, Benjamin Franklin
, Harry Partch
, instrument plugins
, samples and sound libraries
, Thomas Bloch
Posted in news
on Oct 08, 2009
Soniccouture has released Glass Works, a Kontakt player instrument which collects together 3 extremely unusual and rare musical instruments which use glass to generate sound: Le Cristal, The Glass Armonica, and a set of Cloud Chamber Bowls.
Just locating these instruments was a challenge in itself – the third in the collection, Cloud Chamber Bowls, proved so elusive that after a lot of research and enquiries, we realised that if we wanted to sample some, we would have to build a set ourselves. The first two instruments – both as strange and beautiful as each other – required us to make a trip to Paris.
When beginning to research the Glass / Works instruments, we found that one name was ubiquitous; that of Thomas Bloch. A classical musician specialising in rare instruments, Thomas is a virtuoso who has worked with many famous names – Radiohead, Gorrilaz, John Cage, Tom Waits, and Milos Foreman to name very few. He is best known for 3 instruments – Ondes Martenot, the Cristal Baschet and the Glass Armonica. We contacted Thomas, and to our delight, he agreed to work with us. We travelled to Paris, and down a quiet street in the freezing January weather, we found Thomas Bloch. Working in his garden studio, we spent the next few days exploring the amazing range of sounds stored within. Soniccouture would like to thank Thomas once again for his hospitality in Paris.
Glass Works features
- Le Cristal — The Cristal Baschet or ‘Le Cristal’ was designed in 1952 by Bernard and François Baschet. It consists of about 4 octaves of chromatically tuned glass rods, which are rubbed with wet ﬁngers. The vibration of the glass is passed to a heavy block of metal, which itself is tuned and in fact determines the ﬁnal pitch. The entire mechanism is ampliﬁed by a large steel plate called the “ﬂame”. There are also three small ﬁberglass cones that amplify the higher frequencies.
- 2.5 GB library
- 24 bit 44.1khz Stereo sampling
- Convolution ‘Flame’ Processor : 4 IRs from the steel flame panel
- 6 different articulations : sustain: soft & hard, Accent, percussion: hard & soft mallet, SFX
- 3 Alternate round robin layers per articulation
- 11 Kontakt Player Instruments
- Glass Armonica — The glass armonica, also known as the glass harmonica, bowl organ, hydrocrystalophone, or simply the armonica (derived from “harmonia”, the Greek word for harmony), is a type of musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls or goblets graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction – rubbing a wet finger along the edge of the glass, as one might with a wine glass. The instrument was invented by Benjamin Franklin, who called his invention the “armonica” after the Italian word for harmony. On Franklin’s treadle operated version 37 bowls were mounted horizontally on an iron spindle. The whole spindle turned by means of a foot pedal. The modern version uses a silent electric motor. Over time limescale build-up gives the instrument a frosted appearance, like a rare crystal or stalactite.
- 800 MB library
- 24 bit 44.1khz Stereo Sampling
- 3 Alternate Round Robin layers
- Hard & Soft articulation crossfade
- Natural + Synth Kontakt Player instruments
- Cloud Chamber Bowls — The Cloud Chamber Bowls are Soniccoutures recreation of an instrument built in the 1950s by maverick American composer Harry Partch. It consists of hanging “bowls” which are sections of 12-gallon glass carboys. Both tops and bottoms of the carboys are used. Partch had 14 (later 13) bowls hanging from a large wooden frame he called a “tori”. The name “Cloud Chamber Bowls” arose from the fact that Partch found the original tops and bottoms at a Radiation Laboratory at UC Berkeley in 1950. The bowls were originally used for cloud chambers used in tracing paths of subatomic particles.
- 1.38 GB Library
- 24 bit 44.1khz Stereo sampling
- Hard and soft mallet articulations
- 10 Velocity Layers
- 3 Alternate round robin layers
- Original & Chromatic pitch mapped instruments (chromatic mapping extends C1 to C5)
- KSP Jammer – generative arpeggiator tool
Glass Works is available for purchase as a download or on disc for 99 EUR. A bundle with the Skiddaw Stones is available for 139 EUR.
More information: Soniccouture / Glass Works
Soniccouture has announced Glass Works, a fantastic collection of rare instruments.
Glass Works is the first SC product to be packaged in Native Instruments’ Kontakt Player, meaning that non-Kontakt owners can enjoy the enhanced scripting and control that Soniccouture instruments have become renowned for.
Glass Works is a sampled collection of 3 instruments which generate sound from glass.
