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We spend a great deal of our time finding and/or creating new instruments that are not commonly known and the Circlebells are no exception. We managed to get our 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.
We recorded the instrument in wide stereo, very up close in a dry vocal booth . We very carefully captured a huge variety of articulations and effects on the Circle Bells, making it one of our 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.
*This library was originally published by Tonehammer.
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.
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).
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 3.5 or later (Kontakt 4 is also supported). We’ve included 35 Kontakt 3.5/4-compatible nki programs, featuring automatable attack, release, offset, swell, tuning, key-switching, EQ, convolution, and a full range of other effects controls.
1,994 Samples (standard pcm wav)
35 .nki files (unlocked format)
3.6 GB installed
24 bit / 44.1kHz stereo PCM wav format
Format(s): Kontakt 3.5 .nki and pcm .wav
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.
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Important Note: Native Instruments Kontakt version 3.5 or 4 full retail version of Kontakt required to use all .nki instrument program presets included in this library. The free Kontakt “Player” does not support this library.
System Requirements: Windows XP / Vista / 7. Intelmac and Mac OS 10.5 or higher. Runs stand-alone or as plug-in via VST, AU, RTAS (Pro Tools 7 & 8). Dual Core PCU, 2 GB System Ram, 7200 RPM 8MB Buffer SATA II hard drive recommended.