Saturday, November 30, 2013

The wineglass drone.

It is one of my oldest sampling projects and one I consider the must successful, sonically. I guess everyone interested in music (or not) has been trying playing glasses as a kid. I have. When I started to play with samplers, I thought of that and I wanted to try to capture that sound. I picked a wineglass, some brown water (which due to some plumbing problem was the only color available at the moment) and a spoon. I tuned the glass carefully adding drops of dirty water with a spoon and took 12 recordings, about 40 seconds each. It sounds rich and organic and it downtunes in a pleasant way, doing well with a lot of reverb. I have been using it for a couple of years, but just recently I took it a step further, creating loop points, so the drone can go on indefinitely. I also created mappings for sfz and Kontakt adding some extra functionality in Kontakt's patch. Here's a little example of solo wineglass:

And another one, solo too, which was the first improvised take on the drone, (there is a little noise when downtuned, which can be heard here):
And here's an example of butchery on Beehtoven's work, which proves the wineglass as fine tool for murdering a classic:
The Wineglass Drone is available at Loot Audio.

The instrument itself is 130MB in 12 wav files, mappings for sfz and Kontakt. You will need full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 4 or newer to open Kontakt mapping. Sfz version is missing GUI and some controllers, it can be opened by various samplers. Loop points are in the files, so it should be easy to load it to any sampler.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Arctic Rooster - organic synthesizer for Kontakt

Today I serve Arctic Rooster. It's a sort of neo-retro organic synthesizer for Kontakt. It is based on very short waveforms, serving as 'oscillators', that has been cut from recording of an authentic Icelandic rooster that I took this summer. Also there is the oscillator bank made of waveforms that I took from recording of my own voice.

Features in an egg shell:
- 15 waveforms in 3 oscillator banks,
- wood finishing enclosure,
- 3 memory banks,
- lcd display,
- 3 LFOs and lots of knobs.

And this is how it sounds, first the rooster recording, then synthesizer sounds, one instance at a time, no external effects:

Finally the download link - 710KB. Requires full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or newer. Free to download and use in your music. If you find is useful or amusing, I encourage you to show your support, pick one of my albums that you can find hovering somewhere on the right side of these pages. Have fun.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Breaking bread (crunchy percussion)

I was in fairly strange mood that day. I have found quite impressive collection of super dry bread pieces, buns, bread sticks and matzoh, dwelling upon my refrigerator. This stuff was crispy and crunchy and somehow I've seen a drum kit possibility in it. I took them to studio room and started to crush, smash, destroy, break up and take them apart with my bare hands in front of the microphone. Then I cut out some tasty slices out of the recording. I know it was a weird idea, but in the end, it sounds better than one might have expected. Here, listen, it's a short demo made with bread sounds only, with a pint of reverb:

You know, it may be a perfect candidate for your bread and butter drum kit. Get it here: download package - 3MB, 90 samples, wav format, mono 44.1 kHz / 24 bit, and for free. Also there's an example kit, using some of the sounds, in Battery 2 and sfz formats. The samples are split into two folders. '44 raw' contains 74 slices cut out of the original 88.2 kHz recording, re-sampled to 44.1 kHz. In '44 processed' folder, you will find heavily processed samples, basically the samples have been slowed down a great deal, cut and then up-sampled to 44.1 kHz. This way I transformed, crunchy bun breaks, into something more or less suitable to mimic bass drum or snare.

1. Matzoh wasn't kosher.
2. The side product of this production has been given to a friendly family of field mice, who live in my garden.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Wrench, part 2: Bare hammer

Continuing the story from previous post, I created the second sample set of the wrench. Previously, I've been hitting the middle of the flat side of it, using a hammer with a dampening pad. Now the wrench has been treated with a bare hammer hitting the lower sharp side, which sounds quite different. This set is cleaner and sharper and it does not feature little noisy critters. Also it's heavier, as it has more samples for round robin. Here's a quick improvisation, fiddling with Kontakt's factory effects - auto panning, vowel filter and reverb:

The download - 42MB, includes 9 samples in wav format, mono 96 kHz / 24 bit. There are mappings for sfz and Kontakt 2. This time, I also made a patch for Kontakt 4.24 on which I put a simple, custom GUI, to make myself more comfortable while playing with Kontakt's build in effects. It's the one I used while making the demo. This patch is build of Kontakt's factory graphics and presets, so I don't know, if it will work in newer versions. Again, the download is free, have fun.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Wrench.

