Acoustic Percussion Spotlight: Detailed Percussive Presets
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If you have any experience with Sensory Percussion, you know that it's a powerful tool for turning a drum set from a purely rhythmic into a melodic instrument, employing a world of sounds not previously available to drummers. You might also have seen some of our preset kits that are realistic mappings of acoustic drum sets, which respond just like the real thing. But did you know that our sound library also includes a wide range of detailed recreations of all kinds of other percussion instruments from all around the world?

In this post, we'll take a look at 3 Sunhouse soundpacks featuring kits created from our own recordings of various percussion instruments! All of these packs are free for all Sensory Percussion users via our downloads page.

King Klavé Sounds

Amaury Acosta playing the kit 'Afro-Cuban Cycles,' which features tons of original samples of bongos, congas, bells, and claves.

King Klavé Sounds is a library of Afro-Cuban percussion samples and kits that we produced at Sunhouse HQ in collaboration with Sunhouse Artist Amaury Acosta aka King Klavé

For the pack we extensively sampled:

  • Batás - Iyá, Itótele, and Onkókolo
  • Bongos - Macho, Hembra
  • Timbales - Macho, Hembra
  • Claves - Son, Cedar, Rhumba
  • Congas - conga, quinto, tumba
  • Other percussion instruments - Cajon, guiro, ogene, shekere, timbale bells, cha bells, cowbells, jam block
Amaury Acosta holding bata next to microphone
Amaury recording the batas

Ganzfield Effect

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Michael Kuhn playing the kit 'Dark Retreat', which features samples from djembes, dhols, cowbells, and various clay mugs.

Our soundpack Ganzfield Effect is named after the phenomenon that occurs after perceptual deprivation by exposure to unstructured noise. The brain can't handle the noise, so hallucinations and weird visual anomalies ensue. In addition to lots of drum machine and chord samples, it's full of immersive percussive samples recorded at Sunhouse HQ, including several dhols brought to the US from Pakistan (pictured below).

photo of dhols sampled in the Ganzfeld effect soundpack
The Sindh and Kolachi dhols we sampled and used in several kits in Ganzfeld Effect

Black Cat

Hironori Suzuki playing the kit 'Black Cat Congas'

Like Ganzfield Effect, our Black Cat soundpack features tons of sequenced melodies and synth presets, but we also recorded lots of acoustic percussion to give it an organic vibe. For the congas in the kit "Black Cat Congas," we recorded both a Quinto and a Hembra by close micing the head and base of the drums. We also put a wooden board underneath the base of the drums in order to project a vibrant reflection. We performed bass tones, edge tones, muted tones & slaps, open tones, slaps, fingers, and heel/toe hits.

Like most of our virtual acoustic kits we recorded five layers of three velocities per gesture, but for the auxiliary percussion, we simply recorded a few different articulations of shaker and tambourine (including striking the conga with the tambourine).

Just a small selection of the various percussion instruments and toys sampled for our percussive preset kits

Just because Sensory Percussion is made to be used on a drum set doesn't mean it's just for drummers. Percussionists, too, can recreate their favorite grooves across a variety of percussive instruments, all from one physical drum setup. The three previously mentioned soundpacks have some of our favorite percussive kits, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. We encourage you to dive in, find your favorites, and tag us in whatever you make with it!

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