Glass Works instruments
- The Cristal Baschet
A bizarre ‘sound sculpture’ designed in 1952 by Bernard and François Baschet. It consists of about 4 octaves of chromatically tuned glass rods, which are rubbed with wet ﬁngers. The vibration of the glass is passed to a heavy block of metal, which itself is tuned and in fact determines the ﬁnal pitch. The entire mechanism is ampliﬁed by a large steel plate, called the “ﬂame”. There are also three small ﬁberglass cones that amplify the higher frequencies.
- The Glass Armonica
A musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls or goblets graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction (instruments of this type are known as friction idiophones ). The instrument was invented by Benjamin Franklin, who called his invention the “armonica” after the Italian word for harmony. He worked with London glassblower Charles James to build one, and it had its world premiere in early 1762, played by Marianne Davies.
- Cloud Chamber Bowls
The Cloud Chamber Bowls are Soniccouture’s recreation of an instrument built in the 1960s by maverick American composer Harry Partch. It consists of hanging “bowls” which are sections of 12-gallon glass carboys. Both tops and bottoms of the carboys are used. Partch had 14 (later 13) bowls hanging from a large wooden frame he called a “tori”. The name “Cloud Chamber Bowls” arose from the fact that Partch found the original tops and bottoms at a Radiation Laboratory at UC Berkeley in 1950. The bowls were originally used for cloud chambers used in tracing paths of subatomic particles.
Glass Works will be available at the beginning of October on DVD and Download, priced £99 GBP / $159 USD.
More information: Soniccouture
, Cinematique Instruments
, samples and sound libraries
, Zeitter & Winkelmann
Posted in news
on Sep 02, 2009
Cinematic Instruments has recently launched a new library of rare and special instruments.
Our goal is to create expressive and powerful tools for people who are writing music. No matter what kind of music…
Cinematique Instruments – some of the sampled instruments/objects
Cinematique Instruments libraries
- Autoharp – This is a stringed instrument with a series of chord bars. Despite its name, the autoharp is not a harp – it’s a chorded zither – and it’s the perfect instrument to give subtle highlights to all kinds of music. (6 patches)
- Muted Baritone Ukulele – This is the largest size of ukulele and is tuned differently to the others (D-G-B-E, the same as the last four strings of a standard guitar, as opposed to G-C-E-A). We’ve concentrated on the muted played notes which can add beautiful light and subtle elements to your music. (3 patches)
- Kantele – This a traditional plucked string instrument of the zither family native to Finland and Estonia with a distinctive bell-like sound and a diatonic tuning. We’ve made a Kontakt patch to play it in a chromatic tuning. (3 patches)
- Magnus Harmonica Organ – This little organs use an electric fan to blow air across reeds, like a giant harmonica with keys. (3 patches)
- Super Sound EK-470 – This is the processed e-piano sound of a low-cost, garbage keyboard for just €25. The sound is warm and crunchy. (3 patches)
- Zeitter & Winkelmann Piano – This is our rehearsal piano, located in one of our control rooms. It’s got a warm and organic charm. (3 patches).
- Mallets / Percussion (Tuned)
- Glass – A collection of glasses and vases in different sizes. We scrubbed, rubbed, tapped and hit all the glass and made some very nice instruments out of it. (3 patches)
- Metallic Objects/Lids – A collection of lid sounds. We struck the lids with fingers and recorded various sounds. It allows you to make up your own lid-mallet sound.
- Metallic Objects/Kitchen, Handrail – This is a collection of sounds, noises, crashes and bangs made with our studio fixture and fittings: our iron KITCHEN and our staircase with its huge HANDRAIL. The result is astonishing: experimental percussion, strange and remarkable mallets.
- Percussion – All percussion sounds are easy to play in a lively, realistic and organic way (no loops). Available as a multi set or single instruments of: Bongos, Chimes, Guiro, Ocean Drum, Shaker, Spring Drum and Tambourine. Just in the multi are: Toms, Cymbals and Wood.
Cinematique Instruments libraries are available in .nki-format for Native-Instruments Kontakt 3 or 3.5. All samples are in 44.1 kHz/ 16Bit mono/stereo .wav-Format. Prices start at 7 EUR.
More information: Cinematique Instruments
The second edition of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art runs from 1 March until 1 April and one of the 80 artists present is Tuscan artist Luca Pancrazzi.
1,763 lbs. (800 kg) of shattered glass on a Maserati Quattroporte (art by Luca Pancrazzi)
Luca is representing Italy with his exhibition “1:1″, a show about perception in which a number of the artist’s objects have been covered in thousands of pieces of broken glass.
Check the website of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art for more information.