The Swarminet

A 10-layer bendy clarinet instrument inspired by the Dewanatron Swarmatron....

The story

A 10-layer bendy clarinet instrument inspired by the Dewanatron Swarmatron.

I’ve made a bunch of versions of this bendy swarmy Swarmatron-inspired instrument over the years in Kontakt and Omnisphere with various sound sources like strings, horns, and synths for my work on shows like Scandal and the film, The Block Island Sound (out now on Netflix!)

As a follow-up to the SWARMITAR, the SWARMINET is made up of 10 clarinets that can bend in and out of tune with one another using a MIDI CC control.

I don’t know how to play the clarinet, but somehow I have two of them, so I did what I normally do when I have an instrument I don’t know how to play (which is most of them) – make it sound weird and sample it. So two beginner clarinets were sampled by a beginner clarinetist in minor thirds as high as I could go. The first set of five as straight as I could play them (not very), and the second set with some blips and noises (ah, much easier).

They were recorded with a Line CM-3 microphone, a fantastic and inexpensive small-diaphragm condenser out of a one-man shop in Sweden.

So go out and transition into or out of tension, ride the mod wheel and play it like a rich, beautiful, detuned (or not) synth pad, use it as an interesting modulating bed underneath a solo instrument, run it through mountains of delays and reverbs to get a filtered Blade Runner horn, maybe even use it like you would use clarinets, but mostly I encourage you to pave your own path and share your experiments with me!

BYOS (Bring Your Own Splosh – you already have your favorite reverbs and don’t need Kontakt’s!) (…unless you really want it and then I’ll add it in)

*Includes a little bonus patch: “The Swarminet – Solo Swarmless”

-Without the strength in numbers (or me knowing how to play the clarinet), this solo patch is unstable and vulnerable in a lovely way. It uses only one layer of the black clarinet, with a slight panning modulation for width. On this patch, the swarm knob does not swarm, it only adds a slight amount of brightness.

Please enjoy, and I look forward to hearing how you use it!

See how it was made: https://youtu.be/0ONNLHX3HF8

(Requires the FULL version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or later)

Thank you!
Paul

Reviews

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

  • Clarinets, but way better

    This instrument is totally inspiring, and totally great. I have one teeny tiny suggestion for improvement to get out of the way, and that is that in certain circumstances Swarm range 0 and Swarm at max you can hear a little noise maybe it's just sir escaping the player's embouchure? It's a super minor detail, though. On the other hand, you have an amazing UI, an incredibly inspiring and playable instrument that sounds surprisingly great in a wide variety of musical contexts. You'd have had a tough time convincing me had I not tried it for myself! I hope this ends up as a LABS instrument at some point. It certainly seems like it's at the level of commercially available sample libraries!

    Sam Ecoff18 October 2021
  • Incredibly inspiring and professionally done!

    This near-perfect instrument is hard to think it's out there for free. The only negative thing I found is that there is some white noise, but if you don't prefer that you can easily tweaking it by turning the modwheel a little down or simply engaging the LFO filter. Other than that, everything is very, very well made. Thank you!

    Alex Raptakis16 October 2021
  • I'm struggling to find anything wrong with it!

    I spent about 20 minutes playing around with this thing before even noticing the giant swarm knob. I think what Paul has done here is fantastic. I find you can get a range of sounds from the library, everything from 90s Roland-esque choral textures to all out wind cluster madness. This library would be great for the young composers who are working on short films... particularly thrillers, who perhaps don't have the budget for live musicians to experiment with aleatoric playing. The way you can build clusters with this, is inspired. The vibrato knob is a revelation, and the use of a filter instead of time based FX was an excellent choice. As Paul said in the description, BYOS.

    R.Treves16 October 2021
  • Very eerie and chaotic, fun to play

    Five stars all around. I like that the samples are not too pristine, nor too chaotic starting out, which makes for a wide range of textures. If you haven't yet, grab Paul's Swarmitar on PB and also the acoustic Swarmitar on his website. All top notch instruments, but the Swarminet is the standout in my opinion. One tweak I suggest is mapping the mod wheel to the swarm knob. By default it's mapped to the filter knob.

    ChesterGwazda13 October 2021