Goldbaby is the stage name of a dude named Hugo down in New Zealand who makes fantastic sample libraries of drum machines, sound fx and synthesizers processed through choice outboard analog gear and tape machines. Denziens of online forums like Gearslutz revere him, and his friendly responses in those nether regions suggests he’s a nice guy to boot.
I’ve been using his Dirt and Layers pack for awhile, as well as his Vinyl Drum Machines, for which he pressed all the samples onto a vinyl 12″ and recorded them being played through the wax. Labor of love is the term folks use to describe him.
Anyway, he’s having his only sale of the year on during the last week of July, and I picked up some more of his stuff yesterday. I got the new pack pictured above, and 2 of the Tape Drum Machines packs, which are kind of the staple of his catalog. Check it out by signing up for his mailing list to receive the coupon, which may also be accessed by clicking on the picture at the top of this page.
Depressing as the challenges the internet has posed to record labels is, it is pretty great to see how small boutique operations like this can thrive in the digital age. They range in size, but I would put Goldbaby right up there with Madrona Labs, Soniccouture and Ohm Force on my list of favorite software goodies not made by bigger companies like UAD.
It’s easier to use these libraries if you have Maschine or the full (paid) version of Kontakte, or some of the other sample hosts he names I’m less familiar with. Then you can access the library more quickly as its mapped across a keyboard or pads range. The only host I have he makes packs for is EX24 by Apple, which I don’t like. I use them by looping a few bars in Logic and dropping individual samples in on separate tracks to make patterns. All the samples are labeled very clearly in logical folders, but it can be pretty time consuming compared to a drum machine that has it mapped out for you.
My favorite thing about going into the trouble is the 3-dimensional feel of the textures that coat the raw sounds themselves. Some of my favorite samples are just textures, from expected, such as vinyl surface noise, to unexpected, such as a slammed door. I wonder if the got the latter idea from Sun Ra, who dedicates 10 and a half minutes of his album Strange Strings to the playful manipulation of a squeaking door.