A vintage 1980s Tosco crash cymbal turned into a keyboard sound............

The story

This keyboard sound, that is reminiscent of both a Fender Rhodes and an analog synth, was created by doing sound design experiments using destructive EQing.

I created the original sample by striking a vintage 1980s Tosco crash cymbal with a mallet, recording the strike with a close mic (dynamic, Shure SM57) and a matched pair of stereo room mics (condenser, RØDE M5). My favourite sample was then duplicated and destructively EQed to give the two main Clean sounds: Some of the mid-frequencies of the sample are used for the main keyboard sound (E1 to C7, marked blue on the keyboard), while some of the low-frequencies of the sample are used for the keyboard-bass/bass drum sound (A-1 to D#1, marked violet on the keyboard).

The Drive group of samples was created by re-amping the Clean sounds (once per stereo channel) through a Fulltone OCD pedal running into an overdriven Fender Blues Jr. tube amp and a Markbass Mini CMD 151P bass amp (for the low notes).

Here’s to experimentation!

Features (Kontakt):

– Drive control (and/or the Drive signal can be added to the Clean signal using CC1).
– Tremolo on/off button and Rate control (or the Rate can be controlled using CC21). WARNING!: If clicking occurs while using the Tremolo, please adjust/optimize your Kontakt settings.
– Volume mapped to CC11.
– Reverb control (also in the DS version).

Note for the Kontakt version: The mapped midi CC assignments can be removed, if needed. The CC11 modulator can be removed by pressing on the wrench icon (to go under the hood), going to the “Mod” tab, selecting the modulator that reads “midi CC, 11”, then right clicking on the selected modulator to open the “Delete” dialogue box, before clicking “Delete”. This process can be repeated to remove the CC1 modulator. While under the hood, the other CC assignment can be removed by right clicking the corresponding effect parameter (Phasis, “Rate”) and selecting “Remove MIDI Automation”.

Note for the Decent Sampler (DS) version: The Clean and Drive signals can be blended and muted using the corresponding volume knobs, which can also be midi-mapped.

The first demo of mine that features this instrument (and four others that I have created) is called “Wood, Metal, and Mane” and can be heard on the Cymbal Atmos instrument page.


Reviews for Tos-keys

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Tender and soft pad, nice to add to the collection!

    Another tender and beautiful pad! It is easy to use, and the sound is beautiful.

    Asuka Amane20 October 2021
  • Instant childhood vibes

    Splashing shhhhh and rock n' roll is what a naive me would have expected, but it turned out the opposite. Instead, it reminds me of the toy boxes that play those simple melodies. But it has a different kind of flavor, it's softer and richer like a nice yellow sofa next to squeaky wooden dining chairs. Fantastic job, thanks!

    Ef Nerva14 October 2021
  • It dares to be different

    A strange one this one. I go to a lot of weird and wonderful places with the music that I write. I can see me using this somewhere. I have a few ideas in mind already. Used in the right place this could be really effective.

    Ray19 October 2021
  • Duality of sound...

    From the gentle, bell-like pings to harsh and driving tones, this instrument is extremely versatile. The clean signal has soft pings whereas the drive control gives the sound more grit, distortion, and angst. Fantastic job on this one. It's amazing how you were able to get such a variety of sounds from something as simple as a cymbal.

    Christopher13 October 2021
  • Some interesting tones, but a bit limited

    The clean tone sounds similar to a celeste and reminds me of something I'd hear on n64 era Zelda soundtracks. Very clean and soothing, but a bit basic. The drive tone sounds like a pitched-up 808. It changes in tone at F2 and D1, although D1 is much more sudden and drastic.

    VaporGabe12 October 2021
Log in to leave a review