Icebreaker Audio Sanjo Gayageum

A multi-sampled instrument re-creating the sound of a traditional Korean stringed instrument

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£44.95 inc. VAT
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Icebreaker Audio Sanjo Gayageum is a multi-sampled instrument designed to re-create the sound of the traditional Korean stringed instrument of the same name.

The Gayageum (가야금 - also Romanised to Kayageum or Kayagŭm) is a close relative to the Japanese Koto and the Chinese Guzheng. Like these instruments, it is a zither with movable bridges and is played by plucking the strings with the right hand and bending them with the left hand.

The Sanjo Gayageum has 12 strings, spaced closer together than older Gayageum designs to allow for faster playing styles. The Sanjo Gayageum design evolved in the 19th century with the emergence of Sanjo music.

For this Kontakt instrument over 1500 samples were recorded and edited to create a natural sounding Gayageum instrument. All 12 string were recorded with 2 different traditional tunings using both the pluck and flick techniques. Each articulation features a minimum of 3 round robins and at least 6 velocity layers.

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

The Sanjo Gayageum is generally played with the thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand. The player can pluck or flick the strings and, during faster passages, can make use of a double-flick technique. The pluck + double-flick technique often leads to a 3/4 or 6/8 feel, though Sanjo tends to have no strict meter.

The left hand is used to bend the notes or to create vibrato. The vibrato of the Korean Sanjo tends to be very intense and pitch rarely stays static for long.

Compared to other traditional music styles of the region, Sanjo is very percussive and almost aggressive at times. The strings can be plucked and flicked hard enough to slap or buzz and the almost constant vibrato gives an unsettled feel to the music. 

Kontakt scripts are used to create advanced pitch bend control (so you can bend single strings rather than the whole instrument) automatic switching between plucked and flicked articulations, a cross-fade slider between two different microphone positions, and several mixing effects including EQ and compression.

It is also possible to play the instrument in a western standard chromatic mode, or a traditional mode, where 12 keys represent the 12 strings of the Gayageum.



  • Over 1500 samples.

  • All samples were recorded at 24bit/48kHz quality.

  • 2.84GB uncompressed audio files.

  • 1.15GB compressed sample size (using lossless .ncw compression)

  • All 12 strings of the Sanjo Gayageum were sampled with two different tunings and using the two main playing styles (pluck and flick).

  • Each sampled articulation features a minimum of 3 round robins and between 6 and 14 velocity layers.

Instrument features

  • Advanced pitch-bend control

  • Tuning control for each string

  • Ability to mix between two microphone positions

  • Repeat Mode and Auto-Repeat functions

  • Mixer effects including EQ, Compression, and Tape Simulator

  • Delay and Convolution Reverb effects

  • 12 Custom Impulse Responses

Download Size: 612.2MB

Expanded Size: 1.25GB

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

Customer Reviews


Press Quotes

"Covers the percussive, bassy twangs as well as the crisper, resonant highs subtly and accurately. The playability and tweakability is spot on for an instrument of this size. Nothing overwhelming or excessive, just nice, well thought out, expressive controls. It immediately draws you in and has you inventing melodies quickly. The gayageum is a very lovely instrument and this sample library serves it very well." - Filmandgamecomposers

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
  • 1.2GB Free Hard Drive Space
  • 420MB Available RAM