Designed to perform a million tasks, in a millions different shapes and sizes, the incandescent lightbulb illuminated human existence and enabled the world to finally and truly find its way out of the dark. Over the generations, this old filament-syle lightbulb and the various offspring have served humanity well. Indeed, the very concept of a brilliant idea is most often signified by this single iconic image. However, as populations have explode and resources ever diminish, that brilliance is becoming a luxury we’re no longer able to afford. The grave inefficiencies of Edison’s incandescent bulb have at long last forced us to move toward Tesla’s far superior fluorescent design, with its vastly longer life and lower energy consumption, heat output and fire danger. Yes, the incandescent puts out warmer, more pleasing light than most current fluorescents. But at what cost? Just like their vacuum tube cousins, as beautifully as they perform, these too will soon be a rare anachronism sought by the purist, but long forgotten by the masses.
The fragile and inherently musical bell-like aspect of the old incandescent bulb has always fascinated us and we knew that time was running out for this poor little device. That is why we must now bring you Luminabells – the mysterious and angelic essence of the simple ordinary light bulb, captured as a tiny, starry galaxy of humble and yet beautiful sounds. We recorded all manner of sizes and shapes of the old filament style incandescent bulb, lovingly sculpted into a rich collection of tuned and un-tuned percussion, sustaining melodic tones and otherworldly effects.
We recorded a number of different sizes and shapes of bulbs, using a variety of playing articulations to explore the sonic potential of each one. We tapped with fingers, palms, sticks, mallets, other bulbs and other implements, focusing on each timbre and tone that we could bring out of each lightbulb. We paid special attention to vibrating the unique filament in each one as much as possible without breaking it or the glass bulb itself.
The sound recorded for this library were all very quiet, produced by often very small and usually very fragile glass bulbs. In order to amplify many of these musical sounds up to usable levels, some low frequency rumble and high frequency hiss has also been unavoidably boosted. We’ve left these impurities in place deliberately, rather than filtering them out, in order to both preserve the most delicate aspects of these sounds and to broaden the creative potential in these sounds. and allow those impurities to become added complexity and flavor.
Deep Sampled Articulations:
Over 40 lightbulbs of all shapes and sizes
Up to 6 velocity layers on every note
10 round robins for every velocity layer
Taps, clicks, clinks, dings, pings, knocks, pops and clacks and other transient impacts
Tuned and untuned tonal resonant dings, rings and pings
Swooshes, shakes, rattles, rolls and other vibrations