Icebreaker Audio Akebono

An authentic, sample-based emulation of the SUIKO SK-10 (aka the Akebono Koto Synth)

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The Icebreaker Audio Akebono Collection is an authentic, sample-based emulation of the SUIKO SK-10 (aka the Akebono Koto Synth), a rare suitcase instrument from Japan.

The Akebono (literal translation: “Dawn”) Koto Synth was probably released sometime in the mid-1980s. Detailed information in English is scarce, as it was never intended for use by western musicians. It re-creates a number of traditional Japanese instrument sounds using a combination of samples and digital synthesis.

Designed primarily as a Koto practice instrument, Akebono uses buttons instead of piano keys, has a joystick for pitch and volume modulation, and a speaker built into the suitcase.

In order to fully recreate the authentic sound of this unique instrument, several impulse responses of the speaker were recorded at a variety of microphone positions and configurations. A total of 7 microphone configurations/positions are available in the custom-designed Kontakt interface. Further Kontakt scripting was used to re-create the nuances of the instrument to make this recreation as close to the original as possible.

The instrument samples were recorded chromatically from a direct line out at 24bit/48kHz quality. You can opt to use the direct signal, the speaker signal, or a mix of both.

In total there are 15 different instrument sounds available in this collection, spread over 3 different nkis. Akebono included not only 4 different Koto sounds, but also a wide variety of Japanese classical instruments including Shamisen, several woodwind instruments like the Shakuhachi, and even a kit of Taiko drums.

Please note that this is a 're-mastered' version of the original Akebono release, updated to make better use of the latest version of the Kontakt 6 engine, including updated effects and improved interfaces.

Akebono: Plucked contains all of the plucked string sounds.

  • Koto – a 13 string zither, similar to the Chinese Gu Zheng, and the Korean Gayageum. 2 different Kotos are included.
  • 17-string Koto – a variation of the Koto, also known as the Bass Koto, because of its lower range. 2 different Bass Kotos are included.
  • Guqin – the name translates as “ancient stringed instrument”. It is a fretless, bridgeless zither.
  • Shamisen – literally translates as “three strings”. It is kind of like a box-shaped banjo without frets.
    3 different Shamisen are included.
  • Biwa – a fretted lute, and a close relative to the Chinese Pipa. 

Akebono: Wind contains all of the sustained instrument sounds, most of which are woodwind.

  • Shakuhachi – an end-blown bamboo flute. Probably the most well-known Japanese woodwind instrument.
  • Shinobue – a transverse flute, also made from bamboo.
  • Nohkan – another bamboo transverse flute.
  • Shō – a mouth organ, made from bamboo that uses metal reeds to produce its sound. Similar in principal to a western harmonica, though with a very different playing style, as it is possible to produce dense chords and tone clusters.
  • Kokyū – the only traditional Japanese stringed instrument to be played with a bow. It is similar in appearance to the shamisen.

Akebono: Percussive is a kit containing 13 different percussion sounds:

  • Big Taiko – A large, wooden, double-headed drum. Similar in sound to a concert bass drum.
  • Dou Uchi – hitting the drum on the side. A hollow wooden sound.
  • Shime-daiko – literally translates as “tight drum”. A smaller, shallower taiko drum.
  • Bell – a small cymbal.
  • Hyoshigi – Two pieces of wood or bamboo that are hit together. Similar to a clave.
  • Surigane – a small gong.
  • Kakko – another tight, double-headed drum, though deeper than the Shime-daiko.
  • Ōtsuzumi – a large hour-glass shaped drum.
  • Kotsuzumi – a small hour-glass shaped drum.
  • Kakegoe “ō“) – A shout or call made during the performance.
  • Kakegoe “Iyō“ – A shout or call made during performance.

Download Size: 441.6MB

Expanded Size: 471.6MB

This products uses Kontakt Files. Please click on the link below to find out how to install Kontakt Files.

Customer Reviews


Tech Specs

Product Type:

Sample Library


  • Kontakt files

Product Specs:

System Requirements 
  • This product requires the full version of Kontakt 6.4.2 or later