The story

From the “Tapper”, the “Banger” and now the proverbial “Plucker” – absolute proof that “you just never know” is a real thing! For over 4 decades I’ve used this tape measure from the local hardware store – I’ve built backyard decks, measured growing kids, positioned pictures for hanging and thousands of other measuring projects. I’ve worn it on my belt throughout and never thought of “plucking” the belt clip – until recently – and what did I hear? A Kalimba-like sound. I was so excited – I heard PITCH and TONE and RESONANCE – so of course – naturally – I just HAD to make it into a sample library for Pianobook! The root resonance is at C3 60. The naked sample with the Tone set at about 50% delivers a remarkable Kalimba-like tone. I’ve added some step FX to the tail of the sample and you hear the full effect when you add in FX using the mod wheel and sustain the note until the end of the sample. Add your own effects – go nuts! I’ve had a lot of fun discovering and building this instrument and based on this discovery I’ve re-discovered that it is definitely true that – Music is everywhere!


Reviews for Robs Tape Measure Kalimba

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • It made me smile

    A haunting instrument with two distinct flavours with the FX turned down the tone set at half way and reverb at a quarter, below c3 the sound is quite metallic yet above e3 the sound becomes a more wooden like instrument. It put a smile on my face

    Les Cook24 May 2022
  • A different Kalimba!

    If I could describe the sound coming from this instrument, I'd say it's a Kalimba with a very strong attack and very short release. It has a metallic tone to it that makes it very unique, and great for SFX too. The "fx" knob is bound to the Mod-Wheel by default, which adds a few dingles as a tail. Since this is based off one note stretched across the keyboard, the speed of this effect is affected by the pitch, but that's okay. It's more preferable to have a bigger range, in my opinion.

    I recommend experimenting by adding different kinds of effects on it, but I definitely recommend some depth ones!

    Alex Raptakis15 March 2022
  • Marvellous Measure

    What a great little piece of fun. The recording are good and the GUI has a nice selection of controls. It's very playable and with a bit of delay adds a really nice bit of sparkle.

    NemoralisMusicSamplist 08 September 2022
  • It's exactly what the name of the VI is.

    I am not a big fan of the FX applied on start so I turned them off and I'm glad I did, because the inner kalimba hidden in your tape measure came out, more than I thought it would. Cool take on a kalimba-like instrument!

    Snake24 May 2022