Mode Audio Diamond Web Review
With this new pack, the crew at Mode Audio has provided some gritty, entrancing sequences for deep house aficionados. Diamond Web is a toolkit that gives us some rudimentary elements of the genre, with harsh synths, buzzing basslines and rough drum kits that are prepared to help producers craft some mesmerizing walls of sound.
Some of what’s available in this pack might seem a bit simplistic due to several of the drum loops and bass riffs not offering too much in the way of innovation, but that’s not to say that the whole pack is lacking in that area. There are some great takeaways from this collection, particularly for those not too familiar with deep house, and the sounds that really shine do mostly make up for the others’ shortcomings.
Let’s take a look at each section individually.
Drum Loops, Fills and Percussion
The drum loops cover most of the spectrum of frequencies and energy levels, offering subby kicks to chunkier mid-range punches, subtle clicks to banging snares, rattling hi-hats to grating scrapes, and the mix on them is rough around the edges, giving them that trademark organic feel that deep house is known for. A few of the sounds in these loops jump out from some unexpected spots in the mix in terms of panning. The “MachineCity” and “Obscura” selections are particularly strong here.
Many of the percussion loops have some of the most interesting patterns in these categories, featuring some hypnotic experimental textures that enhance the groove of any track.
Although a lot of these loops feel a little basic, the samples used to make them are also provided in the pack, so you can always just whip up your own. These sounds are valuable bits that will benefit any producer.
These are pretty standard patterns, and while they’re definitely enough to give producers some tools to get started, there isn’t much in the way of versatility when it comes to the percussive aspect of the riffs. The “Obscura” and “SweetPea” selections have some interesting rhythmic stuttering, and it would have been good to hear a bit more of that. Despite what this section seems to be lacking, however, the loops are at least a good amount of raw low-end layers to chop up beyond recognition and start building tracks with.
Keys and Instruments
This assortment of melodic concepts offers some very catchy riffs that have an added flair to their catchiness from the fuzzy, somewhat lo-fi mixes they’re presented in. The “ElegantScent,” “FoxHound” and “GreenDream” selections stand out the most, consisting of sweet licks that could be the basis of some killer tunes.
While several of these sounds are relatively generic for any kind of loop pack, there are some highlights: the “Obscura Texture” is an interesting reversed loop of a ringing bell which could work in a variety of settings, while “StarGazer” and “SweetPea” are the most useful of the bunch. The sweeps are useful as well, but as I mentioned before, they’re not too distinguished from any others you’re likely to find. However, their inclusion in this pack makes Diamond Web an overall well-rounded bundle of goodies to tamper with.
Definitely the highlight of the pack; Mode Audio has supplied producers with some melodic phrases that don’t just represent what deep house typically sounds like, they’re the building blocks of potentially great tracks, and that’s the most important thing they could offer. The “Oceania” selection has some intriguing arpeggios to work with, while “Obscura,” the first “Phoenix” lead and “FoxHound” have a warbling aspect to their textures that make them stand out.
The “StarGazer” and “GreenDream” loops are my absolute favorites in the whole pack, the former rocking some beautiful chords and the latter sprinkling delicate leads in the air. They’re emotive, they’re catchy, they’re pretty much perfect.
Overall I feel like Mode Audio has produced better sample packs in the past, but even so, this is still a formidable collection of sounds to add to your arsenal. There are a handful of loops that truly shine, and applying them to some new tracks is guaranteed to yield some great results.