The concept behind many of StudioLinked products is to bring you the tools to mimic or recreate existing tracks or styles. They have instruments covering Urban, Hip-Hop, RnB as well as modern contemporary and pop, and are packed full of sounds, samples, loops and construction kit sections to enable you to build you own tracks in that style. Future Pop, so the website says, is inspired by the sounds you find in Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Flo Rida and Pitbull productions to enable you to “kill the radio”, whatever that may mean.
The information online is a bit on the slim side but I can tell you that the instrument categories include 808s, Synth Chords, Synth Guitars, Bass, Plucks, Beat Ideas and Hits. Turning to the video demonstration (below) to dig out what it’s all about I have to hold my cynical English nature in check in order to get past the overblown marketing speak, where I’m asked if I wish I had access to all the instruments and sounds I hear on the radio and top 40 pop hits? Well now I can – after which the narrator appears to sing their own theme song, which is… unexpected.
The video spends 10 minutes demoing sounds and showing them used to recreate some famous tunes. Starts off with some dodgy saxophone samples and then moves on to a questionable guitar synth sound to play Coldplay’s Adventure of a Lifetime. They then demo all the sounds used in a Justin Bieber song and put together an entire mix of Lean On by Major Lazer to the original video with Future Pop sounds – and they don’t stop there.
Even giving allowances for the YouTube compression the sound is brick wall flat, all the instruments as loud as it’s possible to be – which I guess is the way of modern production these days but there seems to be little in terms of velocity layering or dynamic. The demos are well intentioned to showcase exactly what this tool box is about but personally I don’t think the production does them any favours. And do they sound like the intended tracks? Somewhat – there’s definitely potential there.
I do, however, like what they’ve done with the interface. The colour scheme is very enticing, the rendering of the knobs and controls is excellent with a very clear layout. I wish there was more information on what the controls do, what the rev counter thing in the middle does, how you can shape the sounds and bring in your own creativity. Future Pop also includes a separate product called Pop Drummer Beat Machine which looks really interesting and appears to have a sound that’ll melt your face off and rattle your teeth out – I want to know more about that!
Future Pop is available now on OSX or Windows for Kontakt 5.1 or higher for $149.99