It has been my pleasure working with the Cinesamples to develop sample libraries such as their freebie triangle, Hollywoodwinds, and now their latest Djembe sample library. I'm particularly excited about the Cinesamples Djembe because it utilizes Kontakt scripting to create a great extent of customizability and ease of use. I wanted to review some of its features to explain how sampling has been taken to the next step with this newly-released djembe library.
Sample libraries are traditionally static and inflexible. While they might provide realistic results, sequencing and performance usually involves the user adapting to the way they work--their mapping, their keyswitches and controllers, their velocity layers, etc. The lack of customizability adds unnecessary difficulty to the product's learning curve.
Next generation sample libraries are dynamic--they adapt to your playing and perform the way you want them to. Whether professional or hobbyist, users will appreciate the library saving them from extra sequencing work, having to keep track of where keyswitches are, and memorizing controller numbers by giving them complete control of these elements themselves.
Here are some examples of features found in Cinesamples' Djembe which demonstrate how this next generation of sample libraries operate:
- Dynamic mapping of notes--the different hits can be remapped to any key. Included are presets for electronic drumsets and different keyboard layouts.
- Note ranges automatically adjust to fill all unmapped keys. This is particularly useful for percussion instruments, since it allows you to easily perform fast rolls and flams by providing several adjacent keys which trigger the same samples.
- Ability to audition the tone within the interface. When adjusting a setting such as the microphone mix, or volume levels, it can become a hassle moving back and forth from the computer mouse to your MIDI keyboard to test the sound. This feature, when enabled, automatically auditions the sample while you're adjusting a setting.
- Intelligent round-robin, which insures that samples repeat the least amount possible. Commonly round-robin acts as a basic counter which doesn't guarantee that the same sample won't be repeated soon afterwards.
Other libraries which include features characteristic of this next generation of sampling include Orange Tree Samples' Strawberry Electric Guitar and Grand Kalimba. While most of the other Orange Tree Samples libraries contain at least intelligent round-robin and the ability to remap keyswitches and controllers, these two libraries in particular include settings to dynamically change their mappings, all within the Kontakt interface.