You get brushed drums with snare stirs and flutters that are flexible and controllable, a hi-hat with six degrees of openness, and extra kit pieces like China crash, brushed darbouka, and a cajon used as a kick.
A complete and detailed brushed drum kit with thousands of samples, the most innovative and important feature you get in Swirly Drums are the snare stirs. We’ve found a way to sample stirs in a way which lets you use them at practically any tempo. This core brushed snare technique is often left out of sampled drum kits, because of its nature – using the brush to make circles on the snare head in sync with the rhythm – which means they are tempo-dependent and can’t be sampled like regular drum hits. Instead of sampling stirs being performed at a specific rhythm, we created a model of the stir technique using samples as a raw ingredient. This sounds right, allows you to set the length and tail parameters to match the feel you need, and can even be triggered from an electronic drum kit.
You also get samples of kit pieces which are very rare in brushed kits - a darbouka, djembe, bongos and cowbell (all hit with brushes), a China crash, a broken crash, a cracked splash, and a cajon being played with a kick pedal. These are all very useful sounds, and the China crash and darbouka are especially awesome. Even the "normal" kick is pretty unusual, being a 20" marching band bass drum. Another innovative feature is performance noises - kick and hi-hat pedal noises, plus the noise of the brush being picked up from the snare head.
Version 1.1 adds an instrument for the full retail version of Native Instruments Kontakt, and also features improved snare stirs, noise removed from cowbell samples, and a slightly friendlier GUI. The below walkthrough is of version 1.0.
This is our first commercial sample library, and by far the biggest and most complex thing we had done up to that point, at over 4700 samples and 1.7 GB of hard drive space. All the various hits have four round robins, and the number of velocity layers vary from 22 for the main kick to 7 for the hi-hat splash articulation. Speaking of the hi-hat, it has six degrees of openness. And to think it all grew out of an attempt to create brushed snare drums stirs which would not just be patterns which you could only use at a specific tempo.
While brushes on drums are most commonly associated with jazz, but this kit is more indie - all the kit pieces sampled belong to punk and metal drummers, they're just being hit gently with brushes instead of beaten with sticks and without mercy.
Swirly Drums includes the following kit pieces and articulations:
Either Plogue Sforzando version 1.933 or newer, or the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5 or newer is required. As Sforzando is free and works on both Windows and Mac systems in both 32 and 64 bits, that should not be much of an obstacle to most users. You can download Sforzando from Plogue's website. All the samples are also included as unlocked WAV files, so you can also use them as one-shot samples etc. if desired.
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