EDG20 By SUB51
UK based artisan sample library developer SUB51 continue their 21st century tributes to 20th century drum machine tech with their latest addition to their product range.
Electro Drum Generator or EDG20, takes the classic Linn LM drum machine series and turns it into an NKS accessible Kontakt library with a rich control set and a whole bunch of tempo synced loops!
Sub51 have released some great value small footprint libraries over the last couple of years, of which the drum machine offerings have been particularly well received, SATA809 (a Roland TR808/909 combo library), CC06 (an editors choice for Sound ON Sound gear of the year 2018), was their flexible take on the Roland TR606, and now this latest library focuses on another iconic 80’s legend the Linn drum.
The Linn series signalled a change in sound direction for electronic music of the day, moving away from electronically generated emulations of drums, to real digitized samples.
Whilst this change may well have been a natural technological progression brought about by the advances in technology of the day, and certainly in the realism stakes do not compare to the real life high sample rate products we enjoy today, they nevertheless carved a very distinct and powerful sound that was definitely state of the art at the time.
You only need take a listen to an album such as ‘Dare’ by the Human League which had the Linn drum sound all over it, in a direct comparison to their earlier works such as the single ‘Being Boiled’, to see how these punchy new sounds were making their mark on the dance floor of the day.
In some respects this also opened the doors to the concept of the ‘mix ready’ sample library instruments we take for granted today. No longer did studio engineers need to spend quite so many hours painstakingly tweaking frequencies, gating noisy snares or equalising lacklustre kick drums, the kick from the Linn drum arguably had it all there, right out of the box!
EDG20 will require the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or above(not Kontakt player compatible), and the 24bit 44.1kHZ samples will occupy a mere 118.1mb.
Included within the library are 25 kits mapped to GM standard, 71 loop, all of which are presented as individual Kontakt NKI files which will need to be scanned into the user side of Komplete Kontrol in order to make use of the extensive parameter controls which are exposed and assigned to the Komplete Kontrol hardware knobs.
Thoughtfully midi files for all of the included Kontakt loops are also included, so you could import these into your DAW and use other drum instruments alongside them if you wish, flexibility is always a good thing!
Komplete Kontrol Plug-In Edit Parameters…
This of course is not a licensed NKS product, so it will not show up in your browser tagged and categorised in the usual way, so we will just concentrate here on what controls you are able to tweak and edit.
Page One – Filters & Reverb
Knob 1 – Low Pass Frequency,
Knob 2 – Low Pass Resonance
Knob 3 – High Pass Frequency
Knob 4 – High Pass Resonance
Knob 5 – Reverb Pre-delay
Knob 6 – Reverb Size
Knob 7 – Reverb Dry
Knob 8 – Reverb Wet
Page Two – Distortion, Lo-Fi & Delay
Knob 1 – Distortion Drive
Knob 2 – Distortion Output
Knob 3 – Lo-Fi Bits
Knob 4 – Lo-Fi Sample Rate
Knob 5 – Lo-Fi Output
Knob 6 – Delay Time
Knob 7 – Delay Feedback
Knob 8 – Delay Dry
Page Three – Delay Continued, Instrument Controls Kick
Knob 1 – Delay Wet
Knob 2 – Kick Level
Knob 3 – Kick Pan
Knob 4 – Kick Tune
Knob 5 – Kick Attack
Knob 6 – Kick Decay
Knob 7 – Rim Level
Knob 8 – Rim Pan
Page Four – Rim, Snare, Clap
Knob 1 – Rim Tune
Knob 2 – Snare Level
Knob 3 – Snare pan
Knob 4 – Snare Tune
Knob 5 – Snare Attack
Knob 6 – Snare Decay
Knob 7 – Clap Level
Knob 8 – Clap Pan
Page Five – Clap, Closed Hi-Hat, Low Tom
Knob 1 – Clap Tune
Knob 2 – Closed Hi-Hat 1 Level
Knob 3 – Closed Hi-Hat 1 Pan
Knob 4 – Closed Hi-Hat 1 Tune
Knob 5 – Closed Hi-Hat 2 Level
Knob 6 – Closed Hi-Hat 2 Pan
Knob 7 – Closed Hi-Hat 2 Tune
Knob 8 – Low Tom Level
Page Six – Low Tom, Open Hi-Hat, Mid Tom
Knob 1 – Low Tom Pan
Knob 2 – Low Tom Tune
Knob 3 – Open Hi-Hat Level
Knob 4 – Open Hi-Hat Pan
Knob 5 – Open Hi-Hat Tune
Knob 6 – Mid Tom Level
Knob 7 – Mid Tom Pan
Knob 8 – Mid Tom Tune
Page Seven to Page Eleven
Further instrument controls in the above assignment pattern continue upward to page eleven, for the following drum sounds:
Crash Cymbal, high Tom, Ride Cymbal, Tambourine, Cowbell, High Conga, Low Conga, Cabasa, Clave, Triangle Muted, Triangle Open.
It is a tradition within a KK-Access review at this ppoint that I lovingly berate developers for their lack of access to user interface controls, however when it comes to SUB51 products they are I believe immune from criticism. they have always shown a tremendous amount of willingness to implement and enhance their libraries with inclusiveness firmly in mind right from the outset, or even gone away and come back with suggested improvements in place.
EDM20 is no exception, and as you can read from the available parameters, there really is everything there in terms of what we could want from a product of this nature.
The Komplete Kontrol mapped parameters that were previously additionally supplied as Kontakt snapshots, have been left to one side, in favour of the more reliable method of exposing the accessible controls within Kontakt NKI files.
EDM20 In Use…
Clearly there are a couple of ways in which you could use the sounds from this library, as the instruments follow the GM mapping standard, the chances are that importing any midi drum files into your DAW of choice will yield very usable results with the minimum of tweaking, leaving you with the task of simply creating the sound you want by editing the level, pan and tune controls among the many others available.
Equally you can play in your own patterns, edit the sounds and even automate changes to your hearts desire.
There are a good selection of kits included, which demonstrate the variety of sounds that can be gained using the included effects and mix controls. Expect to find dry kits, wet reverb kits and a selection of distorted gritty bit rate adjusted kits, which all make for good starting points for your own further creativity.
Looping The Loops…
SUB51 have provided a generous amount of NKI loop presets in various styles and instrumentations, these sync nicely to your DAW’s host clock tempo , so it’s quite feasible to ramp up a leisurely 80’s groove to a banging drum & bass rhythm with some creative use of the tuning controls, and the automation of the pan control can really add some interesting audio motion imaging to the cooking pot.
There is really nothing negative to say about EDG20, the bottom line is whether you want to add the distinctive Linn drum sound to your tracks, given the wide edit options it is possible to create something that the casual listener would not realise began life as a Linn drum kit, so even this angle does not really stand up to scrutiny.
Personally I have always had a soft spot for the Linn drum kick, it cuts through a mix so well, and adds a unique punch even if used as a layering tool.
The loops are apparently proving popular with customers already, and I’m told that a certain Sound On Sound editor is making good use of EDM20 on a current album project!
EDM20 can be purchased directly from SUB51 at the cost of £14.96 (Usual price £19.95)
SUB51 EDG20 Product Page:
(c) Chris Ankin
February 28th, 2020
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.