Review: Riffendium 2 and 3 by Audiofier
Great sounding loops
Solos are easy to construct and highly entertaining to listen to
Unprocessed (DI) versions allow you to dial in your exact sound
All of the Riffendium libraries play well together
Included REV libraries add reversed samples option
Unlike any other guitar loop libraries I’ve seen
Step volume, Step filter, and Stutter repeater seems incomplete and could be more developed.
Stutter Repeater is still confusing even after reading the manual
Snapshots have to be manually loaded
The way that the loops in Riffendium interact with each other so seamlessly disguises the fact that they’re loops and helps create the illusion of a guitarist sitting in your studio.
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Review: Riffendium 2 and 3 by Audiofier
Riffendium 2 and 3 are the next logical steps for the Riffendium library to take. With these two additions, you get power and speed from Riffendium 2 (heavy guitars) and great trailer guitars with Riffendium 3 (ambient guitars.) Each of the Riffendium libraries works excellently by themselves, but when combined with the others, you can rest assured that you will have a comprehensive set of tools to create realistic sounding guitar parts for your compositions.
Riffendium 2 and 3 sells for $85.00 from Audiofier
Loop libraries have never been my cup of tea and I have always avoided them at all costs. My main points of contention with them were the lack of flexibility and a nagging feeling that I was utilizing somebody else’s work instead of creating my own. Now, this is in no way a criticism of those who do use loops and is really nothing more than my own idiosyncrasy. I can honestly say if more loop libraries took the approach that Audiofier did, it would utterly destroy my prejudices against them.
Riffendium 2 and 3 was an absolute pleasure to work with and I constantly found myself looking forward to seeing what I could come up with. One of the things that made these libraries such a pleasure was the ease at which you could dive into each one of them. Audiofier achieved this by making an interface that is easy to use and that is consistent across each of the libraries, so you only need to learn one of them to be able to operate the others. Each of the libraries features the 9-tag category system that allows you to focus in on a specific guitar sound and are divvied up by sound quality, rhythmic structure, and harmonic quality. There is also the ability to sync the loops to the host or use them in half time and double time speeds. When a selection is made, general information about the loop is provided in an information window below the open/close browser and step effects buttons. This information contains a suggested Bpm range; as well as the available versions and/or mappings for each loop set.
This mapping information is also available in a text box and is displayed when a key is pressed in order to inform the user of what version of the loop they are currently triggering. I was actually really pleased with the layout of the keyswitches. They were spaced out enough and color-coded to help you easily keep track of the loop versions. After choosing a colored pitch key, the loops are played using the white C1 (part A) and D1 (part B) keys. To the left of these keys are where you will find the pink colored triggers for the edited or randomized sequences that have been stored in one of the 8 memory slots. These 8 memory slots are where you create your custom guitar performances using saved versions of the articulation sequencer. Each of the pink keys loads a corresponding saved sequence and allows you to craft original guitar parts; which is amazing considering these are loops.
The articulation sequencer can be accessed through the edit sequence button and requires a bit of trial and error to create truly authentic sounding guitar parts due to the vagueness of the slice names, but once you figure out what each of the loop slices does, you will be creating magic in no time. Next to the edit sequence button is where you will find the edit sound button. In this section, you will find your basic effects like EQ, Delay, Reverb, Distortion Pedal, and the Modulation Pedal. On the right side of the GUI is where you will find the Cabinet panel; which, is where you will find a selection of speaker cabinets, the double track button, and various other knobs and buttons. In the center of the GUI, there is a guitar icon that features the guitar used in the loop; as well as, what the manual calls “special features buttons, knobs, and panels.”
Riffendium 2 – Heavy Guitars
Out of the 3 Riffendium libraries, I would definitely have to say that Riffendium 2 was my favorite. I have always had a fondness for the metal genre, with its heavy guitars and fast solos and this library absolutely delivers. The included styles cover everything from modern Djent to Iron Maiden and also includes the ability to create great sounding guitar solos. I was actually really surprised with how good these heavy loops sounded and with how easy the learning curve was on them.
