I got this Kalimba for christmas and it kinda bothered me that I had to retune it everytime I wanted to leave the diatonic scale. So I decided to sample the instrument, first in C Major, then specific keys half-step up so that I could play it chromatically on my keyboard.
Next I figured it would be really cool to have the Kalimba resonate with a bunch of weird sounds, so I started experimenting with different instruments, drums and noises to find some interesting effects. Once I figured out how to realistically depict the release samples of a Kalimba, I packaged the whole thing in a Kontakt GUI and made it ready for use. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂
Reviews for Resonating Kalimba
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Better sound than the default Kontakt kalimba.
This instrument has a livelier sound than the one that comes with the Kontakt factory library, and it actually has individually sampled notes and multiple velocities! It includes a nice selection of "resonances" (i.e. creative convolution reverbs).
I did add an ADHSR envelope to give it a long release and short decay so that the staccato behaviour is reversed: hold for short notes and peck for long notes. That worked better for my liking. The default release is like instantaneous so probably not what people naturally want. I also think it sounds better with the low end turned down.
A good kalimba with a lot of options
I liked the ability to change the resonance with different models. The release should be longer, but I found myself compensating for that be holding down the sustain pedal. There's a bit of unevenness as you move from one velocity layer to another, but overall, it's a really useable sample pack.
Nice sound overall, some minor issues
Although this is a really nice and plucky sound, there are other kalimbas on pianobook i prefer more that i feel sound more, resonant, natural and organic than this one. Perhaps part if this has to do with the fact that the samples cut off so quickly. Maybe the other libraries have more sustain to the notes so the notes interact with each other in a more realistic way. I think its a really cool concept to use the resonance of the kalimba to trigger other sounds. These effects are really interesting and characterful. Again, there are kalimbas on pianobook i prefer to this one but i still think this is a really solid pack espicially with the extra resonance goodies. The GUI offers nice control with EQ and compression. Something we dont often see on pianobook libraries.
With some tweaks, it can be amazing!
The actual sound of the instrument is very nice, but there is definitely some room for improvement. The release sample that cuts off immediately would likely give a hard time if someone would try to perform on it, but it wouldn't be a problem in programming. For performing, I recommend using the sustain pedal.
The other thing that I personally find kind of counter intuitive is in the two horizontal sliders in the GUI. The interface makes it seem it works backwards - the yellow should fill the empty blacks - and 2nd, the actual control VERTICAL instead. There are some other settings though that work great, such as an EQ, a compressor, and a wonderful Resonance setting with tons of options that work great.
If the release trigger and the UI issues are fixed, this would be an easy 5/5.