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some wierd/cool new sample libraries to check out

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My name's Mike Peaslee. I guess this is more of a plug than a question, but I figured it might also get an interesting discussion going. What sample libraries are out there right now that get into more unique or sort of underappreciated instruments and that also delve into deeper and more comprehensive sampling methods? Not necessarily just weird instruments, but maybe standards like grand pianos and orchestral percussion with new a take on feel and style? Also, it helps if they don’t cost a huge chunk of change. I came across the the Braunschweig upright piano the other day and although it’s not really “different” per se, it has a softer, warmer done and darkness to it that I think most of the bigger libraries seem to pass over in favor of bright crispy and plinky tones better suited for bright classical music than really soulful, broody pieces that I kind of lean toward writing. I'm definitely going pick it up soon. The Tiny Box music box library has a nice up-front gritty tone, so it seems cool for creepier stuff as well. I’m a sound designer by trade, but I’ve been writing music and doing my own custom sample and sfx libraries in my free time for awhile now. For some reason, I find the endless recording and editing kind of cathartic. I’ve always liked to focus on rare, unconventional or home-made instruments and found-sounds. I carry recording gear with me almost constantly and try to capture anything I come across that sounds remotely interesting. Here's some of the work I've done with a game/film trailer composer friend named Troels Folmann: www.tonehammer.com We’ve spent several years working and discussing our philosophies about instrument libraries, composition, recording and sampling and what we felt was missing in the sample world. In that time, he's won a BAFTA, Mix Foundation TEC Award, GDC Choice Award, and the D3. I’ve also won a Mix Foundation Tec Award and I’ve been nominated for a few others, like the Choice Awards and BAFTA. With all of the emphasis on high sampling/bit rate and everybody flooding the market with mundane instruments like violins and horns, nobody was really paying attention to basic playability, usability, or raw creativity. We’ve recorded in lots of weird places, like WW1 bunkers in the Marin headlands and caves in Missouri. Our goal was to create unique but useful world-class sounding instrument libraries for Kontakt with depth and playability, while staying super affordable. We plan on learning to work with more formats in the future, but for now, we program in Kontakt 2 (Kontakt 3 is supported as well by default). Here are a few of the instruments we’re starting with this month, along with some examples using only Tonehammer sounds. The Hang is a unique tone based percussion instrument, which is almost impossible to come by, since there is only one maker in the world and less than 1000 drums in circulation. The instrument has a soft, sorrowful, melancholic tone to it. We captured multiple articulations with fingers, palm, slaps, hand brushing and the back-side of the drum. 26 instrument patches, 4064 samples, 1.99 GB hang drum demo (Troels Folmann) The Frendo is a custom instrument. The instrument was created by stringing bailing wire around and through through steel plates and bolts, over galvanize steel piping and across wood planks, played with screwdrivers, bows, drum sticks, mallets and fingers. It’s ideal for disturbing, horror-like textures and stabs. Frendo is partially a mallet instrument, recorded with wooden and rubber mallets, and a more traditional string instrument, since we recorded finger picks and bows. 13 instrument patches, 444 samples, 378 MB frendo demo (Gabe Shadid) The Old Busted Granny Piano is a busted up, badly tuned and barely working upright of unknown origin and brand that was sitting in the living room of a house I used to share with some friends. There are a number of broken and badly detuned strings, especially in the upper ranges. All of the keys were yellowed, except the ones that didn’t have the ivory at all anymore. We couldn’t afford a repairman, but we liked it the way it was anyway. 3 instrument patches, 1500 samples, 900 MB granny piano demo (me) The Epic Tom Ensembles and bamboo poles are sort of our hallmark. Just fat toms and bass drums, bamboo clacks and screeches in a huge hall. 10 instrument patches, 1428 samples, 761 MB epic tom and bamboo ensemble demo (Troels) And my favorite, the marching drum corps. This is actually my old high school marching band. I went back 12 years later and recorded the percussion section out on the football field and in the band rehearsal hall. It’s very vivid and if you’ve been in a drum line, I think you’ll find that it really feels and sounds pretty right on. 9 instrument patches, 1500 samples, 673 MB drum corps demo 1 (Troels) It’s also cool for less traditional stuff (this demo also made up of a bunch of other instruments we haven’t put out just yet): drum corps demo 2 (me) I’d love to get some feedback from you guys on how it all sounds and if you think there’s a place for our approach.

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