I first heard an Array M’bira when I saw Imogen Heap playing one. I instantly loved the sound. It’s so organic and unusual. I saved my pennies, and finally the day came when it was time to purchase one. I obsessively checked the tracking number as the package wound its way from San Francisco to me in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I didn’t want to miss the delivery, so I had it send to the conservatory where I teach. When I arrived that day, I received a nasty surprise: someone in the postal service used the box my m’bira was in as a step stool, and the entire back was caved in, complete with a boot print. It was the sort of thing that made you sick to your stomach to look at. I know it was unintentional, but it felt really tragic that something so beautiful had been destroyed. However, I had an album deadline, so I stared recording with the damaged instrument, which still played well since the damage was to the underside. However, to make a claim at the postal service, I had to return that instrument with the packaging. So, I was stuck using sample libraries of Array M’biras to complete some of the pieces I’d started working on. Meanwhile, I ordered (and paid for) a second Array M’bira, which is the one that appears in the included sample libraries. It was even more expensive (but more beautiful) than the first one, and I was completely pleased with it when it finally arrived. The postal service took *nine months* to honor the insurance claim, but I did finally receive the check from them.
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Pretty or Ghostly, you decide...
This well recorded Array M'bira, offers up a warm slightly bell like sound to the user. Simple to use with controls to blend the direct and mic levels allow the instruments to fit into a mix well, without too much post processing.
Don't sleep on this hidden gem!
DS version reviewed This comes packed with a multitude of articulations. The instrument itself sounds can approximately described as somewhere between a traditional Kalimba and a Vibraphone with a warm and pleasant overall characteristic. It comes with lots of resonance - the good type of resonance - adding to the unique character. When playing chords - probably not possible on the real thing? - the sound becomes slightly reminiscent of electromechanical pianos like the Fender Rhodes, thus effects like phasers and flangers can work well. Attack and release controls allow to adapt the sound to each use case, which is crucial.
Simple But Cute!
Not sure what Hidde Pieters is talking about - Not sure if I did something wrong, but I can only find one patch that is pretty much one simple instrument, with a GUI that features two mic knobs and a small wallpaper of the instrument intself. The sound itself is clean and quite unique - I personally haven't heard anything similar to that. Try it yourself and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
This is quite a versatile library. I appreciate the amount of patches that it ships with, giving the user plenty of options to chose from in terms of the specific sound, and even in the individual patches there's still a lot that can be achieved. I found that this instrument could, quite easily, be used for both ambient and more relaxing music, and for more unsettling music. It also works really nicely as a layer for larger compositions. The only gripe I have with it is that I wish it could go to a higher register, but I suppose that's just a limitation of the recorded instrument, and not so much of the library. Real solid work, and something that can't go wrong
Simple But Effective
I use a lot of bell type sounds in my work and thought I would add this to the collection, has been working well as a go to layer for added thickness. You can hear the effort that went into recording this.