Lullaby

A time capsule of a 1995 vocal recording combined with other synths...

The story

This is sort of a time capsule for me . . . Not a representation of a particular instrument, but of a sonic idea.

In 1995 or so I sampled myself humming into a Casio SK-1. This made its way into the computer via FastTrackerII (DOS), later migrated to ModPlug (Windows), and took up residence in Renoise (Mac) for the better part of two decades. All of those programs were built around samplers, and I was quite happy to keep this instrument for my musical needs in Renoise until Piano Book opened up to non-piano instruments.

Along the way, though, my uses for that sample had accumulated some details and additional layers. I added Sine waves at the top and bottom ends to round things out a bit, and then added a bass tone sampled from another Casio, this time the CZ1000 (a most underrated synth, I’d say). Although sometimes I use it in its more pure form . . . This came to be a sort of signature sound as a part of my ‘piano’ playing in my band. Especially combining this with Rhodes and piano, as my sample track.*

This is my first time building a Kontakt instrument, so I kept it simple, interface-wise, although as a graphic designer by day, this required some restraint.

As for the sounds, it comes ‘out of the box’ programmed the way I most often use it, with a bandpass filter on, additional hi- and lo-pass filters for some sculpting, a delay, and saturation. I included controls for all these parameters, as well as removing the bass (CZ1000 sample), the subtle low sine wave, and adding space.

This has been a most useful instrument for me, I hope it inspires some others as well.

* the sample track represents my continued experiments in developing pieces inspired by Brian Eno’s Ambient 1, side 1, track 1.

Reviews for Lullaby

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Love it!

    Downloaded this based on Christian's award this week....and wow, love it. It is reminiscent for me of an old bellows Harmonium I had as a child....very chapel-ish!!!!!

    Phantomfingers31 December 2021
  • Tycho Baby

    This sound reminds me of something Tycho would use, slightly analog and gritty but also chill, warm and round at the same time. The GUI although stock Kontakt knobs are used offers a really good amount of control. The transient attack you get from this sound is really interesting and i like the noise layered in there too. I often use the follow feature in rc 20 to layer pink noise on-top of bellow synth bells like this. great job on this, Its not my favorite synth sound on the site but its definitely up there

    septemberwalk08 November 2021
  • Lo-fi lullaby creeps

    Oh man I definitely got creeped out by just playing just a few notes. I know it might not be intentional, but that's may just be one side of it. I'm sure it would be far better if the noise was an additional factor that could be controlled, but it has its own character as it is now.

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • Atmospheric Dusty Old Synth

    I love the sound of this.
    The demo I did for it is one of my most liked tracks as well as inspiring singer Nic Evennett to write a song around it.
    Great atmospheric sound but use the low pass to tame some of the hiss. Bit of a one trick pony but what a trick.

    Jim Sanger30 November 2021
  • Love me some Casio SK-1!

    Great sound, very playable, very inspiring. However, there's a ton of noise in this sample. I have an SK-1, so I know firsthand that they are noisy little buggers. I also know first hand that it is possible to get rid of at least some of that noise. I get the whole 'lo-fi and characterful' thing, but when you turn that low pass filter up, the noise becomes a huge part of the sound. It's also really bass and thump without the hi pass filter, and one is left to wonder if there maybe should have been more processing of the samples before they went into Kontakt. All of that said, this is a cool and fun instrument, and it's absolutely useful as it currently stands.

    Sam Ecoff28 October 2021