Toy Bell Bird

A charming vintage op-shop toy penguin with multiple internal bells...

The story

I’ve had this old op-shop toy in the house for over twenty years. It’s a simple rock-it-back-and-forth-and-it-makes-a-noise kind of toy, really sturdy, made in Korea, and with a gorgeous bell sound. The chime inside is really only a couple of notes, and not quite in any standard key, so it was little challenging to make a sample instrument from! Hence, this library is an “inspired by” rather than a faithful reproduction. The main section of the keyboard plays single bell chimes, but you can also dial in some “rattle”, which mimics the sound of the toy as it moves back and forth and the bells strike each other inside. You can vary the length of the rattling, as well as tune the intervals of the sympathetic chimes. There is also an infinite sustained pad based on the tail ring of the bells, as well as some reversed bell sounds, because, well, who doesn’t love reversed bell sounds? And for some bottom-end, there is an octave of bass bells. Plus some tweakable retro sounding echo and reverb.


Reviews for Toy Bell Bird

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  • More than just a toy!

    I was not expecting such a diverse patch of sounds on such an instrument! It has this mallet vibe to it, but it also comes with some extra options that make it super fun to explore through the incredibely designed GUI.

    As a more negative thing, the pitches are not well-represented on the keyboard - except for the pink section (highest). The Blue and Red sections seem to be tuned 2 whole steps down (C is actually an A) but it doesn't matter too much since if you introduce Rattle you are going to get different pitches anyway.

    Alex Raptakis17 January 2022