The story

Pulled from my collection of toy instruments – this is my toy DARBUKA. Because it’s a percussion instrument converted here into a pitched keyboard instrument, there’s virtually no sustain. Changing the ATTACK however makes for an interesting change in the sound. The video here features three different attack settings. The home “tap” I sampled happens to resonate at C3. This particular toy is a Meinl Percussion HE-053 Lacquered Aluminum Mini Darbuka with Synthetic Head, 4 1/2-Inch Wide x 7 3/4-Inch Tall.


Reviews for Rob’s Toy Darbuka

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Sounds great, it's like a synth pluck! However...

    This actually sounds pretty good, with it's a plucky character I can see its uses.
    However, I personally find the lack of a reverb knob/slider and a reverb just baked into the sound, I don't really like, so personally, it is better if there was a setting to adjust the reverb, so if I actually wanted to use just the dry sound, I have an option too.
    But yeah in general, pretty good small library!

    SkippZii28 February 2022
  • I wish it had a sustain

    There is something really cool with this one. It is a really cool perc. It reminds me of plucked rubber bands. I love the attack and the amount of reverb that was put on. Simple controls, just volume and attack. But you can get a variety of sounds with just the attack. Knocking it up just a little bit turns it into something completely different. The low end sounds like a PVC mallet instrument, while the high end is almost panflute like. Which is why I wished it had a sustain. It's not the end of the world though. Still a super fun instrument!

    Minirehak21224 May 2022
  • New EDM Trend?

    Drop the attack and play some EDM Chords. Sounds like a pitched Darbuka is gonna be on all the charts at some point.

    I really like the flexibility of this tiny instrument, with one control.

    It's also interesting how the attack almost sounds like a cut off if automated during a a piece.

    rrahim25 May 2022
  • Downloaded too fast!

    This is less than half a Megabyte in size, which these days is tiny, so it downloaded very quickly - maybe too quickly! At first I didn't think it could have finished, and the web-site says that it is '0MB' in size...

    But for that minuscule effort, you get a toy Darbuka which does exactly what it says: a pitched percussive instrument that might easily be mistaken for something synthetic (which it isn't!). So, solid sampled goodness. The default Attack setting seems to be half way, which is a very slow attack, and it makes it more of a soft flute-like sound. But by turning the Attack speed down to the shortest setting, you get a percussive sound which definitely sounds like it came from the instrument shown in the background photo. My only problem is that the range doesn't go low enough, so a quick edit to the .dspreset file, and I had it going L O W... (all the way to C-2). Cool!

    Once I had the file open, then a quick "loopEnabled="true" for the whole group gave me a repeated Darbuka for held notes, especially at higher notes! And if you change the Trigger 'attack' to 'release', then you get a Swarm Darbuka! Hours of fun!

    For some reason, 'tuning' is mis-spelt as 'tunning' in the XML .dspreset file, but the tuning is set to zero, so that isn't a problem.

    This is a simple, fun instrument that makes a useful percussive sound that isn't going to be mistaken for yet another 808 drum sample. I particularly liked the rough, earthy sounds that you get when you tweak the .dspreset file so that the notes go very low. It definitely made me think differently about some of my virtual instruments that are several gigs in size, have crazy UIs, and are nowhere near as much fun as this!

  • An interesting pluck sound

    This instrument offers an interesting attacky sound that features a strong attack, which can be greatly changed by messing with the attack knob. After the initial attack, there is a very quick sub-ish followup sound that is more audible with headphones, but if it's something that bothers you, I bet it's easily fixed with some EQ.

    Alex Raptakis14 March 2022
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