Soundiron spend a great deal of time finding and/or creating new instruments that are not commonly known and the Circlebells are no exception. Soundiron managed to get their hands on a very unique tuned percussion instrument, which is made by an artisan in the San Francisco Bay Area and can only be found in a handful of local music shops. The maker makes only one at the time, so there are very few of them available in the world.
The instrument sounds somewhere between a Gamelan, Glass Waterbowl, Prayer Bowl and something extraterrestrial. It is made of an array of 6 steel cone-shaped bells, ranging from 2" to 3 1/2" in diameter and each about 10" long. Each note can sustain for up to 10 seconds or more and carries a deep blend of beautiful overtones.
Soundiron recorded the instrument in wide stereo, very up close in a dry vocal booth. They very carefully captured a huge variety of articulations and effects on the Circle Bells, making it one of their very largest libraries. It’s divided into two sections: sustains and strikes. The Strikes section includes soft mallets and hard metal picks, with a large array of custom-designed special effect instrument patches, light versions and special presets. The Sustains section includes viola bow sustains, staccatos and effects, as well as soft mallet and metal pick sustaining rolls and crecendos, all covering a wide range of speeds and intensities that can be fully controlled using the modwheel.
Version 1.0 of this library was originally released by Tonehammer in 2009. For version 2.0 Soundiron brought Circlebells to be in line with the original vision by restoring the original source recording fidelity. Also in version 2.0, the key-mapping and overall playability has been improved, a full set of brand new automatable performance added, effect and arpeggiator controls, fixed a few minor bugs and refined the overall experience. The new custom, automatable user interface unlocks the power of Circlebells, allowing for dual-layer blending and limitless customization.
Includes a free bonus collection of custom sound-designed ambiences, drones and special FX presets, as well as our favorite custom convolution reverb impulses and an advanced Kontakt user interface with full automation support.
The bells are a modular set of six large conical steel bells, tuned and arrayed from C#, G, F#, D, E and B. They have a dark but clear tone and long natural sustain, somewhere between gamalans, prayer bowls and deep marimbas. We found our set at a local music shop called Gelb Music in the San Francisco Bay area and as far as we can tell, this is the only area they can be found. The maker is a local artisan. They’re hand made and produced one at a time and each set is just a little different from every other.
Circlebells features a fully automatable user interface with arpeggiation and real-time performance controls. Each articulation is available in a standalone preset or as part of a powerful dual-layer instrument which allows users to shape and blend any two articulationsm each with completely independent controls. Our advanced arpeggiation system allows for quick generation of rhythms and full control over a variety of parameters such as swing, duration, humanization, and more. Arpeggiation patterns can also be saved and loaded.
As usual, we've included a host of ambient patches. Some of these ambiences were custom-crafted by veteran sound designer and world-class wind instrumentalist Steven Tavaglione ( Wall-E, American Beauty, CSI, Supernatural and 100s other movies/shows/games).
Deep Sampled Articulations
7 Main Articulations:
- Cloth mallet strikes: an average of 12 velocity layers with our standard 10 round-robins
- Cloth mallet rolls: modwheel controlled loops with 3+ velocity layers and 2+ round robins with release triggers
- Twin metal guitar pick strikes: an average of 12 velocity layers and 10x round-robin
- Twin metal guitar pick scratch effects: 8 layers and 8 round robins per layer
- Twin metal guitar pick scratch "rolls": modwheel controlled loops with 3+ velocity layers and 2+ round robins with release triggers
- Bowing sustains on all bells (fundamental notes and harmonics): 2+ velocity layers and 2+ round robin with release triggers
- Bowing staccatos on all bells (fundamental notes and harmonics): 2+ velocity layers and 2+ round robin
- Custom sculptable ambient drones, created using only the circle bells as source material
NKI Program Presets
This library is designed for the full retail version of Kontakt 5.1 or later. We've included 22 Kontakt 5.1+-compatible nki programs, featuring automatable attack, release, offset, swell, tuning, key-switching, EQ, convolution, and a full range of other effects controls.
SUMMARY OF FEATURES
- 2,893 Samples (standard pcm wav)
- 22 .nki files (unlocked format)
- 5.47 GB installed
- 24 bit / 44.1kHz stereo PCM wav format
- Format(s): Kontakt 5.1 .nki and pcm .wav