Review: Paths 1 & 2 Bundle by AudioModern

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You’ll really appreciate that these loop-based construction kits in Paths and Paths 2 have been designed from the ground up to be underscores. This assortment of atmospheric and ambient kits provides plenty of tonal and rhythmic elements for you to create with.

Jump to the Videos of AudioModern Paths 1 & 2 Bundle

Jump to the Demos of AudioModern Paths 1 & 2 Bundle

 

Review: Paths 1 & 2 Bundle by AudioModern

Paths I and Paths II come as two loop based sampler instruments for NI Kontakt or Acid, Wav, Apple Loop, Rex and ReFill formatted construction kits focused on Atmospheric underscore components.

The team at AudioModern consists of 17 musicians, sound designers, artists and developers, all focused on developing creative audio tools and innovative sound design. Their products like ATOM, have been widely applauded by both professional and aspiring musicians, composers and sound designers for their unique approach and sonic excellence. [You can read Brian Brylow’s excellent review of Atom by AudioModern here.]

The Paths I & II Bundle by AudioModern is available for $99 (reg $124.00) Audio Plugin Deals

Thoughts

If you’ve ever found yourself scoring a documentary about nature or the solar system, you’ve probably realized how hard it is to carry the mood of the narration without obscuring the narrator’s role in describing the action on screen. You’ll really appreciate that these loop-based construction kits in Paths and Paths 2 have been designed from the ground up to be underscores. This assortment of atmospheric and ambient kits provides plenty of tonal and rhythmic elements for you to create with.

Mix them with your own creations or use them straight of the box!

Each kit contains 6 loops (and one fully mixed loop) so you can develop themes, set cinematic transitions and build flowing movement into your compositions.

Each of the 55 included construction kits is labeled by key signature and BPM, making the process of mixing and matching themes and elements as simple as possible. Each file is delivered at 24bit, 48k resolution and meticulously edited for detail and playability. The kits range from upbeat themes to pensive pieces while carefully remaining just out of the spotlight by avoiding bombastic solos, swells and showboating. These beds lend themselves nicely to film and television underscores and they could be just as well suited to use in radio, commercials, presentations and even podcasting background music.

Available in all the popular formats for today’s producers, this may be one of the most thoughtful sets of loops I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I appreciate the attention to detail AudioModern’s development team has clearly invested.

For starters, the loop kits are all consistently named and easily decode-able, making the task of developing projects much easier. Using the example of the very first loop kit in Paths, you can see from the screenshot (below) that the folder is labeled: AMP_80_A.

Broken down, AMP stands for “AudioModern Paths,” 80 refers to beats per minute and A is the key signature for this set of loops. When we dig deeper into the folder (in this case Apple Loops,) we find all 6 loops named with the same naming convention. The individual parts are simply numbered 1 through 6. While this does little to identify whether it’s a tonal or rhythmic loop, previewing the individual loops quickly solves that mystery.

I prefer to have my loops organized at least enough to determine BPM and key signature. Audiomodern takes this a step further and has all the kits organized by increasingly higher BPM. The 30 included kits in Paths start at 80 BPM and end at up at 132 BPM. The 25 kits included in Paths II span from 80 BPM to 120.

While we’re on the topic of BPM, I was pleased to find that these kits perform very well at other BPMs. One issue I ran into, however, is that while the Apple Loops are formatted correctly, the deep organization works against those who want to import the loops in to Logic’s loop browser. Because I’ve experienced this (many) times before, I believe this to be a Logic issue and not because of anything AudioModern did or didn’t do. Logic’s loop browser tends to reject any title with a deep file structure or naming conventions like the ones found in Paths and Paths II. A small inconvenience but one that the Paths series overcomes in many other ways.

See Video Example 1 “Paths I – Demo 1” in the video at top of the page.

Up until recently, I was more comfortable working with traditional wav files and Apple Loops (Read: Old dog – New tricks!) but I’m becoming more adept in working in the Kontakt realm. Perhaps it’s because of old habits, that I found the Kontakt version a little less desirable to work in, in certain instances.

While the Kontakt interface is absolutely beautiful and highly functional, I found myself gravitating to the Apple Loops for certain controls. In the Kontakt version, all the kits play a fully mixed version of the loops by default. You select a loop kit with the large round dial and with one finger on middle C of your keyboard, all 6 segments of the loop play at once. This is expedient, but loops can be customized further with a little digging. Controls for each individual loop within a kit can be accessed through the Kontakt interface by clicking the Mixer icon or the FX icon, located below the large dial in the default Kontakt interface screen.

See Video Example 2 “Paths I – Kontakt Demo 1” in the video at top of the page.

See Video Example 3 “Paths II – Demo 2” in the video at top of the page.

See Video Example 4 “Paths II – Kontakt Demo 2” in the video at top of the page.

By selecting the mixer icon, now you can access controls for panning and tuning for each individual loop within the kit.

By selecting the small numerical display at the top of each channel, you can customize the loop for that individual channel by selecting any available loop from the list. This can be fun to try but time-consuming to find the right match. In the example below, I’ve selected Channel 3, Kit 02-3 to display all the possible replacement options available.

In the FX section, you’ll find all kinds of FX controls, again separated by each individual loop within a kit. Though less obvious as in the Mixer screen, the track controls are represented as numbers at the top of the screen. Clicking one, corresponds to the first loop in a given kit while 2 corresponds to the second – and so on. The tools here a powerful and definitely worth experimentation. Amidst the obligatory EQ, reverb and delay controls were surprise FX like Drive, Filter and Glitch. The convolution reverb is excellent and includes 20 custom Impulse Response files. I especially liked the Stutter control, as well.

In summary, combining Paths and Paths II into a single purchase makes sense. It creates a nice package for producers seeking quality and variety and offers great value at its bundle price. Detailed information on the series can be found at AudioModern’s website, including walkthrough videos. As always, I recommend fully investigating Paths and Paths II to be sure they’ll live up to your needs and expectations.

Facts

Download size may vary depending on the options you choose. The total compressed download size, excluding rex files was 4.58 GB. This includes Acidized Wav, Apple Loops, and Kontakt files for Paths 1 and Paths 2. The uncompressed Kontakt version of Paths occupies a stealthy 585 MB of HD space, while Paths II occupies 512.2 MB. The Apple Loop and Wav file versions of Paths are 1.1 GB and Paths 2 weighs in at just 899.1 MB

The Paths I & II Bundle by AudioModern is available for $99 (reg $124.00) Audio Plugin Deals

Demos of AudioModern Paths 1 & 2 Bundle

Videos of AudioModern Paths 1 & 2 Bundle

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