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SOFTWARE AND SOUNDWARE

In this section, we're predominantly if not stricktly focusing on the producer of (DUB) Reggae Music. You'll find in-depth reviews of buyable software and loops/samples necessary for the construction of (DUB) Reggae music in a digital environment. For reviews of free downloadable software and sounds, go to the Download page at Studio Dubroom.

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Don Goliath Presents Reggae & Dub Acapellas
DUBROOM SOFTWARE AND SOUNDWARE REVIEW
WWW, August 2014 - Introducing what can easily be called the best line of Reggae Vocal Sample packs until this date: "Don Goliath Presents Reggae & Dub Acapellas". Obligated material for every self-respecting (online) Dub/Reggae producer in need for vocals, without apology and exaggeration. Yes, that's a description and not a slogan. And here is the proof and reasoning to back it up. 

When you go to the various websites where the online (DUB) Reggae artists/producers upload their material, it will not take too long before you stumble upon a tune that has one of these well known jingles from Mikey Dread's albums, or Prince Far I, or Jah Thomas. Just three, you know. But "everyone" knows them and even though non-commercial releases will usually not be objected, using such vocal samples is not really a sign of dignity.

Producing your own (DUB) Reggae and releasing it in a legal way: let's call it the Dignity Combination.

Sure, there were times when it was simply not possible for your average online Dub producer to obtain vocal material in a legal way and not get bankrupt. Even stronger, there simply was no vocal material available for use in your own productions until more recently, when DUB DROPS released their excellent "SOUND SYSTEM VOCALS" featuring Dennis Alcapone and Horseman. Three releases, all three reviewed in the Dubroom and used in the productions of the studio that is attached to this website. 

And now there is the line of Reggae & Dub Acapellas by Don Goliath.

Or, to be more specific, presented by Don Goliath, who also contributed vocally.

When you've never heard of Don Goliath, and you're looking at names like Horseman and Dennis Alcapone as an alternative option, you can make the enormous mistake of overlooking this line of Reggae Vocal sample releases. A mistake which can easily be overcome, though, by continuing to read this (first) review.

Let's carry on dropping names, just to make some points:

  • Dillinger
  • Trinity
  • Kojak
  • Lone Ranger
  • U Roy
  • Prince Jazzbo

All six names have, like Dennis Alcapone and Horseman, legendary status. U Roy can be considered the founding father of DJ-ing, not just in Reggae but in every style of music including Hip-Hop. Lone Ranger has been voicing for Studio One, the starting point of too many careers to mention. Dillinger had a world hit with "Cokane In My Brain", Trinity voiced the classic "Jesus Dread". Before Kojak chanted as a DJ, his got a name as part of the duo Kojak and Liza. Prince Jazzbo features on classic albums from Black Ark and has many essential productions on his own name. And that's just a little name dropping to set the tone.

The tone of Roots Reggae as authentic as authentic can be.

Yes, you've guessed it. Don Goliath's series has all six of these famous vocalists included. Among much more, that is.

Read on.

When you listen to the Dubroom productions with vocals of DubDrop's Sound System Vocal releases volumes one, two and three, it becomes clear how -with the effort and hard work that every self-respecting producer of (DUB) Reggae should put in his/her productions- the MC's are very versatile. There is of course the need for harmony with the chords, bassline and -arguably- tempo, but even a few lines can bring your production to a higher level.

There's the first possible application of the DJ vocal samples provided in this six-volume line of Reggae & Dub Acapellas presented by Don Goliath.

The first, not the last.

The main difference between DubDrops and Don Goliath's series is, that each and every Acapella actually is actually a studio recording of a full-length lyrical track. So where DubDrops provides you with the right snippets, you have to make your own when you want to use the vocals from Don Goliath's release in the same way. Or just use the few "phrases" provided with the original packages.

Let's talk a little bit about the packages.

The series are presented in six volumes, but that doesn't really mean a thing in itself. Exactly the reason why it is not enough to just review the volumes one by one. Every volume, namely, is a collection of five different tracks (called "stems") which can be bought separately. A possibility that you should definitely consider, given the fact that virtually all vocal styles of Reggae are represented and you might just have a few here and there incompatible with your specific style.

Every track/stem comes in the form of several choruses and verses and a number of "phrases". Where some of the phrases seem to be just random picks from the choruses and verses, others contain extra vocal material. The choruses and verses are nicely cut, ready to enter the Loop Player (i.e. Dr. Rex). They're usually in the tempo of 140 BPM and when you're really, really lazy you can just do this: Go to Don Goliath's website, download his free mixtapes with the song(s) that you have purchased, find out the chords, pick the verses and choruses for the Acapella pack(s) and just paste them in your loop player. 