I have this big bicycle wrench, which makes nice sustained tone, like a bell. Recently I recorded some hits to build a sampler based instruments. I hung it by a thread and I've been hitting it with a hammer, which I slapped a dampening pad on, to soften the sound. The wrench was dangling freely, twisting and swinging around, creating a sort of vibrato effect. I picked five samples and mapped them in round robin. The wrench would vibrate for quite a while, but for practical reasons I cut them down to about 20 seconds, still at lower notes it can go on much longer, so it's suitable for long lasting low drone sounds. This thing is dark, gritty, fairly unstable and full of little noises, those noises are mostly the thread tearing the edge of suspension point. Some may find them annoying, but I would say it's instrument's character. It works best with some deep reverb on, here's an example:

Download package - 25 MB, 5 samples in wav format, mono 96 kHz / 24 bit. There is a mapping for Kontakt 2 (or newer) and a draft version for SFZ. In Kontakt version you can use mod wheel to control release time. Also there is bonus Kontakt program with a pad sound, where the samples are layered in stereo. Both programs are dry, so you may want to pick your own reverb. This wrench is free to download and use.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Scratch the balloon.

This is something I found on my hard drive. From a recording that I made seven years ago, a set of scratchy noises, that I produced by tearing a rubber party balloon with a wet finger. Yesterday I mapped them in Kontakt to use as an "instrument". It sounds like this:

Download package - 3 MB, 32 samples in wav format, mono 44,1 kHz / 24 bit and a mapping for Kontakt 2 or newer. The scratches are simply assigned to keys, from F2 to C5 and mod wheel controls the sample start position. I find it most fun to play scratch sequences while fiddling with pitch and mod wheels. As a bonus there are 4 "hit" samples, which are sounds from the same session, made, as you may guess, by hitting the thing, instead of tearing it. These are mapped to C1-E2 range in some awkward way. Free to download and use.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stone age percussion kit.

This is the real rock percussion kit. One holidays I happened to stroll a mountain road into area filled with piles of stones and rock pieces. The weather was fine, the wind was blowing elsewhere and I took the opportunity to take a stone smashing session onto Zoom H2n recorder. Later I chopped it, to make a set of one shot rock hits samples, which I used to build a percussion kit in the sampler. It's fun and it sounds rather unique.

Sound demo - this is made of raw samples, with no effects:

And here's a song, in which I used this fine percussion kit for all of the "drum" sounds:

Download package - 9MB, includes samples in wav format, stereo 96kHz / 24 bit and mappings for Battery 2 or newer, which should also load into Kontakt. Not all of the sounds are mapped in the Battery kit, so take it as a demo and explore the sounds. Also there are no velocity layers or fancy programing, it's stone age kit after all. Free download.

Balloon picking session.

I found audio file I recorded some time ago, with sounds made of a rubber balloon. The technique was picking, similar to picking strings, just picking the balloon surface, the sounds were somewhat percussive and somewhat tonal. Pitch could be modified by squeezing it and was rather unpredictable. It has been chopped up and made a Kontakt instrument.

Sound demo:

Download package - 10MB, includes samples in wav format, 96kHz / 24 bit and mappings for Kontakt 2.2.4 or newer. Free download.

And here's the discussion at KVRaudio. 

Zombietronic drums.

I always loved weird robotic drum machines. This is set of electronic drum hits that I generated using virtual synthesizers and effects, back in 2008. It's in the face, electric slapping, whit no fancy velocity layers and such.

Sound demo:

Download package - 4,5MB, includes samples in wav format, 44,1 kHz / 24 bit and mappings for Battery 2 (which can be also loaded to Kontakt 2 or newer, or possibly, some other samplers). Free download.

And here's the discussion at KVRaudio. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Technics M33G feedback loop tone generator

This is the effect of a silly experiment and an exercise to learn a bit about sfz format. I took an old cassette deck, Technics M33G and I created a feedback loop by connecting signal output with input. The tone could be controlled with volume deck's volume knob, for some reason I don't really understand. Then I connected deck's phone output to Audiofire sound card and captured the whole scale available from manipulating the magical volume knob, to create this little sample set. I used G-Tune VST to monitor sound frequency, trying to catch exact frequency for each note. The knob didn't work linear and was rather sensitive, so some notes were a little off, which I think adds some character to this set.

Sound demo:

The files are 96kHz/24 bit, range it E4-B0, plus the lowest sound I could get. Above E4 the deck would go rocket high frequency, so it was rather impossible to match higher notes. Lowest tones are hardly tonal, but I recorded them anyway. More info in readme.txt

Download package - 10MB, includes samples in wav format, mappings for sfz and Kontakt 2.2.4 or newer. Free download.

And here's the discussion at KVRaudio.