Rhythmic Robot's Elektrik Kalimba is a hybrid instrument bringing together the character of a three-octave African thumb piano (or Kalimba, Mbira, Marimba, Karimba... it has a lot of names) and the body and weight of a classic electric piano. It is designed to be expressive and playable and is capable of holding down a traditional EP role in a track – though with a unique identity of its own – or of moving into more overt world-music territory; it can even sound a little like a steel drum with the right settings. Thumb noise attack and release samples can be adjusted individually in level, and are randomly picked from multiple round-robin samples to ensure a very organic, natural response. Meanwhile, tremolo and overdrive controls mimic the kind of effects typically associated with classic American electric pianos.
The result is a genuinely unusual keyboard instrument that can sound mellow and warm like an EP, but with a subtle hint of thumb-rattle and tine buzz; or can stretch to full-on African-inspired percussive effects with the thumb noise controls turned up.
- Character of a Kalimba, body of an EP.
- Separately adjustable thumb attack and tine release noises.
- Multiple round-robins and randomised samples for organic authenticity.
- Overdrive and Tremolo controls to add movement and drive to the sound.
- Equally capable in a traditional EP role, or in a more world-music setting, or as a unique sound-design instrument.
Elektrik Kalimba is available now from Rhythmic Robot, at an introductory price of £9.95 (normal price £14.95). It requires Kontakt version 4.2.3 or later to run (including Kontakt 5). Not compatible with Kontakt Player.