To inspire you all for our Tonehammer/Gnomehammer Demo-writing content, we're releasing a new freebie today – known as "The Wintery Pond".
We captured a variety of percussive elements and effects by bouncing stones and ice over a frozen pond in a narrow canyon, high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The results are quite surprising, as the sound waves travel over the ice and bounce of the canyon walls in very unusual ways. As the stones bounce away from the listening position, across the ice to the far side of the pond, the impact sounds are morphed into a series of spring-like pinging Doppler effected echoes.
There are 5 sub-categories: Pebble skittering, large rock skipping, small rock skipping, ice smashing and smashing/splashing through the ice. The patches load into “drum” mode by default. The decay/sustain has been shortened to allow tight percussive playing. Use the modwheel to extend the length of the sample all the way to full length, to hear the stones crossing the entire width of the frozen pond.
While this 214 Sample / 8 program / 118 MB library is well suited for use by sound designers and sfx artists, the advanced instrument programming should nonetheless allow for very unique and responsive playability as percussion and musical effect elements.
The sounds don't really work that way, since the way the trailing bounces occur after the initial impact were all a little too unique to automatically cycle. There are 214 different samples and a variety of different kinds of impacts. More importantly, the patches have pretty refined programming, so even if you play the same key over and over, it will constantly change up a bit and react naturally to velocity. Also, the modwheel is pretty key to this instrument, which will give you a ton of variation potential.
As an example, the demo was played entirely on a keyboard just using the combo patch and slowly scaling the modwheel up throughout the demo.