New Kits (October 2017 Edition)
Fall is in full swing and we’ve got fifteen new kits to go along with the Sensory Percussion 1.3 update. The Sol Seco pack is a vintage-vibe-1970s-inspired set of groovy acoustic kits, and Hypnagogia is a dreamy bunch of kits made up of previously-unreleased Sunhouse sounds. Keep reading to learn more about these new sound palettes.
A few months ago, on a cold spring morning, we headed to Mozart Street Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (run by the remarkably talented audio engineer, Ryan Howe) to record their vintage drum set, which was set up for a psychedelic band recording there that week.
It was a five piece kit with a 14-inch-by-5-inch deeply tuned chrome snare; a 14-inch brass piccolo snare with a smoking-hot-ring (so satisfying to play rimshots); a 12-inch rack and a 16-inch floor tom tuned for that classic, hollow-dry, psychedelic vibe; and, finally, a thunderous 26-inch kick drum.
We recorded all of the timbral gestures that are supported by Sensory Percussion at four different velocities (with about five recorded samples per velocity).
Once we had the raw samples recorded and edited (1,359 samples total), we named the pack Sol Seco, which means Dry Sun in Spanish, and embarked upon making five new preset kits with that material. The kits range from hyper-realistic to heavily pitched and modulated.
We hope you enjoy jamming on these new kits and making them your own by combining them with your own samples and kits.
Don’t go to sleep just yet! These 10 new kits feel like taking Ambien and fighting the urge to drift off. Hypnagogia is made up of many new and old samples scattered throughout the Sunhouse samples library. While you are exploring these new kits you can also browse through the folders in our library to find all sorts of new samples in the familiar folders. And you can use all of these new sounds when making your own kits now, of course!
People seemed to love the earthy and harmonic sounds of the SIMIO kit, so when it came time to show off the new pitch quantization feature, I reached for the SIMIO notes. Notes on Drum2 are in a phrygian mode, while notes on Drum3 are pitched in the Hungarian Minor scale. A stickshot on Drum3 changes the range of the scale on that drum.
I got my hands on a Baglama saz a few years ago and recorded notes, chords, and percussive sounds. The samples live in our Library in the new Tonal Instruments>Saz folder.
The term Hikaye refers to a Turkish narrative genre of poetry and prose where the narrator is often accompanied by a saz.
This peculiar kit is centered around chords built from string-harmonic sounds of the Saz. The chords mapped to the head of Drum3 are cycled with each high velocity hit, whereas the chords on Drum2 only change when you strike the rim of Drum1. This kind of cross control lets you drone on a chord on Drum2 until you want to move on through the progression.
Named for an Armenian poet, this kit is also built around Saz chords, but has a more traditional sound. Again, the chords on Drum3 cycle, but the chords on Drum2 are quantized to the Hungarian Minor scale. A hit in the center activates a low scale degree, while hits on the edge produce higher chords.
In blueGreen, the sonic worlds of Drum2 and Drum3 make use of a new technique that is delightful to employ. You load up a sampler with a very long sample (in this case it’s bubbly sounds of a modular synthesizer) and then create a very short envelope using the controls: length, attack, and hold — I often like the attack and hold knobs to both be set to zero for this (which creates a sharp, percussive ADSR envelope).
Next you drag a random LFO controller to the start knob of the sampler and turn up the rate.
Now a percussive envelope is speeding randomly across the long sample, waiting for you to strike the drum and release a short burst of the long sample.
Additionally, in blueGreen, you can completely change the sound world on Drum2 by striking the rim of Drum1 and the sounds of Drum3 change when you strike the rim of Drum4.
This kit is not as cowardly as its name suggests. Long samples are controlled using the same technique as in blueGreen, but in sycophantic, Drum3 switches between a phased-out bass, and a bright, drunk celeste (toggle controlled by the rim of Drum4) and Drum2 is either a haunted choir or airy pad (toggled by the rim of Drum1)
Here’s a fun, synth-heavy kit with long samples that I thought sounded braggadocious, but that’s a word that I can’t spell without spell check, and I like the way the word “bragodoshis” looks. Sawtooth bass flourishes ring from Drum3 and there’s a spooky pad on Drum2.
toggleMania, toggleShot, and toggleCrossControl
Turning sounds and effects on and off with your playing is not a feature that is new to Sensory Percussion 1.3, (it’s been with us since 1.1), but I believe button controllers are an under-utilized features in the current presets. These three kits make up for that.
In toggleShot, a stickshot on any of Drum1, Drum2, or Drum3 changes all of the sounds mapped to that drum. Because all of the presets are mapped for a kick model on Drum4, a hit on the rim shoulder changes the sounds on that channel.
For toggleMania each active gesture on a drum changes the sound mapped to a different gesture on that same drum. For example, a hit activating the center pad of Drum1 will toggle sounds mapped to the rim pads.
You’ll want to have four drums to really appreciate toggleCrossControl sinceeach active gesture on a drum toggles a sound on a different drum. At first this kit may sound and feel like it has a random mind of its own, but the wackiness can be tamed with thoughtful grooves and fills.
This kit is a pretty relaxed, groovy, pitchy and tonal kit. Drums 2 and 3 smoothly bend their drippy-droppy percussive sounds with the center-to-edge timbre control you can only get with Sensory Percussion. Strike those drums hard to activate the chords hidden underneath the percussive sounds.