They will more or less match but you will be disabled from making use of the real power that is in these packs.

In fact, all you will be doing is re-constructing the riddim from which the recordings are taken and originality will stay far. 

In reality, the recordings are not loops even though you can use them as such. They are vocal recordings recorded with a specific chord sequence in a specific tempo. The chord progressions of Don Goliath's tracks and the sequence in which he used the vocal recordings are his', and should be seen more as a guideline than as a construction manual. 

After all, it's you will have to produce the music that will carry to vocals and much if not everything depends on you and the way you deal with these vocal recordings. 

Tempos are relative. At school, children learn to divide numbers. You can use a loop from this pack, tell your loop player that it's 140 BPM and you will have x amount of bars. Where the loop will last let's say 8 bars with 140 BPM, it will last 10 with 175 BPM and 8 with 105. Use things creatively, do not treat the choruses and verse as loops, and you will be able to unleash some real power here. 

Even chords are relative. All that matters is the tone of the singer. Some wave files contain dual voices, never without having the single voice recordings too. A short example: a singer can sing in an "A" tone, where there are over six chords all featuring that tone. Use your creativity and personal preference there and not only will the vocalists take your production to a next level, you will do the same with the singer/MC. 

Best is to first go to your Wave File editor and open the 24 Bit Wave files. Cut every single phrase and save them as separate wave files. Trigger them as one-shots in your DAW and not as a loop. You will be able to completely change and re-arrange the "loops", you will be able to use virtually any BPM and not limit your choice of chord progression to the original release. Consider the possibility of combining two different tracks/stems alone, and realize the virtual endless ways to utilize the acapellas. 

Consider the possibility of combining styles, even. 

Don Goliath's series covers virtually all. We've mentioned the MC's, but now take a look at the complete list

VOLUME ONE

  • Trinity
  • Jr. Tiger
  • Kojak
  • Lone Ranger
  • Prince Jazzbo

VOLUME TWO

  • Clarity
  • Ibel
  • Seamus
  • Tallis
  • Jr. Tiger

VOLUME THREE

  • Taran Thriller (4 tracks)
  • Venam

VOLUME FOUR

  • Jr. Cat
  • Jr. Tiger
  • Dillinger
  • U Roy
  • Kamouflage

VOLUME FIVE

  • Piracy
  • Jah Rooti
  • ADX
  • Assante
  • Lion Tafari

VOLUME SIX

  • Penti
  • Kontent
  • Masta Jay
  • Clifton Yeates
  • Ras Khaleel

Some of the names might ring a bell when you've been following up and coming artists. Let's mention the US based female DJ Piracy and Ras Khaleel, both featured on the Dubroom's "Reel To Real Dubwise EP". A singer in the line and style of Luciano, a DJ in the style of let's say Ranking Ann. You can opt to go deeper into the direction of Dancehall and get yourself some works of Taran Thriller or Jr. Tiger. Or perhaps, you prefer a Rub a Dub style? There is Jr. Cat and Kojak, to name but two. 

Let's just mention the prevalent styles, before we continue. Roots DJ, Rub a Dub, Sing-Jay, Juggling, Ragga, Dancehall, Contemporary Roots. Yes, that is more or less the whole spectrum, especially because we are speaking about specific vocal styles. There's nothing to keep you using a Dancehall vocal over a deep Roots Reggae tune, or put U Roy's very, very specific style of chanting on your hardly-reggae-anymore Dub Techno or what have you. 

Ah, wait. 

Yes, there is actually something that could keep you and that has to do with the fact that not everybody is able to perform online payments, especially not the USD 50 (EUR 37) charged per volume. This is where it comes in very handy that you can also buy a track/stem for around USD 10 (EUR 8) per piece. Where Loop Masters accepts PayPal and PayPal accepts just about anything one way or another, you don't need a Credit Card and where Loop Masters always gives you like 10/15 % back in the form of "virtual loyalty cash" that you can use for your next purchase you can easily spread your purchases over several months. Gives you something to look forward too as well.

Even in the case you're unable to perform any online payment (usually this means you do not have a bank account), you can still benefit from the Don Goliath series by downloading the demo packages. They too include a license for you, and when you have scored your world hit with your commercial release by using the material in that Demo package then you are able to buy the whole thing. 

Why is all of this relevant?

Actually, it's pretty obvious. Can you use some vocal works in your productions? Of course you do, otherwise you won't be reading this in the first place. Do you want them? That's one more silly question indeed. Of course you do, and you know what for as well. 

Oh, and yes...

The Don told the Dubroom that there won't be a part seven to don't wait.

Press "GET" to go to the product page or press DEMO (ZIP) to get yourself a small demo package. You'll have to register yourself and be logged in at LOOPMASTERS.com in order to download the Demo. 

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