The Best Drum And Bass Sample Packs From Prime Loops

Since drum and bass exploded out of the UK underground scene, emerging from the rave and jungle scenes in the 1990s, there have been a whole host of breakaway genres and styles.

From liquid and jungle, right through to techstep and neurofunk, the drum and bass scene has never been so diverse with more and more artists coming through than ever.

Yet, no matter how many different subgenres emerge, they all centre around the most vital element of the track - the all-important kick and snare drum pattern.

Almost all of the best drum and bass samples take inspiration from the famous ‘Amen break’, a 4-bar drum solo from the song “Amen, Brother” performed by the 1960s funk and soul band The Winstons.

The original track hardly made a dent into the charts when it was first released, but quickly found fame during the 1980s and onwards. This was when the drum solo became widely sampled in breakbeat, hardcore and hip-hop, including N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton.

Since then, the drum sample has been chopped and changed in almost every way conceivable. Whilst it might not be as prominently used as back in the 80s and 90s, the legacy of the Amen break and DnB sample packs borrowing from other genres is still strong.

Early drum and bass borrowed heavily from Jamaican dub and reggae sounds, thanks to artists like Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby breaking new ground in the studio by remixing existing reggae tracks to create ‘dubs’ of the originals and pushing a focus on bass-heavy rhythms.

As the genre evolved, funk and soulful breaks came into play in a way that was also seen within hip-hop samples. But as hip-hop focused more on melodic instrumental lines and driven vocals, DnB, taking influence from the booming UK rave culture, took on gritty, sawtooth basslines and syncopated percussion.

These days the scene is awash with so many sub-genres, regional variants and crossovers it’s almost too hard to keep track. If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, here are 5 essential drum and bass subgenres to check out.

Jungle

Although less of a subgenre and more of a precursor to D&B, jungle broke out in the UK rave scene in the 1990s. It features fast tempos of 150-200 Bpm, deep, rolling dub and reggae basslines and syncopated percussion loops.

Jungle leans heavily on Jamaican and Caribbean influences, taking elements of dub, reggae and dancehall which can be found everywhere; in amongst the drum fills, vocal fx, stabs, breakbeats and basslines. You can still find Jungle’s influence in more recent releases from the likes of Shy FX, Chase & Status and Sigma.

Essential jungle artists: Shy FX, Benny Page, Fabio and Grooverider, Goldie, Rebel MC

Drumstep

Often known as the love-child of dubstep and drum and bass, drumstep takes inspiration from the half step beat in dubstep, making it essentially a half-time version of drum and bass.

Tempo-wise, drumstep can be anything between 160-180 bpm but you’ll find most tracks are in the region of 170 bpm. It’s a combination of this and the half step feel, which gives it a sense of having a much slower tempo. This style has been used in chart-topping tracks by the likes of DJ Fresh and Dubstep crossover artists like Excision and Skrillex.

Essential drumstep artists: Dirtyphonics, Heist, Urban Assault

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Breakcore

Also known as hardcore jungle, this niche genre of Drum and Bass borrows heavily from other subgenres such as hardcore and industrial. It sticks out thanks to its heavy use of different time signatures, such as ⅞, kick drums, breaks and drum and bass samples.

High tempos are the aim of the game for breakcore, with mixes clocking in anywhere between 180 Bpm right up to 300 Bpm, based around as many manipulations of the Amen break as you can think of.

Essential breakcore artists: Aphex Twin, Bong-Ra, Venetian Snares

Techstep & Neurofunk

Popular in the late 1990s, Techstep takes on board sci-fi inspired audio loops, dark, synthesized samples and a heavy use of processors and effects.

Over time, many of the pioneering techstep artists branched out into Neurofunk, which took a more minimal approach and was influenced more by funk, sparse and tech backbeats instead of breakbeats, with a strong focus on sound design (creating huge and warping basslines), as well as borrowing from techno and jazz.

Essential Techstep and Neurofunk artists: Ed Rush and Optical, Billain, Noisia

Prime Loops Testimonial High Contrast

Liquid

One of the best selling and more accessible sub-genres of drum and bass; liquid emerged around the turn of the century, offering a more ambient, melodic and intelligent approach to drum and bass, making it easier to listen to in the home, as well as in the club.

With a huge reliance on jazz, blues, Latin and soul, liquid funk uses instrumental samples, layers of harmonies and melodies more than its other drum and bass counterparts.

Essential liquid artists: High Contrast, Logistics, DRS, Hybrid Minds, Pola & Bryson

About Prime Loops DnB Samples

With hundreds of the best drum and bass sample packs around available from Prime Loops you can almost be forgiven for not knowing where to start! So we’ve picked out a couple of our favourite DnB sample packs to help get creating your own tracks.

Heist: D&B Massive Presets Vol. 1

Drum And Bass Samples From Prime Loops Heist

Heist has been on the scene for nearly 20 years now; producing tracks for iconic labels such as Roni Size’s Full Cycle, Shy Fx’s Digital Sound Boy and DJ Hype’s Ganja Records, as well as being sound engineer to some of Goldie’s productions.

This set of 90 presets for Native Instruments Massive Synth features a versatile set of sounds perfect for drum & bass, dubstep and neurostep, as well as any other genre that requires a heavy bass.

Click here to download Heist: D&B Massive Presets Vol. 1

Ulterior Motive

Drum And Bass Samples From Prime Loops Ulterior Motive

Bournemouth based Ulterior Motive have been winning over fans and critics alike over the years with their mix of dark electronic basses, organic DnB rhythms and funk-inspired synths.

Racking up over 700MB, this huge pack of drum and bass samples, bass loops, vocal samples and MIDI files contains everything you need to make your own classic drum and bass anthems and even features Massive, FM8 and Retro Synth presets to make creating new tracks even easier.

Click here to download Ulterior Motive sample packs

Neurofunk Vol.1 - Bicubic Audio

Drum And Bass Samples From Prime Loops Neurofunk

Exclusive to Prime Loops, Bicubic Audio specialise in Drum and Bass sample packs, especially Neuro-inspired, from Presets and Drum Breaks to Kits aimed to inspire melodies and exotic percussion samples.

A good start would be the first of the Neurofunk Series; Neurofunk Vol.1 is a sample library which gives you absolutely everything to create your next best Neurofunk Drum & Bass track. New approaches to the sample creation and innovative sound design let us create absolutely unique sounds which will change your perception about modern drum & bass sample libraries.

From now on, you are able to find ready-made ideas for intros, crunchy basses, punchy construction drum kits, sharp synths, classic fx and of course, one-shots.

Click here to download Neuro Funk sample packs

Viper Recordings: Official D&B Vol. 1

Drum And Bass Samples From Prime Loops Viper Recordings

Exclusive to Prime Loops, this brand new range of essential Drum & Bass producer tools and samples has been extracted from the divergent minds of Viper Recordings’ choicest artists with each and every sound capable of blowing your tracks into D&B nirvana.

Inside Viper Recordings Official D&B Vol 1 you’ll find over 470MB of super-original D&B ammunition, including high energy drum samples, piercing synths & melodies, brutal Viper style basses, interesting vocal chops, uplifting FX and much more material, all ready for you to chop, change and rearrange to fit your productions.

Click here to download Viper Recordings: Official D&B Vol. 1
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