So this is my very first sampled instrument. I’ve created music and sounds for many years under the pseudonym of Chris Lody but I’ve mostly focus on synthesizer based music and have almost all but avoided making sample based instruments. Recently though I’ve been inspired by the wonderfully expressive instruments of LABS and Pianobook to have a go myself.
So I grabbed a copy of Kontakt in a sale during lockdown 1 and set about finding something to sample. Inspiration struck when I was tidying the shed and moved an old half empty butane gas canister. It rings out with a fairly pure tone but being half full of liquid gas the note wavers and the fluid moves inside. It is only capable of one note so to add some depth I sampled 9 velocity layers, I was aiming for 10 but the last one destroyed the beater, a little hard perhaps. By default the patch is set to soften the attack at lower velocities to add more expression.
The notes it plays are a little ambiguous, but I think it’s set up an octave too high. I did this to allow the bottom of my piano keyboard to be used as it’s surprisingly good at booms 🙂
I sampled the canister while holding it so it was free to swing in one hand while I hit it with a fabric wrapped beater in the other hand. I used a modest Audio-Technica ATR-25 stereo condenser mic and an M-Audio Fasttrack audio interface.
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Now that's a very pitchy mallet!
If you are looking for a mallet with a lot of character that features a very unique voice, this is it. WIth that said, don't expect this to sing. It kind of roars instead, but on its very own way. It's dyamic too, and there are also some knobs for you to play with. I'd love if they were something else other than the default design though. You might hear some little white noise, especially if you turn up the reverb, but that's ok in my opinion.