Following the release of London Contemporary Orchestra Strings last month, our newest Labs is a further nod towards England’s capital. Harry and Jess have been out and about on the streets of London recording the unique ‘atmos’ and we’ve created a versatile little library for you as a result.

Last month we introduced a target that we hope to hit by the end of 2017: £70,000. We’re looking good based on our projections and, as ever, are continually thankful for the donations we’ve received which go directly towards changing the lives of children and young people in London. We’ve got some exciting news to tell next month, but for now enjoy our latest Labs and do spread the word!

Here are the Charity Donation Portals:

Charity Totaliser:

With the success of our Tundra Atmos, and having just released London Contemporary Orchestra Strings, it felt like London Atmos was an obvious choice for our next Labs. Taking inspiration from the Musique concrète, ambient, noise and found-sound movements, as well as influence from the music of Luigi Russolo through to Jon Hopkins and Burial, Harry and Jess armed themselves with a Sennheiser MKH418 (MS) and began exploring the city. The result: recordings of ignored day-to-day events and organic structures that are available to be used as complete soundscapes, plus manipulated percussion and pads, derived from percussive and tonal found-sounds, which can be played as instruments.

This sample harks back to my years living in Soho. There was a great percussion shop nearby called Footes that would satisfy my procrastination and writers block by giving me little shake eggs and vibraslaps to buy in the vein hope that they’d stimulate original artistic endeavour. On one of these ‘let’s lose an hour away from your imposter syndrome’ moments I spied a children’s steel pan in the window. I thought “great I can try some Cliff Martinez sh*t with that”. I bought it, spent the day sampling and lo and behold this tiny 10” steel pan didn’t sound anything like Cliff’s score! (something I rectified some 4 years later with our Steel Drums recorded at the hall for that). The number 1 rule of sample-based playing and programming is to try and empathise with the instrument and player’s capabilities - do that and you’ll be half way to getting a realistic sound. This puppy is an exception to the rule; play it like a steel pan and it sounds rubbish. But, if you approach it like a petulant and spiky plucked instrument - a harp, guitar or something ethnic and lutey - you may get more striking results. Add lots of delay and splosh, and you’re away.

Here’s a little ditty I knocked up to illustrate my point: