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

The story

17This 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 it’s 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 band pass 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.


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  • Atmospheric Dusty Old Synth

    I love the sound of this and 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. Really inspiring and great sound but use the low pass to tame some of the hiss. Bit of a one trick pony but what a trick.

    Jim Sanger16 October 2021