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Frame Drums

Audiothing – Frame Drums – Library for Kontakt

Frame drums is a collection of four percussion instruments belonging to the folk tradition. Percussions represent an element in the mix that can really make a difference. Let’s have a look.

This is a library for Kontakt featuring:

19 Kontakt instruments (.nki)
– More than 8 Round Robin configurations per sample
– More than 3 Layers of Velocity per sample
160 total samples, recorded with at 24bit / 48KHz
– Samples available in Kontakt and WAV formats

The library size is ​​178 MB unzipped and is available for digital download on www.audiothing.net or www.kontakthub.com, at a price of 20 euro.

 AudioThing

AudioThing

AudioThing is an Irish company dedicated to audio software, focused on the VST Plug-ins and Sample Libraries. It was founded in 2011 by composer, sound designer and programmer Carlo Castellano.

Frame Drums features 2 Bodhran and 2 Tambourines instruments, probably the most famous instruments in the frame drums category.

Frame drums is a collection of four percussion instruments belonging to the folk tradition. Percussions represent an element in the mix that can really make a difference. Let’s have a look.
This is a library for Kontakt featuring:

– 19 Kontakt instruments (.nki)
– More than 8 Round Robin configurations per sample
– More than 3 Layers of Velocity per sample
– 160 total samples, recorded with at 24bit / 48KHz
– Samples available in Kontakt and WAV formats

The library size is 178 MB unzipped and is available for digital download on www.audiothing.net or www.kontakthub.com, at a price of 20 euro.

AudioThing

AudioThing is an Irish company dedicated to audio software, focused on the VST Plug-ins and Sample Libraries. It was founded in 2011 by composer, sound designer and programmer Carlo Castellano.
Frame Drums features 2 Bodhran and 2 Tambourines instruments, probably the most famous instruments in the frame drums category.
This is of very ancient origin instruments constructed with a curved wooden frame (originally by means of steam), with or without rattles, on which is mounted a different animal leather according to the type of percussion. There iconographic material which dated more than 6000 years depicting performers intent on playing this type of instruments, especially during religious ceremonies or rituals. It can for example be interesting to know that by some ethnographic studies appeared to show that the first player of a frame drum has been a woman named Lipushiau, granddaughter of a Sumerian king in Mesopotamia. She lived in the city of Ur 5000 years ago and it seems she performed healing rituals in the temple dedicated to the Moon.
As regards the drums leagues, as anticipated, we have available a pair of Tambourines and a pair of Bodhrán. The Tambourines are spread from immemorial times in all ancient civilizations, from the Jews to the Egyptians, from the Sumerians to the Hittites. They have developed particularly in ‘Mediterranean Europe. Famous are those used in repertoires of the southern Italy Tarantella. We are therefore in full popular realm, although the so-called modern art, has for some years now emancipated the tambourine from the exclusively traditional size in which it arises, by expanding exponentially the uses and techniques in other musical contexts, such as Rock, Jazz, Swing, Ethno-World, rhythmic improvisation, experimentation, etc …, approaching in some cases the instrument’s sounds to those produced by a traditional battery.
The bodhran is a newer frame drum (the first traces of its existence date back to the late 1600s). It is an irish and celtic descendant of the tambourine and, since its emergence, has gradually supplanted the progenitor in rhythmic accompaniment of jigs and reels. This type of drum typically mounts a goat skin and is often played using the tipper, a wooden wand shaped and rounded at the ends, but can also be performed directly using the hand. The instrument’s name derives from the Gaelic word Bodhor, which means “the soft or hollow sound”, thus recalling the typical stamp of this type of drum, depending on the tuning of the skin.

But now rest assured, the lesson is over … let’s fire to the powder and let’ s see how this library performs.

TECHNICAL AND STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS

We come now to the pulsing heart of the library. Frame Drums has 19 instruments Kontakt. Let’s see them in their salient features.
All instruments feature a practical and equipped interface, which includes a control section equipped with four modules:

– Envelope, by which you can adjust the attack values, decay and sound release
– Reverb, with seven different rooms and Size and Wet controls (Amount)
– Equalizer with a 4-band EQ (Low, Mid Low, Mid High, High)
– A RR button, where available, enables or disables the repetitions of the algorithm of alternation of the Round Robin
The Bodhran Big is a drum of 18 inches. It ‘s available in the following articulations:

– Big bodhran. Hand Mute. Sound closed. The sample plays the sound obtained by playing the bodhran with an open hand hitting him in the middle and leaving the hand in contact with the skin thus avoiding to make it vibrate. The result is a sharp and defined stroke. It can also be brought on board for even more closed sound. The sound of the samples of this .nki are really convincing, dry but at the same time not without good colorings.

– Big bodhran. Hand Slide Loop. It is passed the hand gently on the skin to produce a soft rustle. Using the default settings, the samples sound rather not credible. Too much background hum. However, it is possible to improve the lot of the articulation acting on the attack and release controls and equalizer. You will get a decent sound.
– Big bodhran. Hand Slide. You can do a copy-paste of the comments set out above, but in this instrument the samples are not looped as above.

– Big bodhran. Slow Hand. This tool was very impressed. It can virtually draw out of a drum real soundscapes, if not most authentic drones if we increase the equalizer Low values! It ‘s really a nice surprise. It has no acoustically lot to do with a bodhran, but enriches the library of a very unexpected timbre.

