Hi again everyone. This is Mike from Tonehammer with a new batch of musical toys. We've just launched a brand new Kontakt-based sample instrument library for the new year and adding up a huge update to one of our favorites. The Kalimba (aka Thumb Piano) is a tuned percussion instrument and a variant of the African Mbira. It’s essentially a hollow 6x6 inch wooden box with metal keys attached to it. The instrument is plucked with thumbs and the wooden box helps increase the resonance of the metal keys. It's got a very warm, humble tone with a sharp sproingy attack, short sustain and a slightly sandy decay. The library contains 1,036 samples totaling 609 MB. It features recordings in 3 different locations (dry, small hall, big hall), with a total of four microphone positions.

Here's a song made entirely of our Kalimba, featuring both the close and hall versions of the instrument.

The Frendo update more than doubles the content of this popular custom instrument, with an entirely new close-mic position and a ton of new very playable patches. We created this monster by stringing bailing wire around and through through steel plates and bolts, over galvanize steel piping and across wood planks. It was meant to suffer, by application of screwdrivers, bows, drum sticks, mallets and our wicked bony little fingers. The instrument holds a vast amount of otherworldly sounds, ideal for composers looking for new disturbing, horror-like textures. The original November 15th, ‘08 release of this instrument only contained one microphone position and totaled just under 380 MB. It was a hall recording of the Frendo, with microphones at each end of the instrument, from about 6″ above the strings. We recorded the second microphone position from inside the actual resonance chamber of the Frendo itself. We used a 120 degree stereo configuration, with small diaphragm capsules to capture more of the bass and tighter transients.The new and improved version now contains both microphone positions. It has 30 kontakt .nki files, 1100 samples and weighs in at 990 MB.

Here's a song made entirely of the new Frendo content

Here's a track made entirely of the original Frendo material.

Hope you guys have as much fun with the Frendo and Kalimba as we do.