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Introduction to Red Room Audio

We are very pleased to welcome Red Room Audio to Loot Audio. Dickie Chapin (The owner of Red Room Audio) has an interesting past so we decided to ask him a few questions regarding his company and libraries.

Tell us how you got into the business of making sample libraries...

In addition to composing, I've been a graphic designer for a few decades. Several years ago I found myself spending far too much on sample libraries, so I approached a few developers about trading product for design services (GUI's, mailers, web graphics, etc). To my surprise, many of them took me up on the offer. Soon thereafter I had all their products, so they started paying actual money. One of my regular clients was Andrew at Impact Soundworks. After observing the process of making libraries for a while, I approached him with a few ideas of my own. Fortunately, he allowed me to pursue them for distribution on Impact Soundworks. After designing and quarterbacking a few I started thinking I might be able to do this on my own. So, with Andrew's support and guidance, I launched Red Room Audio in 2017.

Tell us a little about your studio – main components, how it came together…

My home studio started out back in 1996 with a Tascam 4-track, an Alesis SR-16 drum machine, a cheap mic, a cheaper guitar and an Ensoniq EPS sampling keyboard (man, do I miss the simplicity of that setup!). I graduated to Roland hard disk recorders (VS-880, 1680 and then 2480) before taking the plunge into the world of DAW's, opting for Logic. Over the years I've added (and then often sold) pieces, collected a few better mics and guitars that were less cheap, and eventually moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. Now I'm fortunate to have a nice, dedicated structure on-property for all my bleeping and honking things. I love collecting old instruments so there's a closet dedicated to that pursuit. Still using (and loving) Logic - it's been a wonderful 20 year relationship.

Tell us a little about your recording techniques and the people you work with...

My personal recording techniques are fairly modest. I'm not one of those guys who throws 20 mics on a wine glass and spends all day positioning them. I took the deep dive into purchasing some gorgeous mics and building a very well-treated room, but in many home recording situations I wind up opting for my handy field recorder for faster results that sound great to my ears. For Red Room Audio libraries, however, I opt to let those more qualified handle the recording and engineering. We've recorded an various cities around the world and worked with some incredibly talented teams. Doesn't hurt to make friends along the way as well.

What plug-ins or outboard do you use?

I have so little time to compose anymore with a company to run and 2 little ones, but when I have to put some finishing polish on samples I reach for iZotope products. For sound design, the weirder and more obscure the better. Zynaptiq and Valhalla have great plugins for quick results in that department. Most everything is in the box these days. Although I occasionally break out my crazy pedal board (which I put a lot of time, effort and money constructing but has yet to pay off) I'm quite content with software.

What is the library you created that you are most proud of?

I have a soft spot for our 4 Palette Orchestra Series products. Not only do I think they're great libraries, but they were also a blast traveling to Europe to record. The Palette series were our first releases when we launched the company, as we really wanted to come out with a bang. In hindsight, given the massive amount of work and stress that went into it, perhaps we were a little ambitious... but it worked out and we're really proud of what we accomplished. As our editor said while in the middle of months of grueling work cutting hundreds of thousands of samples, "why couldn't you just start with a ukulele like everybody else?"

Do you have any interesting plans for the future?

Always! We've got several new products in various stages of production. Some ideas are unique, others have been done before but we want to give them our own spin anyway. Up till now we've released primarily acoustic sampled instruments. That's still my passion and we'll continue making more of those, but we're also expanding into some pretty amazing sound design libraries with the help of some even more amazing designers. I'm really excited for what's to come.

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Cue Builders: Cinematic Rhythms

Cue Builders: Cinematic Rhythms

Cue Builders Cinematic Rhythms contains over 400 tempo-synced percussion loops in 2 categories (Epic and World). Each category offers a wide selection of phrases in 6 time signatures with up to 6 layered (and fully accessible) stems per phrase, conveniently separated by tonal color (High, Mid and Low).

