FastTrak – Dance eJay / Rave eJay review

bangin' rhythms on your PC
Photo of FastTrak – Dance eJay / Rave eJay
£25 + VAT each (£13 + VAT each for add-on sample kits)

Dance music is everywhere. Clubs, bars, restaurants, van drivers’ open windows; it was even being piped into the hospitality tent at this year’s Royal Ascot (name drop). The following is an excerpt from the NME*.

Some of the most irritatingly catchy dance tunes originate from the personal computers of semi-skilled musicians locked in dingy bedrooms. So it is with Too Untalented, formed the day one of them received a copy of Dance eJay and Rave eJay in the post. Releasing their first album, ‘Tunes from a Mouse’ eight hours later (containing such classics as ‘Calling for your love’ and ‘Funky Mothership’), and their follow-up, the enigmatic ‘What happens if I click here?’ the next day, the band is enjoying dance floor success wherever they go. It can only be a matter of time before they go global.

* Not really.

Unlikely? Perhaps. But the PC has now taken over where once the Amiga and Atari ST ruled the roost. Dance or rave music from your PC is now very much a reality, and we’ve played with two software packages that make this new form of creation more accessible.

Dance eJay was released late last year, and contains over 1,300 sound samples all structured at 140 beats per minute. All the user has to do is string some of them together. There are drums, bass sounds, layers, voices, raps, effects and plenty of other sample sets to play with, and that’s before you install the three additional volumes, giving you added Raps & Voices, Drums & Synths and Space Sounds respectively. The more recent creation is Rave eJay, which is basically the same thing only the samples are all at 180 beats per minute and a bit more ‘out there’. This has a more advanced interface, and again there are three sample add-on packs in the shape of Drum & Bass, Hardcore and Ambient.

Since the software is so easy to use – you just drag and drop samples onto one of the eight available tracks – making tunes is a piece of cake. Unfortunately (or, from a financial point of view, perhaps fortunately) most of our creations sounded like Whigfield, as many of the samples do have a Euro-pop theme to them, probably because the software was created in Germany. But with a bit more effort it is possible to create something that is almost indistinguishable from some of the lesser dance tunes currently gracing club-land.

We’d have liked separate volume controls for each channel, and once we got into the mixing process we’d have loved 16 channels rather than 8. But for quick, easy creation of dance tunes that would probably go down rather well at a summer dance party, there’s nothing to beat these two packages. Large.

Company: FastTrak

Contact: 01923 495496


Verdict

These two music titles are great fun. Rave eJay allows the most tweaking and modification of samples, but we enjoyed Dance eJay the most, as 180 beats per minute is too much for our fragile brains. It's ridiculously easy to create a catchy tune using these packages. In fact, it's almost impossible not to. Top of the Pops, here we come...