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Soniccouture releases Glass Works 2 sample library

Soniccouture Glass Works

Soniccouture has updated its Glass Works sample library for Kontakt to version 2.0.

Glass / Works is a Kontakt player instrument which collects together 3 extremely unusual and rare musical instruments which use glass to generate sound : Le Cristal Baschet, The Glass Armonica, and a set of Cloud Chamber Bowls.

Changes in Glass Works 2

  • New instrument / samples: Bowed Chamber Bowls. An airy, ethereal sound with realtime harmonic control via velocity or modwheel. 5 round robin samples per note.
  • New instrument: Cristal SFX. The SFX sound set from the v1.0 instrument rehoused in its own custom interface with the great new KSP ‘FOCUS’ function : map any sound across the entire keyboard with one click.
  • New GUI: each Glass Works instrument gets its own unique control interface with custom KSP options setup, dedicated effects page and more.
  • New Preset Library: 100 sound design presets explore every corner of the Glass Works sounds.
  • Glass Works 2.0 is also fully Kontakt Player 5 compatible.

Glass Works 2 is available to purchase for 99 EUR. Glass Works 1 users can upgrade for 29 EUR.

For the next 2 weeks, Glass Works 2 is 20% off with coupon code: WOD84HRK

More information: Soniccouture / Glass Works

Sampleism releases Harmonic Wineglass by MA Simon

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Sampleism has released Harmonic Wineglass, a sample library for Kontakt by MA Simon.

MA Simon is a fanatical sound designer with a talent for capturing great sounds and building awesome Kontakt Instruments.

MA Simon Harmonic Wineglass

Harmonic Wineglass

  • Sampled in 24bit 44100.
  • Each sample is about 25 seconds long (!) and looped.
  • Various patches including:
    • Iron Fork hits – 16 velocity layers.
    • Glass Piano V1 – Created by editing the start and attack parameters of each sample in Kontakt using the sustained samples.
    • Glass Piano V2 – A very aery almost synth like piano sound. Including a patch with 5 x round robin patch.

Harmonic Wineglass for Kontakt is available to purchase for £4.99 GBP.

More information: Sampleism / Harmonic Wineglass

Soundiron releases Glass Beach sample library

Soundiron Glass Beach

Soundiron has announced the release its Glass Beach sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.

About 150 Miles North of the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll find Fort Bragg, CA, an old coastal village at the foot of the redwoods. For decades, townspeople brought their household and industrial trash to the sea, dumping into towering piles rising 30 feet high above the surf, before “The Dumps” were finally shut down in 1967. Glass Beach is all that remains of the town’s former garbage dump.

After years of clean-up, all of the large junk was removed, save for the many tons of broken glass shards that were far too small and plentiful to gather up and haul away. Over the years, the crashing waves and abrasive sand have pounded and worn those millions of tiny glass fragments down into perfectly smooth translucent glass pebbles and beads. Like glittering jewels, they can be found in every color of the rainbow. They number so great that the beach seems made entirely of sea glass. Once an ecological disaster, it has become a remarkable example of nature’s resilience when we clean up our mess and try to leave things alone for a little while.

From a sonic perspective, the millions of glass beads shifting and tumbling in the gentle surf create a remarkable effect. The sound is not unlike that of ice chips on the shore of a thawing lake, but on a grander scale. The distant mournful wails of fog horns and sea birds casts an eerily serene hue over the sound-scape and the cliffs suppress most the encroaching highway and city noise.

We captured several ocean surf and tide pool ambiances, as well as gentle waterfalls trickling through the narrow caves and gullies than ran down toward the beach from the cliffs above. There’s also useful foley included, with footsteps that can be used as percussion or cut and re-purposed for steps in sand, gravel and even gritty snow in a pinch. We also created a wide variety of tiny “glitch”-style percussive elements, using some of the sea glass that migrated to other nearby beaches. Lastly, we used various sound-design tricks to morph and transform the sounds from our journey into a wide range of tonal and dissonant pads, swells, stingers, synth-tones, ambient dreamscapes and disturbing hellscapes.

Glass Beach features

  • 31 Kontakt patches (unlocked).
  • 225 Samples.
  • 488 MB Installed.
  • 42 Custom Convolution IR Files.
  • 24bit / 44.1kHz stereo PCM wav samples (non-unencrypted).

The Glass Beach library is available to purchase for $9.99 USD.

More information: Soundiron / Glass Beach

Microhammer March Bundle: Imbibaphones & Seahorse sample libraries

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Mar 28, 2011 - comment 0 comments
Microhammer March Bundle

Microhammer has released the March Bundle, a collection of sample libraries for Native Instruments Kontakt.

We are excited to bring you our latest two products: “Imbibaphones” and “Seahorse” in an affordable bundle collection. The bundle is only valid until our next release, so grab it while you can.

