Haunting Glass Resonances
Gently stroke the finely crafted glass rods and listen in wonder as the movement resonates the tuning rods and in turn the metal and fibreglass amplifying resonators, creating a sound unlike any other. The instruments ancestry dates back to the famous Cristal Baschet, made famous by the Baschet Brothers, but this Titanium Euphone is a one of a kind modern take on a French heirloom. Commissioned by the performer and owner, award winning composer Christian Henson, who along with the Spitfire team, has deeply sampled these other worldly tones in perfect harmony with the needs of any modern music.
Unassuming Beauty - O. Weder(Contextual) (0:00 / 1:24)
In early January 2014, Christian Henson, along with Spitfire’s Production Director Stanley Gabriel, took the dizzying drive up an incredibly steep and winding mountain road in (very) rural France, far from anything recognisable as civilisation. Greeted half way by a set of flashing headlights amidst the scorched scrub land, they were then lead up through the ever thinning atmosphere to a small and unassuming crofter’s cottage. Tines, screws and sheets of fibre glass lay sprawled around the premises but as the two waited with baited breath, the double doors were opened to reveal the inner sanctum of a creative genius. This much anticipated day was preceded by two years of emails, a degree of coercion and a splash of circumstance and it was all about to pay off.
As they stepped through into what they’d later refer to as “the Aladdin’s Cave for any music maker”, they saw shaped pieces of stainless steel hanging from the walls. Plastics of every shape and colour as if hewn by aliens from another world filled the room. Every utterance, every word, footstep or noise sent all of the wonderful resonating surfaces into a sympathetic chorus. Some reflected wistful and tine-like sounds, some like a feeding back sine wave, and others like a distinct and arcing thunderstorm.
It was over lunch that the agreement was made; Christian was going to commission the world’s first Titanium Euphone. Now all that was left to do was wait the 3 long months ahead of them until it was finely crafted and delivered by hand to their studios in London.
Alongside its obvious sonic similarities to the Cristel Baschet, the Titanium Euphone has a more wholesome, consistent and musical nature across its broad dynamic range. Having used the instrument extensively on his scores for Alien Isolation and Robot Overlords, Christian gained an intimate understanding of the instrument throughout the spring and early summer of 2014. Once wrapped on those projects, Christian and the Spitfire Crew decamped to Air-Edel studios for a week of sampling.
PP012— Euphone has been sampled in three configurations. The first two are with the 3 resonator cones in ‘Shrek formation’ (one at either side of the instrument) and the stainless steel resonator attached to the front. We recorded this setup with the stainless steel sheet in a ‘relaxed’ configuration, and then in a ‘restricted’ one, i.e. with the sheet pulled back. We then produced a series of crossfading modulators that mimic the extraordinary and chaotic sounds produced when the sheet is ‘pinged’. The third configuration had the stainless steel sheet removed, and the three cones placed in a line at the front for a more mellow and direct sound.
Each configuration has ben deeply sampled with over 7 continuous hours of samples being delivered in our raw sessions. This library contains 2 RR per (very) long note, 3 dynamic layers (which you access via your modulation wheel) for each configuration alongside some extraordinary percussive work with the instrument being played with soft vibraphone beaters (5 RRs and 3 dynamic layers). Plus an extensive library of live effects and additional techniques, including some remarkable harmonic glisses, some abuse of the instrument with a towel and some beautifully curated cluster chords.
The sonic nature of the Euphone is as complex as its build and look. Wherever you stand you will hear a different perspective and quality to the sound produced. Because of this, we also recorded it with a wide array of modern and vintage microphones from different perspectives and distances. These are, as always, presented in a simple and easy to use script with mixing options and signal assignment for 5.1 surround use.
The Euphone is a one of a kind, totally unique instrument that will bring an ‘other worldly’ expanse of inspiring lyrical sounds to your sonic arsenal.
Part of the Producer Portfolio which answers requests for drier sounding more manipulable samples, for more non-orchestral material, and for libraries that are affordable to all. Recorded by the Spitfire team in a number of smaller but excellent London studios, including the new Spitfire HQ in King’s Cross and their old favourite, the classic vintage studio Air-Edel in Marylebone. With a useful selection of classic/ vintage, modern, broad and room microphones, the Producer Portfolio features the talents of legendary musicians, producers, composers and programmers. With Spitfire’s existing orchestral and definitive ranges, we’re very proud of the “impression” that the hall at Air studios gives, but it’s not right for every application. With this new range, we have recorded in smaller spaces, close, mid range and room perspectives with carefully positioned ‘A class’ mics and pre-amps to give you the raw materials you need to make these sounds your own.