– Big bodhran. Hand. Sound opened. The strike hits again with the hand, but here leaving vibrate the skin. The samples sound clean, clear and very realistic. Even changing the rooms in which samples are virtually played, the result is always great and rich of resonance.
– Big bodhran. Mallet Ring. Here we pass to the instruments obtained by sampling the bodhràn with typical wooden wand. In this case the strike hits with the rod on the frame. The samples sound very good if you remain in the low and middle-low registry of the Kontakt instrument keyboard. Here it seems to hit the wood with wood. In medium and high registers of the keyboard instead the result is definitely a lot less exciting.

– Big bodhran. Slow Mallet. The sounds are very similar to those homologous instrument played in open hand. Same enriched timbral potential, therefore, although frankly it seems a bit a duplicate.

– Big bodhran. Mallet. Open Sound obtained bringing the blow by tipper. This is perhaps the most widespread technique used to play the instrument and the samples sampled for this instrument are very good. Especially in the lower registers it seems that in the room there is someone who is physically playing!

The next 5 instruments are dedicated to the bodhran sample a drum from the smallest size, but the articulations and stylistic techniques performed are the same as already described for the older brother (Slow Hand, Hand, Mallet Ring, Slow Mallet, Mallet). Clearly, this being a smaller Bodhrán, the sounds producted are placed into a spectrum of higher frequencies. It is excellent in a mix to couple simultaneous executions of both Bodhrán, obtaining in this way a complete percussive session.
The remaining 6 Instruments Kontakt library are devoted instead to the tambourine. Respectively, 3 tools for Tambourine Big (measure 8 inches) and 3 instruments for the Small Tambourine.
Of course we also see these:

– Tambourine Big. Gestures. It reproduces the sound of the rattles through performing three specific movement gestures. Exalting a bit the equalizer High frequencies and increasing the amount of reverb, you get an extremely clear sound and rich in harmonics. Shame that there are only these three gestures.

– Tambourine Big. Hand. Open Sound. The shot is taken with the hand in the middle of the skin. Samples are available only eight, but thanks to the round robin and multiple Velocity Layers you get a range of well matched tones and shades. Just a tip: give a little boost to low and medium-low otherwise the clatter of rattles is likely to cover a lot of the shots taken on the skin.

– Tambourine Big. Mallet. The blow is this time brought on tambourine through a wand. It is not a very common technique used for the tambourine, but this experiment originates samples from the clear and pervasive sounds. Among other things, playing this instrument will not be necessary to make corrections in the equalizer: the sounds are already well distributed and both shots both rattles carve out their space well in the mix.
– Small Tambourine. Gestures. The rattles are smaller and resonate less, but the articulation is very similar to that of the first instrument dedicated to the tambourine. A difference that here we have even fewer gestures available. Only 2.

– Small Tambourine. Hand. the major version counterpart tool, here declined on the smallest tambourine. But if I’m honest I do not hear substantial tonal differences. Same Tambourine Big Hand articulation strengths and weaknesses.

– Small Tambourine. Mallet. Here, however, than the Big version, you notice several different colorings in the sound of the smallest tambourine. And they are very convincing and ready to take off for good in the mix. Perhaps, since there is not a tool in Ring articulation dedicated to the tambourine, here would have been possible to enter at least some samples in that configuration.
This is essentially the complete review of content that Frame Drums offers us when used in Kontakt environment. There are also, as expected, 160 samples in WAV format. The samples are recorded with a good depth of sampling and in fact they sound clean and realistic, thanks largely to the several articulations.
The bodhran are available in samples articulated in Big Hand, Big Hand Mute, Big Hand Slide, Big Hand Slide Loop, Big Mallet, Mallet Big Mute, Small Hand, Small Hand Mute, Small Mallet, Mallet Small Mute, all with different configurations Round Robin (up to 8).

In Tambourine context we have available: Big Gesture A, B Big Gesture, Gesture Big C, Big Hand, Big Hand Mute, Big Mallet, Mallet Big Mute, Small Hand, Small Hand Mute, Small and Small Mallet Mallet Mute.

RECOMMENDED USES AND POTENTIAL DESTINATIONS

Frame Drums is a library of frame drums. Certainly, it will be suitable for compositions that fit into the groove of the folk tradition, be it Celtic matrix, where the bodhran will be the master, or of Mediterranean extraction, where the tambourine occupies a special place in the rhythmic structures of tarantella and tammurriate. Said trivially that, the library then lends itself to characterize the accompaniment of many other musical genres. The presence of multiple articulations, some of which very much experimental, guarantees the possibility of use even in the most varied sound territories; It can help to create a good rhythmic carpet for productions intended for the movie or game scoring or, why not, to be used in a strictly live sessions to enrich the accents and colorings for ethnic, rock, pop and orchestral sessions.
In small audio demos concerning this library review, you can get a taste of this title versatility.

CONCLUSIONS

Frame Drums is definitely not a monumental size library. The sampled tools are only two in a landscape, that of frame drums, which includes an infinity of instruments. Just to name some of the best known: Pandeiro (Spain), Daf (Iran) and Kanjira (India). However, costing relatively little, we could not expect much more, and it must be said that on the instruments on which it is focused, the team of AudioThing played overall a pretty convincing job. Buy a few packs of cigarettes less and if you advance € 20, I recommend it.

ADVANTAGES

– Several articulations of Round Robin and Velocity Layers that make very realistic sounds and conjure the annoying “machine gun effect”
– Controls fund and interface effects .nki very nice and complete
– Excellent price

DEFECTS

– Articulation Hand Loop Slide of the bodhran with too much background noise
– Some instruments are practically duplicating of others
– Very few gestures articulations available for Tambourine

Pietro Fraccavento

About Pietro Fraccavento

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