Review: ROCK Music from Bolder Sounds


Rock Music by Bolder Sounds is a breath of fresh air amongst the myriad of percussion samples dotting the musical landscape. Featuring single hits and loops on suspended slate rocks, one has only to close their eyes to be transported to the time of our distant ancestors taking their first steps on mankind’s musical journey with naught but bone and rock.

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Review: ROCK Music from Bolder Sounds


ROCK Music was started in the year 2000 by Dennis Burns and his friend Tom Wasinger in Boulder, Colorado. It was initially a part of the Best of Bolder Library and was called Suspended Slate Rocks before its current incarnation. This version features a Kontakt engine designed by Bo Clausen and is separated into 2 different categories, hits and loops, each one featuring 7 different slate rocks. Both of these categories can be used in conjunction with each other to create numerous rhythmic possibilities.

ROCK Music sells for $59.00 from Bolder Sounds.


When I was first assigned to review a percussion library called ROCK Music, I thought was that it would be another drum library focusing on the rock music genre. After I opened the manual for the library, I was interestingly surprised to find out that it was more than your typical drum library.

As described in the manual, this library features suspended slate rocks played with mallets, hand hits, sticks, brush hits, brush sweeps, and brush swirls. With my interest peaked and a little apprehension about the musical uses of slate rock, I loaded up one of the hit libraries and was taken aback by how versatile it was.

I loaded up one of the hit libraries and was taken aback by how versatile it was.

Each hit, with the variety of beaters, sounded like a completely different instrument. When played with hand hits, the slate rocks sounded like they could’ve been a traditional animal skin drum versus the almost pitch-like instrument sound when played by mallets. These different sounds coupled with the onboard effects make it very easy to create an effective percussive track, no matter the genre. The onboard effects are on the back page and can be accessed through the drop-down menu located in the bottom right- hand corner of each menu.

The effects are laid out in an easy to use manner and simply require you to turn the desired effect on. Once turned on, the global space box displays the relevant parameters to be adjusted and in the conditions section, you can select whether the effects are applied globally or on a per key basis. I really appreciate the GUI design and how easy it was to move around the various instruments and settings.

After this initial test, I loaded up one of the slate loop libraries and was impressed yet again. As a composer/percussionist, I always pride myself on being able to create great sounding drum and percussion tracks without using loops in my compositions. That changed with this library.

The loops in this library are so much more intricate than what I could coax out of the hits

The loops in this library are so much more intricate than what I could coax out of the hits and goes to show the experience that Dennis Burns has in playing slate rock. They come with patterns in 4/4, 6/8, and a 3 against 2 polyrhythm. This is a valuable asset to have with such a unique library and will help those that are rhythmically challenged be able to create great sounding percussive tracks. For composers who like a more hands-on approach to percussion, the ability to layer the hit libraries on top of the loop libraries is a great feature and will satisfy that creative itch within.

ROCK Music is a great percussion library and will be a great tool in the toolbox for anyone who is looking for a unique percussion sound. This library is a good choice for composers that work with trailer music or video game scoring. The slate rock has an antiquated sound and would fit perfectly in an ancient theme, though it is not limited to a specific genre.

As with all of our reviews, be sure to check out the demos and official videos (below) to make sure this library will work for your unique needs.


Rock Music contains samples of 7 suspended slate rocks sampled in detail with mallet, hand, stick and brush hits as well as brush sweep and swirl articulations.It also contains 13 Slate Loop instruments included in 4/4 time, 6/8 time and 4/4 loops with 3 against 2 polyrhythms.

The Kontakt scripting engine created by Bo Clausen is flexible and creative. The possibilities of making your own unique ROCK kits is limitless as well as intuitive.

This library does require Kontakt 5.5 or higher

The full uncompressed library is 3 GB but has been Kontakt compressed to 2.3 GB for convenience.

ROCK Music sells for $59.00 from Bolder Sounds.



Demos of ROCK Music from Bolder Sounds



Videos of ROCK Music from Bolder Sounds