1:1 copy of the review,
published in the tracking, music & composing e-zine Our Place 4/2000


MAZ: vocal construction kit

Prize:  around 25 Euro/$
Contributor: MAZ (http://www.maz-sound.com)
Format: XI, WAV
Concept: over 1000 Vocals - songs, hooks, lines, jingles
Demo: look at http://www.maz-sound.com/products, over 10 MB

Some days before christmas 1999 a new sample CD came out. Many people were waiting for this, because both the distributor and the sample-artists are well known to the tracking-scene. All vocals were recorded at the x-pert media studio in Germany. Some of you may know that these guys were composing music as "Morbid Minds" :). And I think MAZ himself is one of the first persons that a tracker gets to know when he has access to the web.

Okay, after I prelistened some sounds on the homepage I decided to buy the CD. I still think that it was a good decision, and so I want to write some comments and critics here. Maybe this will help you :).

Most of the delivered vocals are so called "construction kits". This means that you have complete lines, hooks, and songs that can be arranged just as you like. For example you may have the hook 01:


The whole passages are rapped or sang by different people - male and female. Now you can choose your prefered artist and arrange your song. For example you may take hook 01 and change it to BETTER THAN YO MOTHA OR ANYONE ANOTHA  I PLAY MY GAME UNDACOVA;  BROTHA  BROTHA - MY RHYME'S SMOTHA LIKE NO OTHA. And it still makes sense ;)). The BPM settings differ from song to song and hook to hook (BTW: accidently MAZ forgot to deliver a table of right tempos. But you can download it now from his homepage.), most styles are around 125-135 BPM. However - the fastest song has 146, the slowest 102 BPM. So the construction kits are most useful for funky house tracks or songs with some fast rap-stuff. And if you pitch it up you can also do happycore *g*. To give the average tracker a chance to make quality stuff all XIs were set up with a typical vocal-reverb. Sounds nice and isn't to individualistic.

Another thing are the jingles. These are short and in most cases not directly connected samples that are processed and effected differently to spice up your songs. Here are the different folders and my personal opinions:

FUNNY: very strange vocals, often pitched. Sometimes useful, err... sometimes :o)

LOFI: these samples are dirty. Real d'n'b stuff for some means.

MISC: various other vocals that don't fit exactly into other categories. Useful.

MYSTIC: dark vocals, partly directly from hell *g*. Lowpitched.

OHH_AHH: things like "uh la la laaa", not directly choirs. Somehow nice, but hard to use.

PITCHED: well... pitched. Up and down. Partly happycore stuff here. And progressive techno vocals (if you're from Germany you know what I mean ;).

SHOUTS: mostly male, sometimes with hard delay. Don't wait for typical MC shoutings.

SPACE: whoa, robots are speaking :). Quite nice. NOT vocoder-like.

STRETCHED: s..t..r..e..e..e..t..c..h..e..d.... Yes, really kewl. I think many people can use this for their house tracks, great to make some bridges and fill-ins.

SYNTHCHOIR: well, synthchoirs can be found here. But I think these choirs aren't satisfying, sorry. First of all, there aren't any loops. That's bad. No1 Instruments has the best loops ever and so I think it should be possible to include them here, too. Secondly, I don't like the sound quality here. All the other samples are *really* good, but here it's different. :(

VOCODED: ahhh, this one is kewl :). Vocoded vocals, hard or soft. I like this folder, because it's easy to find groovy inspiration here. If you don't have a vocoder at home - take this!

To finish my article: both quality and quantity are satisfying - and the prize is simply the best you can get today. A typical vocal CD of this professional style often costs around 75 Euro/$, this one is available for 25!! Well, I think "vocal construction kit" is a must have for house/funk/freestyle producers. And all the others might be really happy with the jingles. To speak for myself: I don't produce house all day long, but actually I used some stuff of the CD for my track "Acid Angels" (look at the "Songs"-section of Our Place)... and it was useful. Also happy hardcore producers might see in this CD a great way to fresh and individualistic tracks. I personally like it :)).

OK, CU and greets,

BassPlace ^ d-lab42
(bassplace@gmx.net, http://beam.to/our-place/)

(Text received 2-Apr-2000, written by BassPlace)