VacuumTap

Tiny vacuum flasks with three different timbres...

The story

I’ve been experimenting with Decent Sampler, gradually adding more controls and internal complexity, and I decided that I had reached the stage where I would make the same mistake that every other beginner sample-creator makes: I would attempt to sample something hitting a piece of metal – and there are a lot of traps waiting for the unwary: tuning, looping, dynamics… and many more.

I found some interesting bits of metal: tiny vacuum flasks of about 200ml capacity. Initial testing showed that they had strong resonances at frequencies very close to C, E and G#, and so I spent some time figuring out how to do 8 velocity layers and then how to edit them, and how to solve the problem of working with short clangorous sounds with no sustain yet that were impossible to loop.

VacuumTap is the result. You have 8 velocity layers to play with, and three different timbres of clang (1, 2 and 3). In addition, there are lots of volume controls, for fast percussive samples (1f. 2f and 3f) and slow sustained sounds (1s, 2s and 3s), and for detuned versions of all of these. Setting all the volume controls to max may overload the output stage, which may be what you want, but I do not recommend it – distorted clangs just sound bad, in my humble opinion.

Additional controls provide attack and release times, so you can have slow, atmospheric sounds. There is limited tone control via a low pass filter with resonance (Q), but it could do with more character. Reverb controls enable you to bury the timbres in an environment, should you wish to – just remember the two rules: ‘Don’t use too much reverb because it will sound like a demo.’, and: ‘You can’t have too much reverb when there’s a picture as a distraction.’

Enjoy!

Reviews

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  • Sounds like bells...

    This instrument has very interesting bell qualities to it, and almost sounds like a church bell, glockenspiel, and triangle all melded together. Of course, the low end has the strong and powerful hits that one would want. In my opinion, the sounds are very "dirty", not due to poor sampling, but rather because of the processing and individual sound of the cups, which can cause the mixes to get a little bit crowded, so this instrument best works in a relatively minimal mix.

    christopher13 October 2021