Voyager Sounds Volume 1, an 80s Soundpack for Sensory Percussion
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The cover image for Voyager Sounds Volume 1

Happy Holiday season from Sunhouse! We are grateful to all of the wonderful people in the Sensory Percussion community.

With that gratitude in mind we are releasing Voyager Sounds Volume 1: a brand new sound pack of 80s synths and drum machines available for free to all Sensory Percussionists!

The pack includes 1,213 samples from classic synths and drum machines, 34 original kits (chordal, melodic, textural, as well as percussive in nature), and an additional 22 utilitarian melodic kits designed to have their individual melodic material dropped into new kits of your making.

If you're a Sensory Percussion user, head over to the Sunhouse Downloads page to grab the pack.

The Recording Process

In mid November of 2019, we reached out to Centerstaging, (a great rehearsal and backline music instrument rental company and our neighbors in Long Island City, Queens) to see if they had any synths for us to sample for an 80s pack. They provided us with a Prophet-6 & a Prophet Rev 2 by Dave Smith Instruments, a Roland Jupiter-80, and a Minimoog Voyager. We started recording them immediately.

Very quickly in the recording process we realized that there would have to be at least two volumes of sound packs derived from these synths.

The recording process typically worked by finding a nice patch, modifying a few parameters before setting it to arpeggiate on a simple chord (mostly a C power chord), after that we continued to modify the parameters, searching for warm 80s sounds. Once the arpeggiator was grooving on some beautiful timbres, we stopped the arpeggiator and sampled individual notes up the range of the keyboard - those individual notes would be the material for the melodic and harmonic kits in this pack. On some patches we recorded chords

In post, we added a bit of reverb and compression to most of the patches we created to make them stand out. Also when editing we utilized a technique we developed during the recording sessions for Lunar Cities called micro-chopping. In this case we used the arpeggiator recordings as source material and chopped each transient to be its own sample. The samples would be the source material for the Arps kits: loaded up into samplers and cycled so that you can control the tempo and rhythm of the arpeggiator yourself.

We recorded the drums using various soft synth drum machines and processing them to sculpt them into classic 80s drum machines like the LinnDrum, Korg DDD-1, and Roland TR-626.

The raw samples for this pack are all named after rocket ships launched in the 1980s. They all now live in the Sunhouse Library in a folder called Voyager Sounds Volume 1.

The Kits

Challenger Chord Kit, Discovery Chord Kit, Atlantis Chord Kit, 80s Space Drum Kit

These are classic Sensory Percussion chord kits that play like SIMIO or Castores from the base library. They have cycles of velocity thresholded chords mapped on top of complex percussive elements on one or both of drums 2 and 3. They have snare and kick sounds mapped to drums 1 and 4.

Oscar tom cycle drum kit 1, Oscar tom cycle drum kit 2, 80s snappy drum kit, 80s bendy toms drum kit, 80s sampled drums, elementOne drum kit

These kits are what 80s drums would sound like it Sensory Percussion was around back then! They have that classic drum machine sound mixed with the feel and response of real acoustic drums! Many of them have timbre pitch control, envelope filter and pitch control, and interesting cycles mapped to the rims or heads of some drums.

Anik C3 Arp, Ariane Eutelstat Anik Arp, Aurora 1-Arp, BOR-4 Arp, Centaure 2B-Arp, Eutelsat 1F1-Arp, Kiku 4-Arp, Kosmos 1237-Arp, Petrel 2-Arp, Progress 8-Arp, Rohini RS-Arp, Salyut 7-Arp, Tansei-4-Arp, Titan IIIB-Arp, Tysklon-2-Arp, Vostok-2M-Arp, Zenit-6-Arp

These are the Arp kits! Samplers mapped to drums 2 and 3 of these kits contain chopped up sequences of notes. You can control the scale with the timbres of your playing. Typically playing center-to-edge will give you the note degrees within one octave. Playing rimshots on the center and the edge will give you notes within the next octave, and playing the rim from the tip of your stick to the shoulder of your stick will give you notes half an octave higher than the rimshots. Buzz rolls and variations in velocity will unlock interesting behaviors in these kits as well.

Atlantik Harmony, Discoveris Harmony, Challenger Harmony, EO-3 Harmony, spaceCylceHarmony, Kiku Arp Harmony, Melody kit, Petrel 2-Melody

In this pack we have refined the harmonic voice leading technique introduced in Black Cat with kits like Wobblies Dorian and

Drum 3 in these kits is a group of four samplers, each with one note. The first sampler has a low note, the middle two samplers contain a note an octave above that, and the final sampler has a note an octave above those. Each of the samplers' quantized pitch is controlled by center-to-edge controllers: the lowest sampler has the fewest notes active in the scale, and one of the middle two samplers' range is reversed, making it harmonize contrapuntally with the other. In harmony kits in Voyager Sounds Volume 1, rimshots and rim hits also contribute to the harmony.

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Marcus Gilmore playing the kit Challenger Harmony

Utility Kits:

Anik C3_melodic, Eutelsat 1F1_melodic, Firewheel_melodic, Kiku_melodic, Kostmos 1237_melodic, Petrel 2_melodic, Prognoz 8_melodic, Rohini RS-1A_melodic, Rohini RS-1B_melodic, S-310_melodic, Sakigake_melodic, Salyut 7_melodic, STS-41-B_melodic, Sirio 2_melodic, Soyuz-U_melodic, Tansei-4_melodic, Titan IIIB_melodic, Tysklon-2_melodic, Venera 13_melodic, Vortex 4_melodic, Vostok-2M_melodic, Zenit-6_melodic

These kits contain a range of a single note on each drum mapping. They are tuned to a C minor pentatonic by default and are controlled by center-to-edge, rimshot center-to-rimshot edge, and rim shoulder-to-rim tip controllers. Each of these kits has something special going on with speed, velocity, or envelope and effects, as well!

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