The Kalimba is a modernized version of the ancient African Mbira, also often called a thumb piano. It has a humble, melodious percussive plucking sound with a marimba-like warmth and tonal body. It is often used in conjunction with pianos and other tuned percussion instruments to add a sharper attack and playfulness to the sound. Our instruments were made of wood and coconut shell, with hammered steel tines suspended over their sound holes. The notes span about an octave and a half for the smaller of our two instruments and over two octaves for the larger kalimba. We recorded kalimbas in 3 different environments: Close and Dry in our studio; at medium distance in a small bright chamber; and in a large, long linear hall, at both close (1 meter) and far (15 meters) microphone distances. We call the space “The Bunker”, because that’s exactly what it really is – a deep underground World War 1-era artillery bunker. You can also shape the room decay time easily with integrated Release control, turning the massive hall into a tight room with the twist of a knob. Each tine was sampled with up to 11 dynamic velocity layers with up to 10X round-robin variations each to give these instruments a truly life-like sound and playability.
The Kalimba library features 62 unique soundscapes, pads, atmospheres and drones to the library, each crafted by manipulating the source recordings. Their shared sonic character makes them an ideal accompaniment to the acoustic portion of the Kalimba library. All of it is wrapped up in a customizable performance control system, with lots of sound-shaping tools, arpeggiation sequencing and flexible DSP effects, such as convolution, EQ, resonant filter, chorus, flanger, phaser, delay, amp and speaker simulation, distortion and compression.
Originally released by Tonehammer in 2009, our new version 2.0 adds 62 entirely new custom ambiences and atmospheric pads, a fully custom designed graphical interface with multi-layer sound blending and instrument loading, along with a complete set of deep performance shaping, mapping and tuning options and a comprehensive DSP multi-effects rack with dozens of custom convolution reverb impulses.
•Dry Studio Plucks
•Dry Studio Muted Plucks
•Medium Bright Chamber Plucks
•Bunker (Large Hall) Plucks – Close
•Bunker (Large Hall) Plucks – Far
•Dry Studio Strummed Articulations
•Adaptive meta-arpeggiator System
•Custom DSP Mulit-Effects Rack
•62 Unique Soundscapes, Pads, Atmospheres and Drones
•Dozens of Custom Convolution Reverb Impulses
•2.05 GB installed
•5 Kontakt 5.1 .nki instrument presets
•24 bit / 48kHz uncompressed PCM wav audio
•Unlocked Kontakt presets and wav samples to allow user customization
•Includes a bonus collection of custom sound-designed ambiences, drones and special FX presets, along with dozens of integrated reverb impulses and an advanced Kontakt user interface with full automation support.