Native Instruments has announced the release of an update to the Kontakt-based instrument George Duke Soul Treasures.
The update focuses on enhanced time-stretching, made possible by recent updates to the KONTAKT 5 engine. The new time-stretching provides a much smoother, high-quality sound when changing tempo or pitch shifting, adding a new flexibility to the loops and phrases, and making it easier to incorporate them into any production. Native Instruments has published a collection of new audio demos, showcasing the time-stretched loops in action that can be found on the Native Instruments website.
GEORGE DUKE SOUL TREASURES is a vital resource for producers looking for the sound of authentic soul. The instrument provides over 500 sliced and tempo-synced keyboard loops and phrases, recorded exclusively for Native Instruments by American soul and jazz legend George Duke. Instruments used include acoustic, Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Clavinet pianos, recorded using highly sought-after vintage equipment. The instrument provides an immediate harmonic basis and is an ideal starting point for hip-hop, R&B or soulful electronic productions.
The updated GEORGE DUKE SOUL TREASURES runs in the latest version of KONTAKT or the free KONTAKT PLAYER.
To mark this update, the price of the product has been reduced by 50% for one week only. From March 12th to March 19th 2012, the instrument is available for $59.50 USD / 49.50 EUR, exclusively at the NI Online Shop. Owners of the original George Duke Soul Treasures will receive a newsletter with a link to the free update.
Native Instruments has recently released George Duke Soul Treasures, a Kontakt Player powered virtual instrument featuring sounds by the legendary George Duke.
GEORGE DUKE SOUL TREASURES is a treasure trove for producers looking for instant soul for their tracks.
Exclusively recorded for Native Instruments by American soul and jazz legend George Duke, over 500 soul-drenched keyboard loops are ready to go, and without the need to dig for samples through crates of dusty vinyl.
Even if you don’t know George Duke there’s a good chance you have heard some of his work. Check this lovely interview with George below.
Made it through the video? You probably already went on over to the NI Online Shop to buy this library, right? Hello?
George sums up this library pretty well when he explains about the project:
“I was trying to figure out exactly what to play and eventually I just said you know what? I’m just gonna play, because you never know what these guys may wanna use, and so I just let my mind just go, and I mean I played for hours in here. Just playing, okay keep the tape rolling, just rolling just playing… and whatever came out came out.”
And that’s exactly what Soul Treasures provides. Tons of authentic soulful sounds that are just dying to get chopped up and manipulated to fit your own productions. No crate diggin’ required.
Soul Treasures offers loops in four categories: Electric Piano (Rhodes), Grand Piano (acoustic), Wurlitzer and Clavinet. The phrases were recorded using vintage equipment, with both “clean” and “tubes and tapes” signal routing. The tubes and tapes versions were done with lots of analog outboard gear to get that authentic warm vibe. Check the diagrams for details.
The library comes with an advanced Kontakt instrument interface, allowing instant access to various tools to re-arrange phrases and extensively tweak these sliced and tempo-synced loops.
Soul Treasures performance view in Kontakt
In the “Waveform Display” you will notice four buttons in the top middle: tune, volume, attack, and stretch. To change values for these you simply click and drag in the appropriate slices. Very intuitive. Under each slice is a button for reversing the sample and you can drag MIDI sequences to your DAW directly from the waveform display. A handy audio preview button is located in the top left of the display.
Below the waveform display are two page buttons. The Sound page includes controls for:
Signal chain selection, clean or tubes & tape.
Time strech, which activates Kontakt’s Time Machine – syncing loops to the tempo of Kontakt or the host application.
Filter section with 8 filter types.
Echo & Room section with various reverb (impulse response) and delay effects.
The Trigger page is where you control the way the instrument behaves when triggering the slices and effects with your controller, or via the keyboard in the Kontakt interface.
Keyboard sections for FX Chain, Tuning, and Tigger. A white dot indicates an active preset/tuning/slice, and dropdown menus are available for selecting different chains and root tuning.
Latch section with toggles for the fx chain and tuning so that the setting will stay active after releasing the key.
Trigger modes include Loop, One-Shot, and Choke (when a new slice is played it mutes the previous sound).
