Arco Marimba: Calm/Flux

A rosewood marimba bowed with a double bass bow, then pitch-shifted.......

The story

The second time I had this 4.6 8ve rosewood marimba in my home studio last year (2021), I decided to do a deep sampling of the instrument using one of my double bass bows. The experience was a bit harrowing (including some pretty sore hands and tested patience), but it was well worth it.

The end result is a collection of arco performed sounds that are haunting and magical. From the more stable “Calm” group, to the wilder/fluctuating “Flux” group, as well as the downright scary “Shift” group (pitch-shifted and layered), there are definitely some sonics to be explored within.

I hope you enjoy your time with this sample instrument and thank you for your support!

The stereo recording was captured using a pair of close mics (large diaphragm condenser) and a matched pair of stereo room mics (small diaphragm condenser), before being cleaned-up, mixed, and pitch shifted (for some of the samples).


– Calm, Flux, & Shift group selector buttons with individual volume sliders. These groups can be played at the same time or muted using the buttons and the latter two groups are mapped to midi CC21 for performance blending with the Calm layer/group. Note: Going above the initial volume levels on an individual group’s slider can cause clipping, especially at high velocity levels and with high voice counts.

– Sample Offset control slider to start the samples up to 2 seconds in.

– ADSR control sliders.

– Low Pass Filter (LPF) cut-off control.

– High Pass Filter (HPF) cut-off control.

– Low-Cut EQ bypass button. Note: This EQ (“SGEQ”) can be adjusted under the hood, if needed.

– Tape Saturation and Compression controls (with on/off buttons to preserve sound quality when not in use), both mapped to CC1.

– Plate Reverb and Room Reverb controls. Note: I went a bit heavier on the reverb settings this time around, but they both can be adjusted/mellowed under the hood, if desired.

– Volume mapped to CC11.

WARNING!: Clipping/clicking/digital-distortion may occur when using full FX levels, especially at high velocity levels and with high voice counts.

Note: The mapped midi CC assignments can be removed, if needed. The CC11 and CC21 modulators can be removed by pressing on the wrench icon (to go under the hood), going to the “Mod” tab for each group, selecting the desired modulator, then right clicking to open the “Delete” dialogue box. While under the hood, the other CC assignments can be removed by right clicking the corresponding FX parameters and selecting “Remove MIDI Automation”: CC1- Tape “Gain” & “Warmth”, and SuperGT “Compress”. As stated above, any of the FX and the EQ for the Low-Cut can also be adjusted under the hood.

Decent Sampler version coming soon!


Reviews for Arco Marimba: Calm/Flux

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • As always Sage Reynolds has delivered

    This is a super useable 'marimba pad'. Really inspiring. I'm going to upload a demo that is just the Acro Marimba to show off how beautiful it is on it's on.
    The GUI is lovely and has basically no learning curve. The addition of compression and saturation by use of a mod wheel is great. The saturation sounds absolutely lovely and so does the reverb. In my demo you'll hear a sort of choppy distortion. This is done by in the first take riding the mod wheel a little and then going back over it and with the modwheel at near zero/0 I was just moving it ever so slightly creating this really beautiful choppy effect.
    Anyways yeah, Great instrument. Absolutely worth having in your arsenal.
    Also responds very well to eq.

    Sam Jones19 February 2022
  • Amazing instrument

    Really gorgeous and inspiring sound. The pad is full of colours and evolving textures. A unique and useful sound.

    JTN23 February 2022
  • Beautiful pad with chime-like melody sounds

    Another really lovely and rich pad. This one is much more mellow and has a nice natural sound that I could see working well in the kind of acoustic / folk settings I normally find myself working in where synthetic sounds are undesirable. Plenty of controls to tweak the sound to your liking - my only desire would be something a bit more straightforward than the 'calm' / 'flux' / 'shift' names to better understand what I'm actually toggling with these channels, but it is still possible to figure that out with some toying with the settings and get full enjoyment from the instrument.

    Eamon06 February 2022
  • Not Your Average Marimba

    My initial expectations for this library were to a degree what I heard when I pressed the first key in the low end. It's a bowed marimba, but it's an exceptionally good one. Hold down a key for any length of time and you start to hear the evolution of tone that gives this instrument so much character. Then you dig a little deeper and it becomes so much more.

    Due to a really well developed "engine" this instrument is immensely flexible and some of my favourite surprise moments came from playing it in the higher register. Sure it has the inherent marimba quality, but it also has "bottle blow" undertones.

    The inclusion of an envelope and an offset control are well considered and provide a range of possibilities. One of my favourites it to dial up the offset and decrease the release slightly that results in a "vibraphone-esque" palette.

    This is brilliantly executed and very organic. The attention to detail that the creator has paid rewards the player with lots of subtle and not so subtle control that gives this instrument uses well outside the initial expectations.

    Grab this. It won't disappoint.

    Simon Rigby10 February 2022
  • The Thomas Newman is strong with this one

    This is a sound that for a while I have been longing for (among many other Thomas Newman style extended techniques and such).

    Very airy, dreamy samples that can inspire and add lovely texture to compositions. There is plenty of control over the character of the samples, but I honestly didn't need to fiddle with it that much out of the box to get the sound I wanted.

    This is a must have.

    Daniel12 February 2022
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