I started with the Trailer SG loop and laid down a solid 8-bar rhythm bed. I then layered a custom Iron Metal loop on top and repeated both for another 8-bars. At the start of the repeat, I wanted to try out the guitar solos, so I loaded up the key appropriate loops and started adjusting the slices. Within no time, I had an amazing and realistic sounding guitar solo that was fit to offer to the guitar gods. All of this took me about 20 minutes and after adding some drums and a bass guitar, I had the start of a top-notch metal song.
These loops flowed so well together that even adjusting the pitch didn’t produce anything noticeable enough to interfere with the flow. That is one of the things that make the Riffendium libraries sound so natural. The way the loops interact with each other so seamlessly disguises the fact that they’re loops and helps create the illusion of a guitarist sitting in your studio. When the double track feature is activated, it helps the illusion even more by giving the loops a more polished and professional sound. This “sessions guitarist” feeling really helps to stoke the fires of inspiration and will even have the user revisiting past projects in order to breathe new life into them. I was really impressed with the number of songs I could fit these loops into and with how well they sit in non-metal tracks.
I actually found them extremely suitable for trailer music and with the inclusion of the DI and REV versions of the loops, it was as easy as could be to get these loops to play nice with other instruments, including orchestral ones. This was due to the exceptional quality of the loops, the incredible effectiveness of the articulation sequencer, and the variety of tools provided by Audiofier. If they had only included the initial library and snapshots, it would’ve been well worth the price, but adding in the ability to use your own amp simulators and effects with the DI version and the ability to use reversed samples of the slices in the REV version, you get way more than your money’s worth.
Riffendium 3 – Ambient Guitars
This library was one I was really excited to review because of a love for ambient music. As I came into musical maturity, my personal style developed into one suited for trailers and scoring; which, includes a lot of ambient textures. I have been collecting all sorts of ambient instruments for a while now, but a good ambient guitar was something my collection was lacking. Riffendium 3 has definitely filled that gap.
Using this library was actually one of the first times that I preferred the processed version over my own custom settings. These processed loops sound fantastic, and even though Audiofier gives you the DI version, I think they sound great as they are. I was able to drop these loops straight into some projects with only the smallest amount of adjustments and they blended beautifully. These great sounding processed loops are one of the things that remain consistent across all of the libraries. I found them to be incredibly inspirational and with each loop I loaded, ideas just flowed freely whether I ended up using the loop or not.
With Riffendium 3, this inspiration flowed in many directions. I was expecting to just be using them for trailers or scoring, but my first song actually ended up being a sacred piece fit for a church. On my second song, I was determined to put Riffendium 3 through its paces on a trailer track, but after playing with several loops, I ended up with a song that could be on a U2 album. When I did finally get around to writing a trailer track, these loops performed exceptionally. I personally think this is where it shines the most, but it can find a home in many different styles. The REV version of this library sounded pretty good, but I didn’t really care much for it and couldn’t really find a good place to fit the loops into my compositions. The snapshots were useful and helped to create some really interesting takes on the loops and help to add some variety. Overall, Riffendium 3 is a great sounding library and adds some really unique colors to your palette.
Riffendium 2 and 3 were both a pleasure to review. The loops sound great and with a little creativity, will fit into almost any genre. Both of the these libraries can be purchased individually for $85.00 each, but I would strongly encourage grabbing the complete set for $195.00 to really flesh out the series.
Riffendium 2 and 3 contains two versions of the instruments, the Main and the REV
They both contain DI versions of the instrument so you can use your own amps and effects
Effects include: 4 Distortion pedals, 4 Modulations pedals, Delay, Reverb, and 2-band EQ
Riffendium 2 weighs in at about 7 GB and Riffendium 3 is around 6 GB
Requires 5.8.1 or above and does not work with the Kontakt player
Riffendium 2 and 3 each sells for $85.00 from Audiofier
Contributor T. M. K. Davis reviews Riffendium 2 and 3 by Audiofier
“The way the loops interact with each other so seamlessly disguises the fact that they’re loops and helps create the illusion of a guitarist sitting in your studio.”