All these controls make for a pretty flexible instrument, though there are some downsides. Using time stretching on the loops inside the Kontakt has its limits (things sound quite warbly once you move away too far from the original bpm a phrase was recorded in), and you can’t set slices manually.
This can be a minor or major issue depending on how you want to use these sounds. However, Native Instruments provides an additional full set of 24bit wav files for use in other applications. Brilliant!
So what do I think?
Product: Native Instruments George Duke Soul Treasures Format: Kontakt/Kontakt Player NKI’s + 24bit/44kHz samples Price: 99 EUR / $119 USD Like: authentic sound, intuitive and versatile interface, wav files included Don’t like: no manual slicing, timestretching limitations Verdict: 9/10
This is definitely one of my favorite Kontakt instruments. Soul Treasures delivers some outstanding original soulful & funky samples. In combination with Kontakt it becomes a proper instrument with various ways to manipulate the sounds on the fly.
The range of sounds and melodies is more versatile than you might expect. I love hearing subtle nuances in the phrases and I can just imagine George as he was recording these sounds, for hours and hours. It feels and sounds like a labor of love.
In short, I think Soul Treasures is a true gem. When you think of it, it’s really amazing that you can actually buy a set of performances by this legendary musician. The samples are truly inspiring and I reckon the sounds of Soul Treasures will be used in countless modern day productions.
Native Instruments has released Scarbee Vintage Keys, a collection of 4 electric pianos for Kontakt (Player) 4.
SCARBEE VINTAGE KEYS contains four classic sampled keyboards from the 60s and 70s: The legendary MARK I, A-200, CLAVINET and PIANET models. This bundle opens up a treasure chest of authentic, soulful sounds.
Scarbee Vintage Keys
SCARBEE A-200 — This KONTAKT Instrument delivers an unrivalled reproduction of one of the most sought-after electric pianos. The character of the SCARBEE A-200 ranges from soft and sweet to a more biting, overdriven sound when played harder. The distinctive sound of the original A-200 was much loved by pop and rock bands in the 1960s and 70s and has recently found favor with a whole new wave of pop, indie and jazz and electronic artists. The SCARBEE A-200 was derived from Scarbee’s legendary “Edgy Electric Piano”.
SCARBEE MARK I — At last, the legendary electric piano of the 1970s has been sampled to perfection in all of its analog brilliance. The classic sound provided by the SCARBEE MARK I ranges from warm and mellow to bright and ‘barking’ and can also produce chiming bell-like tones. While it is of course the perfect choice for jazz, funk, fusion and R&B, this KONTAKT instrument is also versatile enough for any production where authentic electric piano sound is essential. The SCARBEE MARK I was derived from Scarbee’s legendary “Classic Electric Piano”.
SCARBEE CLAVINET/PIANET — The SCARBEE CLAVINET is a meticulously sampled and immanently playable Hohner Clavinet. This highly distinctive electrophonic keyboard has been used extensively on numerous classic funk, soul, reggae, disco and rock tracks since the late 60s. The PIANET – a perfectly captured Hohner Model N Pianet – is a classic electro-mechanical piano with a vibraphone-like tone due to its “sticky hammers”. The SCARBEE CLAVINET/PIANET was derived from Scarbee’s legendary “Funky Electric Piano” and “Sticky Electric Piano”.
Scarbee Vintage Keys is available to purchase for 149 EUR. The instruments are also available separately for 69 EUR each.
Modartt has released Clavinet CL1, a new add-on for virtual piano instrument Pianoteq.
The CL1 clavinet add-on, modelled after the well-known D6 electric clavichord, brings you the seducing bright staccato rhythms heard in many rhythms & blues, pop, funk, disco and reggae songs from the seventies.
Thanks to the powerful technology provided by physical modelling, it offers in contrast to the original instrument a sustain pedal, an extended range from C0 to C6 (original range F0 to E5), a variable mute bar, continuous pick-up mixing, and possibilities to adjust the timbre such as hammer hardness, overtones and resonator.
There is also a wah-wah feature and customized EQ presets.
The clavinet add-on is embedded in demo mode in Pianoteq’s latest version 3.5.3 and can be unlocked for 49 EUR.