AfroDJMac has released the Snake Drum Synth, a free Ableton Live Rack.
It was created with an instrument I believe to be called a snake drum (at least that’s what it says on the bottom of it!) Basically it’s a hollow wooden box with slots cut into it, which are hit with a mallet to create a musical tone. The sound is similar to a marimba.
I’ve sampled it and stretched out across the keyboard, expanding its playability from its original six notes. Being that the samples are stretched to the extreme at the higher and lower octaves, some interestingly unexpected things happen to the sound. Expect some surprisingly deep and heavy sub bass sounds and odd glitchy chirps at the higher octaves. As usual, I have added some audio effects to further alter the capabilities of this sound.
But that’s not all!
While experimenting with the instrument, I recorded some especially bizarre and far out sounds and resampled them into a drum rack for a little special bonus :)
The Snake Drum Synth for Ableton Live is available as a free download from AfroDJMac.
8DIO Productions has released Glass Marimba, a sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
Glass Marimba is 8Dio’s final and freebie release of 2011.
This gorgeous deep-sampled instrument contains over 2000 samples and is our way of thanking you all for a crazy year. The glass marimba has been a frequently requested instrument, so we thought it would be a great way to end the season.
The library consists of soft mallet, hard mallet, muted and finger samples. In addition we created a variety of FX and ambient patches – all made with the Glass Marimba.
Glass Marimba is available to download at no cost until January 1, 2012.
Sasha van den Heetkamp of sun.io wrote in to share the news of a free sample library for Kontakt, featuring 9 world instruments sampled by Greg Bossert.
Samples and images by Greg Bossert; Programming for Kontakt by Sasha van den Heetkamp
World Instruments for Kontakt features
Kenyan Sistrum – a forked rattle from Kenya. It’s about 16x5x1 inches, made of a natural forked branch. Two wires strung across the fork hold a number of rusty, flattened metal bottle caps, which act as jingles. Most of the samples are single hits, either short (with the rattle held vertically) or long (with the rattle at an angle). Sample 19 is long looped shake at no particular tempo.
Vietnamese Cricket (Sanh Sua) – a Sanh Sua, a frog/cricket noise maker from Vietnam. It’s about 11x6x2 inches, made of wood bound with cane and inlaid with abalone. It’s shaped somewhat like a pair of tongs; gently squeezing the handles pushes the two almond-shaped ends together, causing them to rattle against each other.
Ghanan Marimba – a simple 10 key marimba from Ghana. It’s about 26x16x8 inches, made of wood. The keys, which are relieved in the middle to bring out the fundemental, are attached to the frame/resonator with twine. This instrument lacks the usual gourd resonators, and was probably made for the tourist trade.Note that the given pitches are very approximate; while the instrument is reasonably in tune with itself, it is not at standard A=440 pitch.
India Hatheli – a jignle stick from India. It’s about 10x2x0.5 inches, made of wood with flat brass jingles. The samples include single sharp hits, some of which have multiple bounces of the jingles, as well as softer hits made by twisting the stick. There is also a digitally reversed sample, and a loop of 1/8 notes accented in 4/4 at 120 BPM.
Kenyan Box Rattle – a rectangular shaker or rattle from Kenya. It’s about 10x5x0.5 inches, made of reeds bound together with nylon thread, wooden end pieces, and probably filled with pebbles. Most of the samples are single hits, either short (with the rattle held vertically) or long (with the rattle at an angle for a rainstick-like effect). Samples 20 and 21 are long looped shakes at no particular tempo.
Kenyan Kpoko Kpoko – a double-ended wooden bell from Kenya. It’s about 15x3x2 inches, carved from a single piece of wood with two small clappers in each bell tied in place with wire.
