March 2009 MusicTech Magazine Review: Drum Werks XIII: Funky Motown

Beta Monkey Funky Drum Loops Review - Drum Werks XIIIRecording live drums can be difficult at the best of times, but Beta Monkey has spent years building up a large selection of affordable drum packs in different musical styles. The latest is Drum Werks XIII, which focuses on funk, funk-rock, R’n’B and soul.

This pack contains no fewer than 492 original drum loops and 42 individual multi-velocity drum and cymbal hits. To keep the price down you can select from either 16-bit or 24-bit ACIDized WAV or AIFF files, which fit neatly on a single CD. This is an excellent method of delivering content as you’re not paying for additional formats that you don’t actually need and probably won’t use. For those of you who do prefer a little additional tweakability, though, REX2 versions of the beats should become available in the not-too-distant future.

The recordings themselves are based loosely on the classic Motown sound, with dominant, pooping snares and deep kicks set loud to cut nicely through the mix. However, with the careful application of compression you could easily bring out the more subtle hi-hats, cymbals, and rolls.

There is a great variety of material on offer, with folders of beats ranging from 60-150 BPM; D’n’B aficionados will surely love the re-creations of classic funk breaks. All of the grooves and fills are taken from the same recording session, so they can easily be swapped around to build up variations or an entire arrangement as required without affecting the feel.

There’s no point in denying that this is a low-budget pack and it lacks the kinds of bells and whistles that commonly furnish more expensive alternatives. We can assure you, however, that you’ll be hard-pressed to find more professionally recorded live funk grooves for a mere £22.

Source: MusicTech MAGAZINE March 2009