Marimba Swarm

A nine marimba odyssey

9 Marimbas placed all over the hall at Air Studios to create what can only be described as a tuned percussion 'choir'. An infectious selection of single hits, through to transfixing choral tremolando patches.

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Product Info

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Overview

A versatile set of tools recorded in the world class Air Studios, London, by Jake Jackson, via the finest signal path to 2" tape. With a broad variety of mixes, microphone positions and perspectives, Marimba Swarm caters to a variety of uses. From a celebratory carnival troupe, to Terence Malick inspired vistas, to awesome Steve Reich or Terry Riley style settings. From a distant boys' choir to an intense and slightly insane wooden rainstorm!

This product is part of our "Swarm" range, forming orchestral sections out of unexpected groups of musicians placed around the hall at Air Studios, in the surrounds and up in the lofty galleries to give an extraordinary sense of space and scale, but also definition.

For any composer looking to create chaotic human awe in their music, for producers wishing to wow their clients with something truly unexpected, but gloriously listenable.

Background

Wood is a living substance; it expands and contracts in different conditions. For wooden-bodied instruments, the seasons can affect the resonance and the harmonic table of the instrument. For instruments that use the wood itself to create the pitch, this can result in microtonal differences over time. It is part of what gives the Marimba its rich sound.

So it should follow that no Marimba note is going to exactly match that of another. When combining 9 together, you therefore get 9 distinctly different notes sounding in unison. Combine this with the natural human trait of not playing in perfect phase-aligned time and you have a truly unique experience, and one that cannot be easily replicated by doubling up instruments "in the box". Combine this with placing all 9 marimbas all over an expanse over two horizontal planes, and you have a rare one-off.

Marimba Swarm is a curiously versatile library conjuring carnival-like unison hits recorded over many dynamic layers with different beaters and numerous round robins, to a veritable hail storm of unmeasured tremolos down through the dynamic layers to a soft murmuring of angelic choirs.

Features

• 9 Marimbas on the main scoring stage
• Trems, Rolls & Hits with Numerous Round Robins and sticks
• Additional low-end soft extension with trems and rolls
• Slow and fast trems with speed control and dynamic crossfading via mod wheel
• Epic unison hits with soft, medium and hard sticks as well as hand muted.
• Recorded to tape via the finest microphones and pre-amps
• Selection of mic perspectives mixed by Jake Jackson, from up front and personal to epic widescreen
• Easy to use, this one springs out of the box.

GUIs

The Overview Panel

This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.

General Controls Panel

This view allows further in-depth control of the instrument, showing all available signals and feature controllers, as well as the ability to purge techniques from memory to reduce system usage.

The Ostinatum

In this view you can add notes to a pattern sequencer, select which key it triggers on and then play for instant ostinato creation. It’s like an arpeggiator on a synthesiser.

Presets / Techniques / Articulations / Mics / Mixes

Articulations

  • Hit - Hand Muted
  • Hit - Hard Stick
  • Hit - Hot Rods
  • Hit - Medium Stick
  • Hit - Soft Stick
  • Hit - Very Hard Stick
  • Roll - Hard Stick
  • Roll - Medium Stick
  • Tremolo - Hard Stick
  • Tremolo - Medium Stick

Soft Extension

  • Tremolo - Soft Stick
  • Roll - Soft Stick
  • Hit - Hand Muted Soft

Mics & Mixes

Main Mics

  • C - Close
  • T - Tree
  • A - Ambient
  • O - Outriggers
  • T2 - Surround Tree
  • G - Gallery

Mixes

  • F - Fine
  • M - Medium
  • B - Broad