That man Timmy Rickard is at it again. Today I have the luxury of bringing to you the latest installment from Monosole Music. Afro break beats belongs to the ‘Tape to Dub Plate’ family, which I have previously had the opportunity to review, Mic Breaks Vol. 2. My man Bunker Beats and Richie Ballad also reviewed Vol. 1 and Vol. 4 respectively. I wasn’t stunned by Vol. 2 but thought the kit was great in some specific areas. So lets see how this series has developed since Mic Breaks.
Afro Break Beats is the fifth release in the ‘tape to dub plate’ series. These are all royalty free drums hits and drum breaks that have been recorded directly to tape. It is then mixed using analogue outboard gear, mastered onto a 12” dub plate and the final process is to sample it back off the vinyl. The main objective of this kit is to save the crate diggers time.
Afro Break beats contains 41 original drum and percussion breaks that have been inspired by 1970 afrobeats. The breaks range from 80-133rpm. The kit was recorded using 1 overhead and one kick drum microphone, which was used for the drum kit. Each percussion track was also recorded using a single microphone. The breaks have been mixed using analogue compressors, EQ’s and a spring reverb. These are all sent through a Neumann cutting lathe. Timmy Rickard, the man that performed and engineered this pack, has also thrown in each individual pre mastered track. This is a huge 1.65GB pack, so lets jump in.
So as detailed, we get both the vinyl master and the separate stems from each microphone. You can either go for the 16bit 44.1kHz or the 24bit 96kHz. This option is also available for the stems as well which is great. Each file is clearly labeled with the bpm, well to be precise the file name is the bpm and the instrument used, 80bpm_conga, for example. We pretty much get a break for every bpm between 80 and 133, minus a few. I definitely envision some cool possibilities here, mixing and matching the stem files of breaks with different tempos using timestretch. In other words, you are not stuck using just the files in a respective break stems folder. In my opinion, the strength in this kit is being able to mix these stems together, timestretch and tempo match them, and have the ability to dynamically mix them however you like.
It’s obvious that Timmy Rickard is clearly a talented drummer and has a passion for delivering high quality breaks. The drum kit used in the recording process wont blow your head off with a booming kick, or a snappy snare, but its nice and gently on the ears. This also affords the user the ability to have a bit more control over mixing, as I mentioned earlier. Each break has a melodic element to it, which has been induced by the afro style theme. The cymbals and high hat cut through the mix subtlety. All the breaks are in time and have a very nice vibe to them.
There is a huge mix of percussion sounds and the ones that I recognize are shaker, woodblocks and bongos, but there are more. They all sit over the drums nicely. Everything works together and I really like what Timmy Rickard has done with this pack. It seriously has a great vibe, but one for the more melodic producer. Weighing in at 1.65GB in size, Afro beats can be purchased from DrumBroker for $24.99. So check it out, and remember to stay tuned to MaschineMasters for all the latest product reviews.
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