For a few years now I have been a fan of the Ejay series. For those of you not in the know, Ejay is a music creation program that does not require the user to have any musical know how at all. All you need is to have a basic sense of rhythm and Ejay can do the rest for you.
This version Ejay covers Hip Hop and it's the fourth installation of that series. The thing I love the most about Ejay is how easy it is to use and this version despite being a great deal more powerful is no exception to that rule. As you can see from the screenshots, all there really is to it is some bars on the screen that you drag samples onto. They are all encoded at the same beats per minute (BPM) so essentially it doesn't matter what samples you choose, the job is to make them sound good together and that is where the challenge lies.
Quite possibly the only bone of contention that I have ever had about this series is that some of the samples are very hard to find and the fact they have been put together by our non English speaking friends means that sometimes what you and they think are cool are two very separate things indeed.
I found that the voice sample for the most part are a right off and not worth having in the program. It's the only time I wish that they had gotten in some American MCs to record the voice samples for both male and female.
You can also call up the turntables if you think you have what it takes to put together a decent scratch sample, although I did find this awkward and unsatisfying. I am pretty sure that this was my fault though and not a failing on the part of the program. What it takes is putting the needle of the record and then using the mouse and the crossfader on the screen to look after the business end of the scratch.
For those wishing to personalise their sound a bit more than the average person, you can easily and efficiently import new samples into the program and the eJay website also has a number of samples that you can readily download into ejay and adjust the BPM to make it suit your tune. This is harder than it sounds and takes a lot of time and patience.
Once you have finished your mix, you can easily export the file to a .wav format that will allow you to easily and efficiently burn your music to an audio cd. It's really that simple and with literally thousands of samples, you should be able to put together lots of thumpin' songs to bounce to! Recommended!
- Tory Favro