March Bundle includes:

  • Imbibaphones – Sustaining notes and rubber mallet strikes for several types of glass with a variety of effects to create some great special effects patches.
  • Seahorse – Various instruments created from the sounds recorded from a unique & manually chiseled hanging metallic seahorse.
  • Format(s): Kontakt 3 and .wav.
  • Note: Native Instruments Kontakt 3.5 and later. Full retail versions required for Kontakt instruments.
  • Note: Free Kontakt Player does not support this product. Full version required.

The March Bundle is available to purchase for the introductory price of $35 USD until the next Microhammer release.

More information: Microhammer

Bolder Sounds releases Crystal Glasses Volume 2 and Granular Water Bottle

Bolder Sounds Crystal Glasses Volume 2

Bolder Sounds has announced the release of Crystal Glasses Volume 2, a sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.

The Crystal Glasses volume 2 is a project I began in 2007. I worked on it sporadically over the last 3 years. Bolder Sounds already has a very popular sound set entitled Crystal Glasses and Meditation Bowls. So – why create another? The crystals recorded in that library date back to the mid 1990’s when 16 bit mono samples was the standard format ( the Meditation Bowls were sampled at a later date in stereo ). Also – the idea of recording these crystal glasses as a group of glasses opened up the door to different sound design opportunities.

Crystal Glasses Volume 2 features

  • Sampled Articulations:
    • Hit Crystal Glasses – (3 round-robins per sample zone).
    • Soft Hit Crystal Glasses – (2 round-robins per sample zone).
    • Singing Crystal Pads – wet finger along rim of glass.
    • Granular Crystal Pads – Ethereal pads created via granular synthesis.
    • Bowed Crystal Glasses – Both short and long articulations.
    • Crystal Morphs – Kontakt multi instruments which morph between individual instruments.
  • Extensive scripting for Kontakt giving the user an elegant and intuitive user interface.
  • Help menu built into the Kontakts front panel.
  • 24 bit stereo sample in .wav format.
  • Total size of the Crystal Glass Volume 2 library is 490 mb (270 .rar download).

Note: Crystal Glasses Volume 2 requires full version of Kontakt 3+. The Kontakt PLAYER will only run for 30 minutes in demo mode.

Crystal Glasses Volume 2 is available to purchase for $49 USD.

Bolder Sounds has also released Granular Water Bottle, a free instrument for Kontakt and EXS24.

This the Klean Kanteen water bottle I drag around with me throughout my day. It has a very nice resonant ‘bonk’ sound to it. Originally I thought I’d sample it as more of a traditional percussion instrument and fill it with sand, rice and water etc.. But once I started applying granular synthesis to just a few hits that I recorded that was the end of the line for me. A whole weird world opened up

More information: Bolder Sounds / Crystal Glasses Volume 2 / Granular Water Bottle

Review: Soniccouture Glass Works

Sample libraries have become quite a commonplace. Every other day you see new titles popping up in various genres and formats, many of which seem to be almost copies of one another. If you are looking for drum machine sounds or Fidget House loops there certainly is plenty out there to satisfy your every need.

But what if you want something else… a unique sound, a unique instrument?

Soniccouture Glass Works

Fortunately there are still some companies offering fresh sample and instrument libraries you are not likely to find anywhere else. Les Productions Zvon, Cinematique Instruments, Tonehammer, and Soniccouture are some that come to mind.

With their latest release Glass Works, Dan and James of Soniccouture have delivered yet another stunning example of the beautiful, rare and unusual instruments that are less commonly sampled.

The Glass Works library includes three glass instruments: Le Cristal, The Glass Armonica, and Cloud Chamber Bowls.

For the first two of these instruments Soniccouture went to Paris to meet with Thomas Bloch, a musician and performer of rare instruments whose notable collaborations include Radiohead, John Cage, Tom Waits, and Daft Punk. The Cloud Chamber Bowls, an instrument by maverick American composer Harry Partch, was so hard to find that Soniccouture had to recreate it.

Le Cristal – designed by Bernard and François Baschet in 1952

Soniccouture Glass Works - Le Cristal

Upon first sight Le Cristal (or Cristal Baschet) doesn’t really look very “glass”. It has a huge alien face shaped plate called the “flame”, and a large part of the construction is made of metal.

On closer inspection (click the image to the side) you’ll notice a number of glass rods, which produce sound when rubbed with a wet finger.

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.

Just over 4 octaves of notes were sampled with various articulations:

  • Piano and Forte: soft and loud sustained playing.
  • Marcato: A sudden accent.
  • Percussion: 2 different mallet strokes and 1 special effect set.

The samples are mapped across 11 Kontakt instruments. All articulations – triggered by keyswitches – are available in the Complete instrument patches. Modwheel or velocity can be used for crossfading between soft and loud samples. The articulations are also available as separate instruments so you can save on memory usage and process each articulation differently if you like.