Thailand Ching – a pair of small hand bells from Thailand. They are about 2x2x2 inches, and made of bronze. The ching is the timekeeper for traditional Thai ensembles (eg. pi phat or mahori). It plays a repeating pattern of alternating closed and open tones. In contrast to tradional European music, the accents (marked with the closed tone of the ching) are on the second and fourth beats in the measure, with the strongest emphasis on the fourth beat. This pattern usually starts slowly, with one “ching” per measure, and repeatedly doubles in speed as the piece progresses. This information on the ching comes from the essay “The Music of Thailand” by David Morton. The samples include open and closed strokes, as well as some longer open rings. There are also digitally reversed and looped tones. Note that the pitch is very close to a standard western “C”. Finally, there is a loop of the traditional pattern at 120 BPM.
Tongue Drum – offically the Catania Bass Bamboo Tong Drum. It’s made from a large half-cylinder of bamboo with a padauk top/keys. Note that the given pitches are approximate, due to the interaction between the tongues, the notes are more like chords with one tone slightly predominating.
Vietnamese Fish Scraper – a wooden scraper/rasp and woodblock from Vietnam. Stroking the stick along the “fins” on the fish’s back produces a slightly ascending noise somewhat like a frog. The stick stores neatly in the fish’s mouth. The samples include up and down strokes as well as some single hits. The pitch is approximately an “f”. Note that single hits and some of the scrapes work quite well as pitched sounds in a sampler.
The World Instruments for Kontakt sample library is available as a free download from sun.io here (9.26 MB).
Puremagnetik has released MalletPak One, a high quality multisampled wooden marimba sample library.
MalletPak One is a collection of 13 multisampled marimba instruments. It was recorded in a reflective room with a pair of Shure KSM32s in an ORTF configuration to capture the wide stereo field of the instrument.
Four different mallet types were used with multiple hits for round- robin triggering and several velocity layers each. A violin bow recorded for each marimba bar creates an eerily textured patch with infinite sustain. A hybrid patch combining mallet strikes with the bowed texture allows you to mix between articulations.
The Logic, Kontakt and Ableton versions include a massive program that includes all 4 mallet types for easy switching during a performance or recording. Additionally, there are several synthetic patches using the marimba as sound source to create unique new musical tones.
MalletPak was produced in collaboration with artist Richard Lainhart.
MalletPak One features
13 multi-sampled instruments (9 for Renoise).
Over 900 high quality samples.
Advanced Ableton Live Racks with Macro Controls.
“Renoise Ready” XRNI files for instant playability.
Kontakt KSP easy edit GUI.
MalletPak One for Ableton Live 8, Kontakt 4, Renoise and Logic is now available to Puremagnetik subscribers.
Simple-Media has released retro-gsx and Cathedral, two new virtual synthesizer instruments for Windows.
A new addition to the retro-gs series of instruments with a completely new build, retro-gsx offers even more SID inspired chip sound goodness thanks to the built in ‘advanced wave sequencer’. Capable of recreating an incredible range of authentic SID sounds, easy to use, versatile and powerful. If you liked retro-gs01 and want even more creativity or you are just looking for a VST instrument to recreate those classic 8-bit sounds then look know further than retro-gsx.
Cathedral is a new approach to the task of recreating the sound of a pipe organ. Rather than use a large sample library, Cathedral uses a hybrid analogue synthesis and physical modelling approach to create an ultra-flexible instrument without a huge file size and with reasonable CPU performance. Cathedral offers up to 6 programmable, 4-level stops that can each be set to 1 of 3 pipe types and any 1 of 14 different footages. Cathedral includes a built in reverberation unit, essential in recreating an authentic pipe organ sound and additional filtering and modulaion to enhance the sound even further. Cathedral is presented in a beautiful and easy to use interface to allow for intuitive programming.
retro-gsx and Cathedral for Windows (VST) are available to purchase for £10 each.
Simple-Media has also released two new freeware instruments: Striker and Voc-Two.
Striker is a physical modelling instrument created to reproduce the sounds of various types of tuned percussion such as marimbas, vibraphones and other instruments where a hammer or mallet strikes a block.
Following on from Voc-One, Voc-Two allows you to create realisitc string ensemble and choir sounds without the use of samples. It includes a wide range of controls over the source sound generation and the morphable formant filter making it a surprisingly flexible instrument for creating rich and atmospheric pads and realistic ensemble sounds.
