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Topic: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

  1. #1

    Lightbulb some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    My name's Mike Peaslee. I guess this is more of a plug than a question, but I figured it might also get an interesting discussion going. What sample libraries are out there right now that get into more unique or sort of underappreciated instruments and that also delve into deeper and more comprehensive sampling methods? Not necessarily just weird instruments, but maybe standards like grand pianos and orchestral percussion with new a take on feel and style? Also, it helps if they don’t cost a huge chunk of change.

    I came across the Braunschweig upright piano the other day and although it’s not really “different” per se, it has a softer, warmer done and darkness to it that I think most of the bigger libraries seem to pass over in favor of bright crispy and plinky tones better suited for bright classical music than really soulful, broody pieces that I kind of lean toward writing. I'm definitely going pick it up soon.

    The "Tiny Box" music box library has a nice up-front gritty tone, so it seems cool for creepier stuff as well.

    I’m a sound designer by trade, but I’ve been writing music and doing my own custom sample and sfx libraries in my free time for awhile now. For some reason, I find the endless recording and editing kind of cathartic. I’ve always liked to focus on rare, unconventional or home-made instruments and found-sounds. I carry recording gear with me almost constantly and try to capture anything I come across that sounds remotely interesting. Here's some of the work I've done with
    a game/film trailer composer friend named Troels Folmann:


    We’ve spent several years working and discussing our philosophies about instrument libraries, composition, recording and sampling and what we felt was missing in the sample world. In that time, he's won a BAFTA, Mix Foundation TEC Award, GDC Choice Award, and the D3. I’ve also won a Mix Foundation Tec Award and I’ve been nominated for a few others, like the Choice Awards and BAFTA.

    With all of the emphasis on high sampling/bit rate and everybody flooding the market with mundane instruments like violins and horns, nobody was really paying attention to basic playability, usability, or raw creativity. We’ve recorded in lots of weird places, like WW1 bunkers in the Marin headlands and caves in Missouri.

    Our goal was to create unique but useful world-class sounding instrument libraries for Kontakt with depth and playability, while staying super affordable. We plan on learning to work with more formats in the future, but for now, we program in Kontakt 2 (Kontakt 3 is supported as well by default). Here are a few of the instruments we’re starting with this month, along with some examples using only Tonehammer sounds.

    The Hang is a unique tone based percussion instrument, which is almost impossible to come by, since there is only one maker in the world and less than 1000 drums in circulation. The instrument has a soft, sorrowful, melancholic tone to it. We captured multiple articulations with fingers, palm, slaps, hand brushing and the back-side of the drum. 26 instrument patches, 4064 samples, 1.99 GB

    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone..._drum_demo.mp3 (Troels Folmann)

    The Frendo is a custom instrument. The instrument was created by stringing bailing wire around and through through steel plates and bolts, over galvanize steel piping and across wood planks, played with screwdrivers, bows, drum sticks, mallets and fingers. It’s ideal for disturbing, horror-like textures and stabs. Frendo is partially a mallet instrument, recorded with wooden and rubber mallets, and a more traditional string instrument, since we recorded finger picks and bows. 13 instrument patches, 444 samples, 378 MB

    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone...rendo_demo.mp3 (Gabe Shadid)

    The Old Busted Granny Piano is a busted up, badly tuned and barely working upright of unknown origin and brand that was sitting in the living room of a house I used to share with some friends. There are a number of broken and badly detuned strings, especially in the upper ranges. All of the keys were yellowed, except the ones that didn’t have the ivory at all anymore. We couldn’t afford a repairman, but we liked it the way it was anyway. 3 instrument patches, 1500 samples, 900 MB
    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone...piano_demo.mp3 (me)

    The Epic Tom Ensembles and bamboo poles are sort of our hallmark. Just fat toms and bass drums, bamboo clacks and screeches in a huge hall. 10 instrument patches, 1428 samples, 761 MB
    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone..._toms_demo.mp3 (Troels)

    And my favorite, the marching drum corps. This is actually my old high school marching band. I went back 12 years later and recorded the percussion section out on the football field and in the band rehearsal hall. It’s very vivid and if you’ve been in a drum line, I think you’ll find that it really feels and sounds pretty right on. 9 instrument patches, 1500 samples, 673 MB
    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone...corps_demo.mp3 (Troels)

    It’s also cool for less traditional stuff (this demo also made up of a bunch of other instruments we haven’t put out just yet):
    http://www.tonehammer.com/demos/tone...corps_demo.mp3 (me)

    I’d love to get some feedback from you guys on how it all sounds and if you think there’s a place for our approach.

  2. #2

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    I got your bamboo sticks, which I really love, and intend to buy several other libraries when money is less tight. I haven't talked about them here though, because I noticed your first post was quietly erased, which I assume means you didn't pay up to be an advertising developer.

    If this is another backdoor attempt at advertising, then our posts will shortly be gone again. If you're part of the NS developers' stable now, though, then I for one really like your approach. I love that you're 'deep sampling' the weird and obscure, where most developers would only give a token loop or two, and I love the determination to keep them affordable. I hope you're very successful.

  3. #3

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    Hi Mike.

    I bought your Hang Drum recently and it really is a beautiful instrument. It's incredibly playable and sounds great.

    Thanks for bringing Elan Hickler's site to my attention. You can never have too many music boxes in my opinion.

  4. #4

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    Thanks guys. Yeah, I think the Tiny Box sounds very cool. I like that it gets deeper into capturing the music box. I think it's one of the few instruments that can cause an instant emotionally reaction in anyone. And it can go from evoking comfort to terror with just the right twist.

  5. #5

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    I got a bunch of your instruments already, and i think they sound great.
    looking forward to whatever you got in store for the coming months.

    All the best of luck.

  6. #6

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    Thanks. I'm glad you're enjoying them.

    I expect we'll have demos of our upcoming offerings posted in the next two weeks. We're planning on a Dec 15th release for 3 new instrument libraries.
    Last edited by MikeP; 11-20-2008 at 05:14 PM. Reason: edit - more info

  7. #7

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    Ah Kewl....care to give some hints on whatcha got in store ?

    I hope you do more orchestral-ish percussion, one can never have to many of them wet drums.
    Especially the ones that sound great

  8. #8

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    well, for next month: there won't be anything orchestral, although there will be some more big freakin drums and boomers. And some other really, really cool stuff...

  9. #9

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    Wow. Those sound great. That does it - this just confirms my recent decision to go ahead and FINALLY get Kontakt. I think I am the only guy in the world that doesn't own it yet (no wait - there's that other guy over in Iowa. What a loser ).

    The Bamboo sticks and the Hang Drum both sound amazing. Be watching your site to see what you come up with next.

  10. #10

    Re: some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

    I really like the marching band, frendo and epic toms but... (there's always a 'but').

    ...can you post some DRY demos? It seems like most of your demos are just slathered in reverb. Are the samples recorded with reverb?



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