit card. Remember, if you choose the ZipDisk Option, you also get a ZipDisk included in this cost.

Conclusion:

KenFen productions are providing a great product at a good price. This is one of those sample products which you'll never stop using...and you can't say that often. If you want to buy a good collection of samples and you like creating your own drum loops, then look no further. If you don't buy many sample CDs because you're waiting for a good one...this could be it. Now, If only I had a similar product for keyboards and strings!
KenFen Productions Site

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