When UJAM launched their Beatmaker range of plug-ins last year we highlighted how genre specific they were, we’ve seen virtual instruments, which are popular with producers of specific styles of music, synths like NI’s Massive or Lennar Digital’s Sylenth come to mind for EDM producers, We also see instruments, which target a specific era but what we felt was new about the UJAM Beatmakers was just how specifically they targeted what I’ll refer to as sub-genres.
Hip Hop? What Kind Of Hip Hop?
Taking Hip Hop as an example, I could load up some 808 samples and be broadly in the ballpark for sounds we’d all associate with Hip Hop but to anyone actively engaged in that genre will understand, “Hip Hop” covers nearly 40 years of music!
The Beatmakers from UJAM are more than virtual instruments, in that they present a deliberately limited set of choices, I’d rather call them focussed rather than limited. You have sounds, patterns and processing which all remain within the style they present.
Focused Choices True To The Genre
This approach can be divisive, as by focusing tightly on the style they, by definition, exclude many choices but this would be to miss the point of these instruments and what makes them unique. In the same way as using PHAT, SOLID or HEAVY will introduce a vocabulary of sounds and styles, which are characteristic to the style as presented by that instrument, you can exclude all those choices which fall outside that style by using a Beatmaker. Of course how good the music you produce with these instruments will be depend on the other choices you make but that’s the trick isn’t it?
In these three videos, producer Daniel Ruczko presents each instrument, and the 3 videos give a good idea of the similarities and differences between the three VIs. If you know any of the UJAM instruments you’ll find the UI easy to navigate.
UJAM EDEN - Dance Music And EDM
UJAM HUSTLE - Bass Music, Grime, Trap And Dirty South
UJAM DOPE - Boom Bap
Find out more about UJAM’s range of virtual drummers, guitarists, bassists and beatmakers at the UJAM website.