Heavenly Music RamJam
For the Atari ST
RamJam is a new(ish) idea from software producers Heavenly Music who modestly describe them as 'killer grooves'. They are basically MIDI Files of backing tracks which may be loaded into your ST and jammed along to.
There are ten grooves in all - Blues, Funkjam, Fusion, Jazzswing, Jig (rather more C&W than Irish in feel), Laidback, R&B 1 and 2, Salsa and Southam. Some of these files are big - Southam is over 80K - so you may have to remove your auto programs and desk accessories if you're running one of the bigger sequencer packages such as Cubase or Notator.
All the jams are good fun, although seventy-seven bars of Funk in Dm can be a bit wearing. The Fusion groove is absolutely amazing - it certainly sounds like someone had fun programming it. Along with hectic piano and brass solos, it abounds with manic synth and bass arpeggios. All the pieces contain solo lines which can provide the starting point for your own ideas for riffs (okay, so lift 'em, I won't say anything). The idea appears to be to set up a loop point on the last chorus, play till you drop, then exit from the loop and play through to the end of the jam.
Of course, there's nothing to stop you transposing sections of a jam to create versions which are more harmonically interesting and, dare I say it, perhaps even think about writing a song around it.
All the pieces are configured for the Roland U220 which HM swear by - no, not at! - and although they're close to Roland's GS standard, you will probably find you have to make some adjustments to the sounds (the basses in particular) and volume levels (volume and pan data are included in the tracks and are easy to edit). But once done, there should be nothing to stop you enjoying yourself immensely with RamJam. It's a neat idea and worth every penny.
Price: RamJam Vol-1 £12.95.
More from: Heavenly Music, (Contact Details)
Review by Ian Waugh
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