19th April 2006
Kong Audio has released two new virtual recreations of Chinese instruments - Nanxiao and Guzheng.
Nanxiao (Southern Xiao) is a bamboo flute of the Xiao family. Unlike Dizi, Xiao has no membrane. Nanxiao is mostly popular in the Fujian area of southern China. Like the Japanese Shakuhachi, NanXiao is the offspring of ChiBa and DongXiao from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD).
Contrary to the upbeat, happy-trigger sound of Dizi, NanXiao has a more solid yet soothing tone that blends into modern music easily. For composers who need something different yet not really digging ethnic music, NanXiao is a welcome addition to the sound palette.
The sound character of Xiao is of something more saddened, battered, and is filled with a melancholic mood. It represents a lesser-known spirit in Chinese music, and that is why Kong Audio decides to bring out ChineeNanXiao as a featured product.
ChineeNanxiao contains various types of legato, tremolo, slide, trill, and staccato. The note range is from C3 to G5 (for most patches). It features extensive sampling and key-switching, plus the triggering of various expressions and articulations with Modwheel and Aftertouch.
Guzheng, as one of the most representative Chinese instruments, first appeared around the Warring States period (475 - 221 BC), then became extremely popular during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) and spread to all neighboring areas ever since. Guzheng was originally a rather simple instrument with only five strings. After all the years of evolution, today's Guzheng has twenty-one strings and is still widely used in all kinds of Chinese music.
Guzheng has a unique, rippling sound character. The playing techniques developed for Guzheng are also unique and distinct, therefore set it apart from any other members in the world's zither family.
ChineeGuzheng has an extensive sampleset which contains various types of tremolo, slide, glissando, and strumming.
ChineeGuzheng ($62) and ChineeNanxiao ($58) are both available as VST instruments for Windows. Audio demos are available.
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