- Publisher: Soundiron
- Product: Circle Bells
- Version: 2.0
- System requirements: Native Instruments Kontakt 5.1 or later
The Circle Bells library was recorded with a rare and unique instrument called “Blossom Bells”, created by local SF Bay Area metal working artisan Pete Engelhart.
This hand-welded tuned percussion instrument features six steel conical bells tuned to different keys and spread out in a fan arrangement.
Each bell has a deeply rich, warm and sonorous tone with a long sustain and crystalline clarity.
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We recorded them with soft mallets, hard picks and viola bow with both single-strikes/staccatos and rolls/sustains for each articulation.
Its distinctive sound evokes the feel of a steel Marimbaphone or Celeste when played with mallets and a glass armonica when bowed, yet its character and undulating resonance defies any direct comparison to any other instrument.
The bells range in size 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 each one up close in wide stereo. It’s divided into three articulation sections: bows, mallets and picks. We used a viola bow to produce sustains and staccatos.
We used a soft cloth mallet to play single notes and sustaining rolls and a hard pick to play single tapes, scrapes and sustaining effects. All articulations feature extensive round robin variation and deep dynamic velocity layering.
Soundiron’s Circle Bells contents:
- 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
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.
Every preset offers a full DSP effects rack, layer blending, tuning and envelope shaping controls. Our advanced ARP system gives you instant adaptive arpeggiation, step-sequencing, scale/chord constraint and auto-roll functionality, with custom preset saving and loading.
You’ll also find a great selection of ambient and atmospheric FX presets, created by the Soundiron team and veteran sound designer and instrumentalist Steven Tavaglione.