I am thinking of purchasing "Gamelan" by Propeller Island. Does anyone have this disc? How is the AKAI version? Is the Suling flute looped? I was thinking of getting the audio version instead of AKAI since it's only 30 € (instead of 200 € for AKAI) at some store. Any thoughts on this disc?
I have the AKAI version and I've been very happy with it. There are looped Suling samples, although I think they may have been mono, whilst the stereo programmes were unlooped; I'm afraid I haven't used it for a while and my Kontakt machine is currently down. To be honest, the amount of programming on the CD-ROM is well worth the extra cash - and I think you can probably find it cheaper than 200Euros now anyway. I seem to remember seeing it in passing for £69 somewhere whilst searching for a different Gamelan library.
The only thing that worries me about the library is that the producer's sleeve notes have some suspicious inaccuracies. For instance he claims that the Gamelan was specially made for him in Java to a 5 note tuning system known as Pelog. Of course, in Java, there is no 5 note Pelog. The 5 note tuning system is Slendro whilst Pelog has 7 notes per octave.
The names of some of the instruments were also somewhat odd for Javanese Gamelan. So I did some internet searching using the names he gave to the instruments, and discovered that he seems to have sampled a Gamelan Semar Pegulingan. This is a type of Gamelan from a specific region of Bali, which is tuned to a five note version of Pelog.
That just leaves the question of how he could have sampled a Gamelan from Bali which he claims was made specially for him in Java. Either he bought a second-hand Gamelan, but thought it would sound more impressive to claim it was new, and didn't know much about it. Or he did the whole thing on his mum's pots and pans. Having played a little Gamelan I think the samples are genuine, but it still irritates me that the sleeve notes aren't quite right.