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Originals Cimbalom

The sound of suspense

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  • Walkthrough
  • What's included
  • Tech specs
  • Originals Cimbalom Artwork

    The sound of suspense

    A shimmering, spine-tingling tuned percussion instrument, used in Hollywood scores for its mysterious, sinister sound. Cuts through an orchestra with its distinctly metallic tone. Performed by renowned percussionist, Greg Knowles (The Hunger Games). Captured at AIR Studios, London. Five presets. Three controls. Close, Tree & Pitched signals.

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    Our dedicated plugin

    Compatible with NKS

    5 presets

    3 mic signals

    Dedicated plugin

    Listen to Originals Cimbalom

    What's included

    Presets (5)

    • Performance 
    • Sustained
    • Damped
    • Tremolo 
    • Warp

    Signals (3)

    • Close – A close option, adds definition to the Tree signal.
    • Tree – A decca tree microphone array, giving a spacious and enveloping sound.
    • Pitched – The Cimbalom patch pitched one octave down to create a deep and frozen atmosphere.


    What is a cimbalom?

    A cimbalom is a concert hammered dulcimer: a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top, played by striking two beaters against the strings. Dulcimers are an ancestor of the piano dating back to Babylonian times; a family of stringed instruments known for Eastern European sound. Widely used in Hollywood orchestral scores, this is the perfect addition to your symphony orchestra, whether as an extra textural element, or the main instrument.

    What can I use the cimbalom for?

    The cimbalom has been widely used in Hollywood orchestral scores for its mysterious, sinister sound — in particular spy thrillers, with its recognisable tremolo. This is the perfect addition to your symphony orchestra, whether as the main instrument or an additional textural element, cutting through the orchestra with its distinctly metallic tone. The cimbalom has featured in many orchestral scores for notable films and TV productions, from The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat) to Raiders of the Lost Ark (John Williams) and Sherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer). Composer Lalo Schifrin also used the cimbalom in several scores for the original Mission: Impossible television series. One of these cues was famously sampled by Portishead in their 1994 track, Sour Times.

    Does this library contain existing content?

    Yes. Originals - Cimbalom presents the existing content of Spitfire Cimbalom (no longer for sale), reprogrammed into an intuitive performance patch. This is accompanied by all individual articulations, to allow for complete control. The third signal adds a rich, frozen atmosphere created by stretching and pitching down the ambient signal, complimenting the vibrant close and tree mics by adding depth and otherworldliness. Control over the attack and decay time expands on this further, allowing the realistic Cimbalom to morph into eerie textural elements on the fly. 

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    Tech specs

    Mac system requirements

    Mac OS X 10.15 to OS 13

    Minimum: 2.8GHz i5 minimum (quad-core), 8GB RAM

    Recommended: 2.8GHz I7 (six-core), 16GB RAM

    Both Intel and Apple Silicon/ARM are supported

    32-bit systems are not supported.

    PC system requirements

    Windows 10 or Windows 11 - (Latest Service Pack, 64-bit)

    Minimum: Intel 2.8 GHz i5 (quad-core) or AMD Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM

    Recommended: Intel Core i7 6th gen and later or AMD Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM

    32-bit systems are not supported.

    File size

    1.73 GB

    Originals Cimbalom sounds great with…