Soniccouture Glass Works - Le Cristal in Kontakt
Le Cristal instrument in Kontakt

The Kontakt interface features a number of controls to further shape the sound of the Cristal Baschet. You get lowpass and highpass filters, attack and release, delay send, and some controls for the flame. Soniccouture sampled some impulse responses from the flame on the Cristal for use in Kontakt’s convolution processor. Sweet!

A second page on the Kontakt interface lets you assign all of the knobs on the front panel to MIDI CC so you can modify parameters in real-time with a hardware controller.

Glass Armonica – invented by Benjamin Franklin

The armonica is an instrument that also generates sound by rubbing a wet finger on glass, this time a series of glass bowls in various sizes.

Soniccouture Glass Works - Glass Armonica
Glass Armonica (with limescale build-up caused by water)

The Glass Armonica recorded by Soniccouture is a recreation of the original Ben Franklin instrument built by master glassblower Gerhard Finkenbeiner. This particular model has 37 nested bowls that range from F3 to F6. Note: the Kontakt instrument is mapped an octave lower for convenience.

Each note of the Glass Armonica was sampled three times at two different dynamics, soft and loud. The Kontakt instrument panels feature the same controls as the Cristal Baschet, except there is no flame. Instead you get some other convolution reverbs and there’s a Keyoff control which lets you modify the level of the sound produced when releasing a note.

Besides two regular Glass Armonica instruments (with Modwheel and velocity crossfade control) there’s also a Doubled Synth instrument.

Soniccouture Glass Works - Glass Armonica Doubled Synth in Kontakt
Glass Armonica Doubled Synth

This instrument is more appropriate if you want to use the Glass Armonica as a synth pad or something less natural. We provide a lot more front panel control, as well as Filter Envelope (FEG) and Delay.
Also, in this version, instead of using a Round Robin sample alternation we layer two different Glass Armonica sample sets together, which can be detuned using the Detune knob in the middle (this also defaults to the Mod Wheel in this instrument).

Cloud Chamber Bowls – an instrument built in the 1960s by Harry Partch

Soniccouture Glass Works - Cloud Chamber Bowls

This instrument consists of 14 bowls — sections (tops and bottoms) of 12-gallon glass carboys — hanging in a wooden frame. Soniccouture created its very own Cloud Chamber Bowls instrument, having all the glass and wood parts made from scratch.

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. The original pitches of the bowls are basically random, as were Partch’s (“It has been impossible for me to tune the bowls – I must accept what I get.”). The varying thickness of the carboys and unpredictable overtone structure make it pretty much impossible to cut a carboy to an exact pitch.

Soniccouture’s Cloud Chamber Bowls features an instrument with original pitches (random like Partch’s instrument) and a chromatically tuned version. The instruments feature the sounds of all 14 bowls
played with soft mallets and 13 bowls hit with hard mallets (unfortunately one bowl broke).

Soniccouture Glass Works - Cloud Chamber Bowls
Cloud Chamber Bowls – 10 velocity levels and 3 round-robins for each bowl

The instruments have some of the same controls we’ve seen on the other Glass Works instruments. Additionally there is also a Jammer panel available (see image above).

This lovely KSP script is also available in a number of previously released products like the Pan Drum and the Skiddaw Stones so might already know what it does.

The Jammer is a kind of random arpeggiator that chooses from the notes you play into it at random. Hold a chord down on your keyboard, and Jammer will randomly play notes from that chord.

A third panel allows for setting MIDI CC for the various parameters so you can use your hardware controller to modify parameters in real-time.

So what do I think?

Product: Glass Works by Soniccouture
Format: Kontakt Player Instrument (PC/MAC) – VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone
Price: 99 EUR
(Bundle with The Skiddaw Stones for 139 EUR)

Glass Works won’t have the same wide appeal as the drum machine sounds or Fidget House loops I mentioned earlier, yet Glass Works is truly a stunning collection of instruments. The sampling is done to Soniccouture’s usual high quality standard and they have managed to really capture the beautiful sounds of these rare instruments.

The Kontakt instruments are very well done (plenty of velocity layers and round-robin) and include lots of useful controls to further shape the sounds. The Cristal Baschet is probably my favorite instrument, although I am also really liking the sounds of the Glass Armonica Doubled Synth.

Glass Works will no doubt find its place in many cinematic and experimental works.

The Soniccouture website has a video of Thomas Bloch doing an improvised perfomance on Le Cristal so head on over there to check it out.

More information: Soniccouture / Glass Works

Soniccouture releases Glass Works

Soniccouture Glass Works

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

Soniccouture Glass Works - The Cristal
  • 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
Soniccouture Glass Works - Glass Armonica
  • 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
Soniccouture Glass Works - Cloud Chamber Bowls
  • 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 announces Glass Works

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