Friday, 20 April 2012

Kalimba 50 Ableton Rack



I have multi-sampled this little rustic Kalimba (also known as Mbira, Thumb Piano or Lamellophone) to create an Ableton Live Sampler/Simpler rack. The rack has controls to allow mixing between a tuned version of the instrument (good for playing with other tuned instruments), a "round robin" version which gives a more "realistic" sound as each trigger of a note plays one of a number of sampled plucks (this is also a tuned version) and a "random" version, which sounds more like playing the actual untuned instrument. There is a control for "spread" which thickens the sound and controls for attack and release time.

As you can see from the photo each tine of the Kalimba has a small piece of tin wrapped around it which vibrates as the tine vibrates giving a distinctive character to the sound. As the accompanying audio demo shows these vibrating bits of tin sound very interesting down a few octaves.

Anyone who owns the Sampler instrument in Ableton can expand Simpler to get access to the individual samples and re-tune or muck around with the "chance" of various tines being struck in the "round robin" channel.



Chuck a guitar amp plugin on the end of it and you will have a pretty good CongoTronics sound happening.



Download Kalimba 50 Rack

5 comments:

  1. Hello. I found this thanks to a link on Ableton's blog. I really like the Kalimba 50 sounds. I've found the install a little difficult, though. I took the route, Ableton File Browser > Manage Project > Export. This returned success, but I still cannot find the instrument anywhere in the Device Browser. A search for "kalimba" returns two Rack Presets, but not your Kalimba 50. Have you any advice for me?

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  2. Hi,

    Came across your site last night and downloaded this. Was just playing around with it, not intending to start anything, and then ended up with a 7 minute ambient piece after stretching out the loop I created with it! I'm terrible at finishing stuff but liked the sound so much I just posted it up to Soundcloud on the same evening. Thanks for the instrument AND the inspiration!

    https://soundcloud.com/andrew-hill/drone-in-c-davy-jones-locker

    Best,
    Andrew

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  3. followed the link form the forum, great stuff! I always fancied buying a Mbira, now I don't have to.

    Thank you!

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  4. Lovely piece nice sampled. Cheers.

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  5. Thank you for this! Amazing Instrument

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