The story

As part of the Patchworks collaborative birthday gift for Christian Henson I asked one of my friends, James Walker, to record some percussion parts.

One of the parts was an isolate STEM of cymbal swells and I wondered how well they might work as a sample pack. Turns out, they worked pretty good – so James recorded me a set of 12 different cymbals played short, medium and long swells.

For the Kontakt version there is an added feature to sync the swell peak to the downbeat of the nearest bar, regardless of the tempo or key signature set in your DAW. This overcomes one of my usually challenges using cymbal swell samples. A DecentSampler version is also available but without the advanced features only available in Kontakt.

Check out my video below for more info on the sample pack. Also, check out James on Instagram, Twitter and his website.


Reviews for Cymbal Swells

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Most usable library yet

    WOW, this is amazing..........probably the most usable library yet. Well done!

    billbk02 January 2022
  • Cymbals that just work!

    Great concept and well executed - so easy now to setup a cymbal swell. Some great choices of cymbals too, and so quick to try out the different models now they're all perfectly synched. Thanks!

    p11 April 2022
  • Great cymbal swells

    A great pack of cymbals. The sound quality is quite good and the number of keys that can be played is reasonable. Although it comes with only two controls, this pair offers the flexibility to make variations and achieve decent results. The GUI is clean and tidy and allows you to work comfortably with the audio content.

    GuilleDSamplist 29 September 2022
  • Coppertone Baby!

    Nothing beguiling here... just some proper copper cymbals.

    The best cymbal swell of the bunch is located on key G4
    The second best sounding one here is located on key G3
    The third best sounding cymbal swell is located on key D3

    A pair of Sontronics STC-1 microphones used to capture these cymbals grant a clean and detailed sound. These aren't the best microphones and the Focusrite Saffire interface has lower quality A/D convertors by today's standards but the sound quality here is surprisingly good. One could use this in a pinch to create the rising cymbal crescendo effects used in most cinematic orchestral music.

    The sync function is a neat addition here and something to possibly help speed up workflow and editing time. The attack and release controls are befitting however, in musical context, you will need to leave those wide open and use DAW track volume automation to control the exact way the cymbal rises and decays in your piece of music. Placement of the peak of the cymbal swell always feels critical. Once a MIDI performance has been established, I might suggest diving a little deeper by dropping the actual audio samples into the DAW session on a stereo audio track to speed up the placement and track automation process. This really depends on how much time you have and how persnickety you may be.

    I don't see another comparable library on Pianobook so this should be quite popular. If someone else with a very nice collection of hand made Turkish cymbals were to come along with a pair of Coles 4038 microphones, a Millenia HV-3 stereo preamp, a high end A/D convertor and record a cymbal swell library, I think that could score high marks to be awarded the LABS treatment by the out-loud thinker.

    Bob Guido03 January 2022
  • Proper, well performed swells!

    This is a good example of things you can't easily find in many premium percussion libraries. These swells are very well recorded and performed. It's a must have for everyone.

    As a small issue, I found that all of the samples are heavily panned to the left, so try testing them at around 30-35L if you want them centered.

    Alex Raptakis17 January 2022
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