ModeAudio is making big waves in the online music production scene with many great releases in recent months. Today we look at their Urban Middle East sample collection and tell you what we think!
I have had a life-long love affair with music. It's something I'm truly passionate about. But it's the sounds that really get their hook in me. I think it probably goes beyond love. It's fair to call it an obsession. When people ask me what my favorite music is, I usually respond with the typical, It's an unfair question' line. But really, it's the sounds that surround us as we walk through this world that I covet the most. And as a professional who spends time seeking out and capturing high definition recordings of the sounds around us, I am always on the lookout for like-minded companies doing the same in hopes of hearing more moments I was unable to be present for.
After all, that is what this is really all about. Much how a photograph captures the imagery of a moment in time and video captures movement in time, field recordings capture the energy and life of a moment. Collections like Urban Middle East allow you to instantly transport yourself around the world, offering auditory glimpses of the culture and the life pulsing through the moments captured on tape'. I still like that term and use it frequently, regardless of the fact that we live in a digital world now for the most part.
One thing I have quickly come to appreciate about ModeAudio is their commitment to quality, not quantity. The Urban Middle East field recording collection contains only six recordings. The quality, clarity and usability whinging through every second of each capture. One of the recordings comes from an open-air vegetable market. Although the voices speak in a tongue I do not understand, I knew to my core the conversations happening around me as soon as I clicked play. I lived in SE Asia for a year, on a whim. Submerging ourselves in a culture completely foreign to us forces us to notice things we normally may not. The smallest of sounds can bring a whole scene together and seal the moment forever in your memory.
This is the mark of a good field recording. Does it transport us to another time and place? Do the individual sounds stand out on their own and yet all play a piece in the music of life in the recording? Is it a fair representation of what took place in that moment in time? The Urban Middle East collection is a nice escape from the typical Western field recording so often heard in music these days. That dog sounds somehow different than the dogs in my neighborhood. Did that toddler just say something in a foreign language or was it just gibberish? I can't for the life of me figure out what kind of bird that is in the background.
Ooh, I like those sounds in the background.
I love those moments. People appreciating the everyday sounds from a parallel universe. The sounds may not be from their neighborhood market or fields at dusk, but they are still universal. They still hold the same magic for all of us. That is what I felt about the Urban Middle East field recording collection from Mode Audio. They captured real-life moments of time, nothing special nothing over-the-top. Just life, as it unfolds, no matter where you happen to be.
We decided to put together a couple minutes of music using each of the field recordings to show them off, rather than share the standard demo tracks you might expect. In total, only a small handful of seconds of the recordings were actually used. The only sounds heard in this little demo that are not part of the Urban Middle East collection are the kick drum, the hi-hat, the claps and the synth, which is part of a soon-to-be-released preset pack for NI Massive from a new OhmLab collaboration.
No processing of any kind here except some basic EQ to eliminate some environmental noise, a couple of delay builds for the intro/outro and a touch of panning modulation on one of the samples to add a little movement to the mix. So what you hear is what you can expect when you begin using the Urban Middle East collection yourself. This pack is OhmLab approved and we are happy to endorse it!
[Please visit the original review page to listen to Ohm Lab's demo track]