Polymorphia, Attack of the Computer Worms
The 90s and early 2000s was a time of amazing progress in computer science, but also a time of technologicial skepticism and sometimes justified fear, marked by malware attacks (known as “computer worms”), panics, and hoaxes.
Polymorphia is a brand new sound pack for Sensory Percussion that captures the vibes and aesthetics of this nascent internet world and is free for all Sensory Percussion users. Just head over to the Sunhouse Downloads page to grab it. The pack includes 2,127 samples of:
- A vibey flute, with tones, percussive key sounds, trills, and short melodies.
- A Ludwig Supraphonic snare drum (two different tunings with extremely detailed samplings of 9 different gestures for each tuning).
- Various hits from ceramic crotales and two ceramic hand drums
- Sampled notes of five different synth patches with a nostalgic 90s and early 2000 vibe. These power some of the melodic instruments in the pack.
- Notes and chords from a droney, disintegrating electric guitar
- Sampled hits from a computery drum machine.
- Notes and chords from a guitar and flute composite instrument.
- Notes and chords from two “jelly synths”.
- Notes and chords from an electric keyboard and electric guitar composite instrument.
- Various percussive sounds from branches and rocks.
- Various percussive sounds from a wooden shaker.
- Various percussive sounds from ceramic tines.
The pack also includes 23 fully mapped kits and an accompanying 119 individual Sensory Percussion instrument mappings that can be dragged and dropped into any working kit.
Strap in! This pack could be the perfect accompaniment to your drum set.
The Recording Process
All of the samples were recorded and crafted in-house at Sunhouse HQ in various sessions over the 2019 - 2020 year (except for the rocks and branch sounds which were recorded outdoors with a Zoom H4n portable recorder in a secluded section of Ann Arbor, Michigan).
The Ludwig Supraphonic was recorded with an Electro-Voice RE20, AKG 214 and a Rode NTG1. The AKG 214 and RE20 were placed capsule-to-capsule about a foot away from the drum and panned left/right. The Rode NTG1 shotgun mic was positioned right above drummer Ellery Marshall’s head and mixed in the center of the stereo-image. We recorded 651 individual samples total, recording around thirty layers per zone of the drum.
The flute was recorded with an AKG 214 and an SM57 placed near the mouthpiece, and the recording was processed with a bit of reverb before being chopped up into samples. We recorded long tones, accents, staccato notes, as well as trills and many percussive hits and rolls down the keys of flute.
The clay samples were sourced by recording instruments made by SitAndStayCeramics. They were close miked with an AKG 214 and, like the flute sounds, were processed with a bit of reverb.
The more “synthy” sounds and “composite sounds” of the pack (the samples found in the Computer Worms, Jelly Synths, and GroupThink Drum Machine folders) were created with care by combining and manipulating synths and sounds from various music tech software, such as Ableton, Logic Pro X, and Equator.
Sensory Percussion presets follow these loose general rules for mapping:
Drum 1 = mostly snare drum sounds
Drums 2 and 3 = mostly tom/percussion/hi-hat/cymbal/melodic/harmonic/chord-sequence/specialFX sounds
Drum 4 = mostly kick sounds
And the kits in the Polymorphia sound pack typically follow that pattern.
cicle, melodicSwitches, cryptamelodic, spaceCreature, cryptJelly, cryptMag, meltingPot
These are the melodic drum kits, they each have at least one melodic instrument mapping. The melodic instruments are extremely sensitive, reacting to center-to-edge, rimshot-t0-rimshot-edge, rim-shoulder-to-rim-tip, velocity, and buzz rolls. You can play the drum in any location to unlock a different scale degree.
tsegi flute harmony, gtrFlute, computerWorm, tinesGtrHarmony, WabbitGtr
These kits each have a harmonic mapping, which is similar to the melodic kits, but these have four different melodic lines that are timbre controlled and velocity thresholded. Playing quietly will only trigger the high tones, but strike the drum hard to unlock the lowest notes of the chord. This is an entirely new kind of instrument (a completely revolutionary use of drum tech) that is only possible with Sensory Percussion.
spiritPhotography, niceWorld, groupJelly, jellyPanic, disintigrationCreature
“The Chord Kits” all have a velocity thresholded chord progression mapped to at least one of the drums. That means you can play quietly under the chords, but hit the drum loud to trigger a chord sequence. This kind of kit is quickly becoming a staple of hybrid drums.
GroupThink cryptamalgam, GroupThink Dynamic, drvmz, ceramicPanic, Tsegihi
These are the classic electronic drum kits. These are kits with just percussive sounds and drum samples, but they are made to respond just as dynamically as “real” drums (even though they are made completely out of recorded samples and effects).