The story

Gelting is a small village in Northern Germany near by Flensburg and the Baltic Sea. I spend a few days there and I immedeatly liked this little church in the neighbourhood called St. Kathrin. I recorded the bell with my Zoom H5. The recording was not perfect and noisy. But anyway, I tried to make an instrument out of it.
While editing the wavefile I discovered, that there was a clear clicksound from the clockwork before the bell began to ring. I decided, to use it for the instrument too. You can add and tune it independantly from the tuning of the bell. By the way: the original tuning of both bell and clockwork is on E2. You can listen to it at the beginning of the soundcloud demofile. As a third layer I added a looped bell for some drones. You can also tune it independantly from the original bell.
Maybe you’ll have some fun – maybe with simple bell sounds, maybe with experimental drones, maybe with both. Try long reverb and pitch wheel. Enjoy!


Reviews for St. Kathrin’s Bell

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Way, way more than I expected!

    This one caught me out! I was expecting a bell sound, and indeed, there is one - nicely recorded, sounds very real, very bell-like, and it works across the keyboard range very well indeed!

    So that's that, I thought, and was about to write the review... But then I spotted the 'Clockwork' rotary control, and...ah!...that's the preamble noise from the mechanical 'action' that strikes the bell. Oooh! You don't usually get that, and it is very useful for Foley work where you need to have the whole striking sequence for the bell. Nice attention to detail - I will add one extra point for that.

    Next rotary control was 'Drone', and I was beginning to get the impression that this wasn't 'just another bell sample'. I was right - this gives a very rhythmical loop that isn't the boring, smooth perfection that you often get. Nope, this one is glitch-free and makes a point of having volume modulation, so it sounds like the sort of sound that you would get in French 'New Wave' films for a dream sequence. Go Francois Truffaut et al! If you combine the actual bell sound with the drone then you get a bell that morphs from a realistic bell to something much more strange and electronic as it pulses away continuously. I love it when sounds catch you out, and this is a perfect example!

    The 'Drone Attack' rotary control adjust the time for the drone pulse to fade up, which means that you can adjust the twist from reality to unreality. Cool!

    There lower set of rotary controls has the usual 'Tone' control for controlling the brightness of the sound, and on the far right, the room size for the Reverb, with the Reverb Wet Level above it. But loitering between these bracketing controls are three unexpected ones, and this is where it got really interesting!

    Just to the right of 'Tone' is 'Clockwork Tune', and I almost missed this one because 'Tone' and 'Tune' look so similar. But it lets you tune the pitch of the mechanical 'Clockwork' sound, independently to the main 'Bell' sound. So at the root pitch it sounds like the mechanical sound that you would expect, but at higher pitches then it becomes a small chime sound - almost like being on the striker itself as it hits the bell. At lower pitches, then it starts out as additional thumpiness, but lower still and it becomes almost gong-like, turning the main Bell from a parochial pleasant sound into something dark and doom-laden. Full marks here for a very usable extra!

    On the right, is a second pitch control - this time for the Drone. Now this enters 'sound design' territory, because you can now have the Drone end up lower or higher than the main Bell sound. So it starts out as a realistic bell, but then blends into something other-worldly and strange! Wonderful! I do love the unexpected!

    Okay, that's me having completely run out of extra points to award! A first for me, and huge well-earned congratulations to Wiesental.

    Overall, then, a very well thought-out sample pack that has uses far beyond the obvious. I do like it when a virtual instrument goes beyond the usual 'Sample it and turn it into a Decent Sampler virtual instrument' thinking, and this exploits a lot of what DS can do in very useful and unusual ways. I loved it!

    (The demo by Wiesental starts out in conventional 'bell' sound space, as you would expect, but as it proceeds along the time axis, we enter a tesseract of increasingly unusual spaces. A very nice exploration of what you can do with a bell sound by going beyond the usual! I just wish that the 'big gong' sound was in there!)

  • useful and versatile

    I found the gui to be nice and simple and the sound to be of high quality and inspiring.

    CarlinsBeard27 June 2022
  • Layers? Layers!

    I'd never think to combine a bell sound with other layers, but this is a great idea! The fact that you get to mix the Bell with a clock tick and a drone-ish version of the bell is very nice, and it can shape the sound in very unique ways, especially if you start messing with the relative settings of each layer.

    Those relative settings could have definitely been placed in a different, more convenient and obvious way for the user, but everything works as intended, and it's all nice and clean.

    Alex Raptakis27 August 2022