Unlike just a few years ago many of today’s software platforms allow you the choice of using several loop formats. Some programs support all three major formats: Acidized WAVs, Apple Loops and REX files. When this is the case, which format should you choose?
Without turning this into a technical examination as to how they are created and differ, here’s the typical advice I give. It’s not all black and white and is based somewhat on personal preference: For a novice user, REX files I think can be difficult to work with because in some programs the beat slices can appear as separate piece (even though they are still connected). They are also sometimes more confusing to import because they need to be imported via an import menu, they don’t reside in the program’s official loop browser. (This isn’t always the case.) So I recommend to those getting started in loops, or those not experienced in audio editing, etc. to go with WAVs or Apple Loops. They basically function the same way and have the same capabilities. You can speed them up about the same and you can slow them down the same.
Now, that being said, if you are a more advanced user, or are very comfortable in your recording program, then I would consider REX files because this major advantage. I have found that you can slow REX files down a lot further than Acidized WAVs so you get more bang for your buck. Now, I’m talking within a standard software app, not a fancy plug-in, (or the new PT) but you can generally slow down WAVs about 10-15% before you start getting significant losses in sound quality. However, with REX files (same DOD Song Set) I can get as much as 40%. So you get a wider range of BPMs from any particular volume. But again, I feel they are generally more difficult to work with. -- Quint