Puremagnetik has released Vintage Organs Volume 2, a library of organs featuring the Yamaha YC-30, Farfisa Pianorgan, Emenee, Magnus & Gulbransen Pump Organs.
Vintage Organs Volume 2 comes with a new and improved Laslo II speaker effect and Marimba Percussion Engine for Live, completely integrated Kontakt KSP drawbar controls and experty crafted channel strips for Logic.
Vintage Organs Volume 2 features
Over 10 Multisampled programs, each with multiple layers to blend.
High Quality 24 bit samples.
Live version includes a new and improved Laslo II speaker effect and Marimba percussion engine.
Logic EXS version includes channel strip settings with Logic effects.
Kontakt version includes custom KSP interface and fully loaded effect chains.
Vintage Organs Volume 2 (requires Ableton Live 8.2.1, Kontakt 3.5 or Logic 8) is available now to Puremagnetik subscribers.
Modartt has released a Xylo add-on for Pianoteq, a virtual piano instrument for Windows and Mac.
Xylophone and Bass Marimba are similar to the vibraphone but are using wooden bars instead of aluminium. Each bar, that vibrates when hit with mallets, is paired with a metallic resonator which is tuned to amplify the sound.
The origin of the xylophone dates back several thousand years in Africa and South East Asia. The marimba appeared at the same time and is today the symbol of Guatemalan music. Due to its huge size, the bass marimba sounds more than two octaves below the xylophone. Very popular both, they are used in various musical styles from classical to Latin and rock.
The Pianoteq virtual copies of these two instruments are respectively modelled after a modern 3½-octave French brand xylophone and a modern 5-octave French brand bass marimba. Thanks to the sophisticated Pianoteq physical model, they come in several variants and benefit from the recently developed humanization feature which allows varying the strike point, adding to the musician’s interpretation a vivid and stunning realism.
The Xylo add-on for Pianoteq is available to purchase for 49 EUR.
Modartt has also introduced two new bundles:
Rock Collection 89 EUR, includes Electric pianos, Clavinet, and Rock piano add-ons.
Chromatic Percussions Collection 99 EUR, includes Vibes, Celeste, and Xylo add-ons.
Nine Volt Audio has announced the release of Duo Tingklik, a sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt 3/4.
Duo – Tingklik: The tingklik’s design results in a sound that is both unique and exotic yet immediately useable in a wide range of musical contexts.
Originating from Bali, these marimba-like instruments are made with bamboo, split halfway down their length, are then carved so that a closed tube resonator remains on the other half. The completed keys are mounted to a wooden frame with string, allowing them to sway when hit.
As part of Nine Volt Audio’s new Duo product line, we’ve recorded TWO tingkliks. The “Red” tingklik is a large 11-note model with its lowest bamboo note measuring over 3’ long, while the “White” is a smaller 8-note version covering a higher range.
Duo – Tingklik features
Nearly 720 MB of 44.1kHz/24bit samples and 40 Kontakt 3.5/4 instrument patches and multis. Download is 441 MB.
There are 90+ samples per note sampled on both instruments with all stick types, for a total of 3520 samples. User interface controls are available to control the depth of automatic sample rotation and other humanization features.
Core natural patches are offered in “Lite”, “Medium” and “Large” sizes to accommodate different levels of RAM and CPU usage.
“Unison” patches are available for both tingkliks allowing for the simulation of two people playing simultaneously. These patches have additional “Spread” and “Detune” user interface controls.
Arpeggiator patches and multis include 12 patterns per patch. Patterns 1-6 are duple meter (2/4, 4/4), patterns 7-10 triple meter (3/4, 6/8), and patterns 11 and 12 are 5/4 and 7/8, respectively.
User interface controls are available to alter chromatic playing modes to the instruments’ original keys and scales – along with numerous other keys and scales.
Additional user interface controls include: convolution reverb (with 14 custom IR .wavs), saturation, stereo width, velocity curve, low and high pass filters, delay, low, mid and high EQ gain, AHDSR, remap knob and humanization.
Duo – Tingklik is available to purchase for $59.99 USD.