Erik Jackson Presents – Beat Suite

When a drum kit is released and the front cover is a floppy disk I only think of 1 thing, MPC. The classic MPC’s that took floppy disks, MPC 60, 2000, 2000XL and 3000. These machines are iconic to Hip-Hop heritage and should never be forgotten. It really amazes me how producers created the golden 90’s era on floppy disks. So much respect.  Erik Jackson, who releases consistent quality kits, in my opinion, is at it again. Beat Suite is the latest release from EJ and with a floppy disk on the front cover, their can only be high hopes for this.


At first when I looked into this kit, I was surprised to see how many initial folders were actually there, but this doesn’t really tell the full story. This kit is super organized, which makes it really easy to navigate. Initially we have 6 folders Bass, Breaks, Chords, MiniMoog_Bass_tones_90, Pad_Scales_Minor and Rhodes loops and Phrases. The breaks, chords and MiniMoog_Bass_tones_90 folders are the only ones that are not split into Am, Cm and Em.


The break section has been split up into drum loops MPC and Live breaks. Both folders contain a total of 10 loops and breaks, respectively. These are all at 90BPM. The drum loops were ok, but sounded kind of flat. It gets slightly better with the Live Breaks, but once again, they didn’t stand out enough for me. This market is flooded with breaks, so it will take something special to stand out. However, I would happily chop up the Live Breaks and create my own drum pattern because the quality is there. The drum kit selection is really nice and it delivers that thudding kick drum.


MiniMoog_Bass_tones_90, a long name for a folder, but EJ likes to be precise. This folder contains a total of 47 Bass tones. They all vary with different waveform from, sinusoidal, saw etc and were all recorded in the C note from the MiniMoog.  This allows us to drop it on a pad and hit 16 levels, or into a softsampler like Kontakt, and map it as we like. We get a lot of content here, but personally, I’m struggling to see what benefit this folder offers when I have a plugin like Massive in my arsenal. Yes, EJ has delivered the sounds, but we get great flexibility with Massive. I do like a few of the bass tones and the sound quality is once again there, so I guess this falls into the analog vs digital argument that continues to this day. Which side are you on?


We are now coming to the folders that have been dissected into Am, Cm and Em. Each folder is further split into another 5 folders, which contain 8 bass notes that go through the scale. In a nutshell, these are decent. Some more than others, but ill be diving into this section in the future. For me, the Rhodes is where this kit really comes to life. The sounds are beautiful to the ear. The vibe is mellow and the sound quality is nice. We are given a Pads folder that is loaded with 15 individual pad sounds running up the scale for Am, C,m and Em.


As you can imagine, the chord section, is loaded full of chords created through the carefully selected Fender Rhodes Electric Piano. We get a total of 37 chords, which sound great. There is a wide range of chords that run through the piano scale from A to G, so there is plenty to play with. These chords can easily be merged to make a nice melodic loop in many different shapes and forms.


Now the section I have been waiting for, Rhodes Loops and Phrases. Once again this is split into Am, Cm and Em. We get 10 loops per scale, which makes a total of 30.  EJ has designed these to sit in the background of your tracks, which will allow you to build off. Keeping with the vibe of this kit, they are all very mellow. When listening through these, I had so many ideas popping into my head. I am a massive fan of Rhodes and the way they sound. To me, they seem to give a warm / chilled feeling. Something you can bop your head and really listen to the artist’s lyrics.


To give an analogy to this kit, the Rhodes are the diamond in the dirt. They sound great and there’s not a massive influx of Rhodes in the current market. The Rhodes really give this kit the boost it deserves. This isn’t my favorite kit from EJ, but I do appreciate it in my arsenal and all the sounds are of high quality.


If you’re a massive fan of Rhodes or struggling for creativity I would recommend this kit for you. It can be purchased From DrumBroker for a reasonable price of $24.99. Be sure to catch me at @UKAntSmith and be sure to stay tuned to MaschineMasters for reviews on all the latest sound libraries and drum kits.


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