Soundiron has released Street Erhu, a live-performance phrase library for Kontakt that features thousands of high-fidelity traditional Chinese erhu violin phrases. With 6GB of content, this collection covers 8 instruments in different sizes and voicing ranging from bass to treble. This library is designed to combine the realism of an authentic live performance with the control and flexibility of granular phrase sampling.
The Erhu is a traditional 2-string violin dating back to ancient China. The instrument has a small hollow snake or goat-skinned cylindrical resonating body and a long thin neck with no fingerboard. It is played upright in the performer's lap, with the bow passing between the strings rather than over them. Bow contact on the strings is never broken, giving traditional erhu a distinctly fluid playing style.
The phrases were performed by veteran street musician Qi Xin Huang, with various instruments hand-crafted by Bay Area erhu maker Kenneth Lam. The goal was to explore both traditional and improvised material. Most of the content was captured at Wabi Sabi Sound in Berkeley, CA, using large-diaphragm mics placed in a wide, close stereo configuration to provide presence and clarity.
There is also a collection of live performances on busy city streets and subway stations, to use in atmospheric sound design, post production and experimental music creation. Street Erhu also features a bonus collection of ethereal and evolving ambiences, drones and pads that we hand-sculpted from the raw erhu source material as well as custom convolution reverb impulse files covering a number of real-world environments and effects.
Each erhu set features a variety of songs and motifs, with 24 - 36 short phrases per song. Songs can be selected and loaded instantly using selector key-switches or the song selection menu. When a new song is selected, its phrases are dynamically mapped over the key range. There's also a built-in 40-step phrase sequencer, with multiple playback modes.
There are custom UI controls for attack and release, start offset, time-stretching, pitch shifting, legato cross-fading, bowing sfx, crescendo swelling, and volume & resonant filter LFO effects with adjustable shape, rate and synch, with full automation support on all parameters. Current phrase playback and offset start positions are also displayed in the live waveform window. Each erhu can also be set into a wide range of customizable environments using the integrated convolution effect.
Each phrase was edited for tight granularity to allow precise custom sequencing. The Street Erhu also provides fully accessible sample directories and uncompressed wav files to allow direct use and manipulation in host sequencers and other external editing environments. While these organic phrases are not tempo-synched, there is real-time control over sample playback speed and duration. The included Kontakt 5 presets use the Time Machine Pro time-stretching engine. Kontakt 4 presets use the TM2 engine.
- 4,710 Samples (standard PCM wav).
- 83 .nki preset files (unlocked open format).
- 6.3 GB installed.
- 24 bit / 48kHz stereo.
- Available by Direct Download and DVD.
- Format(s): Kontakt 4.2.4, Kontakt 5.0.2 and PCM .wav.
Price: $79. More info at www.soundiron.com/streeterhu
The full retail version of Kontakt required to use all .nki instrument program presets included in this library. The free Kontakt "Player" does not support this library.