Several years ago, three of my cousins entrusted me to be the “keeper” of my my Grandmother’s brother’s, my Great Uncle’s, my Uncle Bill’s – Serenader Baritone Ukulele. This is an instrument and a person that has defined our family – the way we frame our lives and our outlook on pretty much everything, for almost 100 years. We say things like “I’m a Vye” or “It’s a Vye thing” or some other variation. It’s like our own secret code that only we understand. For reference – this instrument and my very first Pianobook instrument submission Robs Perfectly Imperfect Piano are also related – they come from the same place – Family singalongs that included more than their fair share of alcohol. Beer rings are like friendship rings in our houses. It’s time for me to return the instrument but wanted to keep it alive by sharing it with the world through Pianobook. Here’s an example of life with Uncle Bill: he would show up in our Kitchen on Saturday mornings around 8am, still enjoying the glow or maybe just starting it enough to answer my Dad’s Saturday-morning-Bill-in-the-house question “what’ll it be Bill – beer or rye?” with Uncle Bill’s classic answer: “That’ll be fine!” Initially I sampled each string but in the end the E2 resonated (you’ll hear C#2 in the video so don’t be concerned) so well that I decided to use just that one sample. As a “piano”, it’s texture reminds me a bit like an old pump-style pipe organ. Adding FX like reverb, echo and flange add just the right colour for some very cool sounds when percussive. Slow the attack and you’ve got a Mellotron. In the lower register you get a nice stand-up bass kind of vibe. I wanted to sample this family icon for not only the Pianobook community but for the generations of my family that will follow me. I wanted to sample this family icon for not only the Pianobook community but for the generations of my family that will follow me.
Uncle Bills Serenader Baritone Ukulele
Reviews for Uncle Bill’s Serenader Baritone Ukulele
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Pretty cool mangling of the original sample
As a guitarist these kinds of instruments never work for me, especially since this is based off one sample it's extremely unrealistic to play as a ukulele. With that being said though i love the creative ways you can use this. Using things like ADSR, reverb delay etc, you can make a bunch of different sound. You can make this sound like an ambient pad, an organ, a mellotron and more. It can be pretty fun to play around with these limiting instruments because they really inspire you with sound design. The story behind this library is also really special and im glad you shared it.
A very simplistic uke
This is a very simple uke instrument, based off of just one sample. It sounds cute and you can definitely make it work, probably not as a primary instrument, but one that perhaps does something in the background. The sample itself is a little on the noisy side, but you can definitely make it work with some small noise reduction processing.
Since it's just one sample, if you are not a Logic user but you are interested in checking it out, you can just drag-and-drop it in Kontakt. Just be sure to tune it properly to either -4 or +8 Semitones (because the sample is in E, so you need to re-adjust it). It works just as good!
Single Sample Uke
It's worth noting that the included EXS instrument doesn't work as the single sample has been renamed since the instrument was saved. You have to rename the sample to match what EXS is looking for before you can open it.
Which the single included sample is well recorded, this instruments misses out on some opportunities for being really expressive. If it had some round robins, multiple dynamic layers, and if more notes were sampled, it could really reach its full potential. Hopefully this is a foretaste of an even more dynamic instrument which is yet to come.