The story

The duduk has always had a breathy, vocal-like quality that has distinguished it from other woodwind instruments. This uncanny valley of timbre was the perfect sound that could replace a synth or vocal pad in my toolset.

Never having played a double-reed instrument before, I bought an MKS duduk in April of 2020. I started practicing scales, changing out the reeds, learning how to produce the best tone for each note.

I used a pair of stereo condensor mics 1 foot away from the end of the duduk, recording two layers: SOFT and FORTE

Due to the natural tuning of the duduk and my amateur skills, many notes were out of tune, but I knew that I would need to tune it to western standards anyway. I used melodyne to tune and cleaned up some noise with RX.

The modweel is assigned to fade between SOFT and FORTE. Additionally, the modwheel affects the pitch of the forte layer toward the louder end to emulate the strain on the reeds.

The thirt layer, PAD, is the soft layer rendered with a smooth reverberated tone and subtle pitch modulation. Nothing crazy.

Instead of containing different patches, it is programmed to be an all-in-one instrument with 3 distinct layers that can be dialed in to achieve the desired sound.

It’s nice to have an in-tune duduk at the ready, but I find myself using the pad setting more often. I hope you enjoy.

Reviews for Expressive Duduk

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • The perfect duduk/woodwind pad

    This is just a nice instrument, the perfect woodwind pad if you ask me, you can hear all the detail of the sound just as clearly as the ambience itself. Thanks so much!

    AlonsoUrmeneta31 May 2022
  • It sounds incredible!

    I absolutly love this duduk , I love the external pad on it , it makes the duduk seems more "natural". The thing is that I can't believe you give this away for free James because it is (for me at least) a premium library , I like the simple interface too

    ARKAN20 June 2022
  • A fantastic layered wind pad!

    This is indeed a very expressive Duduk, in its softest form possible. You will see that there are 6 knobs in the nice, minimal GUI, 3 of which being the different layers of the instrument. Each one adds a separate texture to the sound, but it's very nice you have full control over them. Except the 6 knobs, there is also a hidden control in the modwheel that seems to be doing some kind of extra filtering.

    If I had to note a things or two, that would be the knobs not being vertically controlled, and that there is no ADSR filter, which is very usually nice for such pad-like instruments. You can still adjust the ADSR through the instrument settings in the top left corner of the patch, but it seems that doesnt affect the Pad layer.

    With that said, I definitely recommend to check it out. It will be a fantastic addition to my library for sure.

    Alex Raptakis30 April 2022
  • Really beautiful

    This one has a really good sound and a lot of options to go around with it. I highly recommend this little hidden gem!

  • Organ-like sounds from a duduk

    A cool instrument, which to my ear doesn't really sound like a duduk, but can still be appreciated on its own merits! The soft 'patch' gives a flute-like sound while 'forte' sounds more like an oboe, similar to what you'd get from the stops on a small pump organ. The pad also sounds great, and can be customised with the filter in the UI. There is mod-wheel support which is particularly noticeable on the forte samples, but unfortunately no pitch-bending which hampers trying to imitate a lot of the articulations typical of a duduk. Overall an instrument I would recommend trying out, but not as a typical duduk sound if that's what you're looking for.

    EamonSamplist 22 April 2022