Harriet Ford Music’s Reviews
Spring Chimes - The Peak of Pianobook
Before I begin, if you like this library then I'd like to ask that you take a moment to look at the fundraiser launched alongside this project, which donates proceedings to Ukrainians at this terrible time. This library is built on a bond of collaboration and helping each other out, so in that spirit, please consider donating. If you don't have any funds to spare right now, share the fundraiser around with your friends instead!
So, welcome to the peak of Pianobook. At the very height of the Pianobook mountain lies the home of this library - Spring Chimes - peacefully looking over its brothers and sisters. But it's not because this library is superior to any of the other libraries on this site. In fact, apart from the warps of the samples, none of the samples were made specifically for this library. This is a beautiful compendium of different Pianobook libraries partnered together to form a completely unmatched metallophone library. This library is what this site is about: collaboration, sharing, and teamwork. This is the peak of what Pianobook is all about.
In terms of sound and character, this library takes up inspiration from the likes of Solstice's Nursery and Paul Thomson's metallophones from Originals Media Toolkit. The sound is brighter than Nursery, and bigger than Media Toolkit, meaning that it is the perfect middle ground between the two. I found using an LPF on the Rainfall patch makes a truly breathtaking intimate sound that is both rich and big. With that in mind, if you've heard the Solstice Nursery patch before, you know what kind of quality this sound is. There are also divisi patches if you want to break out melody parts or divide the sound up.
There are 6 insane pad signals in this library, under one convenient patch. You can blend all of them together, pan them, control attack and release... It's a swiss army knife for synthetic textures, be it a bass rhythm, an arpeggio or of course, an ever-evolving pad. I am a personal fan of Tape Ripples: the way the sound is so warm and how it flickers every now and then is just jaw-dropping.
This library is a testament to what this site stands for. It has such a beautiful sound, its UI and playability is excellent, and this will have you composing for hours the moment you hear it, and that's only possible because of the sounds we shared for each other.
NAMMbience - A Sound Design Army Knife
This library is a singular multi-use patch that can be utilized like an army knife: it's a pad, a metallophone, and found sound. The pad-ifier function turns the base sounds into a stunning pad that seemingly goes on forever. This is an excellent library that will prove itself as a strong teammate in your instrument collections.
Frozen Glock: My New Secret Weapon
Before watching Dan's video on this sample pack, I was planning to compose a demo for NFO: Orchestral Strings because of how inspiring the string samples sounded. But when I first heard Frozen Glock, I instantly stopped what I was doing and rushed to play with this instrument. I knew this was going to be something else. This sample pack is a melodic instrument, a pad, and a bass all in one. The recording quality is spotless and its reverberant and powerful ambient FX makes a fantastic pad with some LFO and delay. The bass samples also sound great, making it a full register instrument like a piano that has a punchy lower register because of its mallet quality. If you listen to Dan playing this instrument in his walkthrough, you can see how easily accessible and playable this instrument sounds: anyone in favour of jazz motifs and chord progressions should take a peek at what this thing can do. For the GUI: Sondheim famously said that less is more. That's why 2 knobs for Glock and FX is enough and just as powerful as your typical mic shenanigans. I'm proud to call this my new secret weapon. I've been seeking a smooth pad that stands firmly on its own, and I'm happy to have finally found it. Thank you Dan for the amazing instrument!
Emotive Living Room Upright - A Great Piano
The character that comes from this piano is fantastic. Its quieter dynamic range stirs up emotion very effectively - this is a definite must-grab.
Posh CR-78: A Drum Machine
This is a drum machine. It is a very simple drum machine, and that's it. While that sounds okay from an outside perspective, you need to hear this thing to understand how valuable this is towards your composing arsenal.
You have a dry version that you can mangle up for yourself, or two other presets that have been created for you (see Christian's video for more on that). I found while composing with this instrument that the distorted presets are perfect as an underlayer on the dry signal, giving it more punch and character.
There is nothing more I can say. This is a free drum machine that is of retail quality. There is no reason for you not to download it, so go grab it and make some beats with it.