A hand-picked team of 10 sound designers from around the world constructed these phrases using our vast boutique collection of meticulously deep-sampled percussion instruments, recorded on a scoring stage. This unique method allowed us to include several valuable features:

(1) two microphone positions (close and hall),
(2) perfectly synced and fully mixable stems that can be exported individually,
(3) phrases exported at four BPM for exceptional quality regardless of your project’s tempo.

For convenience, all phrases are also available as drag-and-drop .wav files in 16-bit or 24-bit resolution.

View Cinematic Rhythms

Saga: Acoustic Trailer Percussion

Saga – Acoustic Trailer Percussion is an extensive collection of thunderous drums, dynamic metals and other real-world acoustic percussion instruments focused on providing impact and scale to cinematic and trailer music.

SATP features a broad range of deeply sampled instruments and articulations recorded on a scoring stage, including orchestral and world drum ensembles, world drum soloists, cymbals and gongs, oil drums, anvils and a plethora of large metal slams and crashes. Also included are field recordings of giant silos, metal doors, machinery, tools and various small metals. There are over 110 instruments in total and the easy-to-use Kontakt GUI offers plenty of performance and sound shaping options that allow you to customize Saga to suit your compositions

Saga: Acoustic Trailer Percussion
Traveler Series - Bluegrass Fiddle

Traveler Series - Bluegrass Fiddle

Bluegrass fiddling is a distinctive American style characterized by bold, bluesy improvisation, off-beat “chopping”, and sophisticated use of double stops and old-time bowing patterns. Notes are often slid into, a technique seldom used in Celtic styles. Bluegrass fiddlers tend to ignore the rules that violinists follow: they hold the fiddle the “wrong” way and often don’t use the chin & shoulder rests.

We journeyed right to the heart of the Bluegrass State for our Bluegrass Fiddle – Clay City, Kentucky – to the private studio of one of the most renowned names in Bluegrass music, Rickey Wasson. Rickey hooked us up with a true Bluegrass fiddle legend, multi-instrumentalist Ronnie Stewart. Ronnie has appeared on hundreds of records and toured with some of the genre’s biggest names. Working with Rickey & Ronnie was an honor and an absolute blast

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Traveler Series - Bodhrans and Bones

The bodhran is an Irish frame drum with an open side so one hand can be placed against the inside of the head to control the pitch and timbre. It is struck either with the bare hand or a variety of “tippers” and is said to have been developed as the “poor man’s tambourine” by farmers who couldn’t afford the metal. Bones are an instrument often used in traditional Irish folk music, as well as Bluegrass and zydeco. It consists of a pair of animal bones or pieces of wood played by holding them between the fingers and moving the wrist in such a way that they knock against each other.

For Bodhrans & Bones we journeyed to Dublin, Ireland to work with Marcin Oracki, owner and drum builder at Mighty Bodhrans. Marcin has been passionately crafting bodhrans, hosting workshops and performing live for two decades. We also had the pleasure of recording at Herbert Place Studios with producer/engineer James Darkin. Our spirited sessions were fueled by coffee, visits to Searsons Pub, and friendly personal insults and were a complete riot.

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Traveler Series - Bodhrans and Bones
Traveler Series: Celtic Fiddle

Traveler Series: Celtic Fiddle

The fiddle is one of the most important instruments in Celtic music. The fiddle itself is identical to the violin, however it is played differently in widely varying regional styles. Compared to classical violin, Celtic fiddlers tend to make very little use of vibrato. Melodies are embellished through forms of ornamentation, such as cuts, rolls and a variety of grace notes. Slow airs are occasionally performed, but the style is best known for fast, snappy reels and jigs.

For our Celtic Fiddle we journeyed to Dublin, Ireland where we had the honor of working with award winning fiddler Niall Murphy. Niall has carved a reputation for himself in traditional Irish folk circles as a live performer and session player. A veteran of the trad scene, he has shared the stage with The Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, The Dubliners, Alison Krauss and many more. We also had the pleasure of recording at Herbert Place Studios with producer/engineer James Darkin, who was an accommodating and gracious host to us weary travelers and did a fantastic job of running the show.

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