Q: How did you come up with the idea for Swell?
A: We always had a need for a really top-shelf cymbal swell library to use both in our musical compositions and also just as a way to make transitions for video wipes, etc. During the process of making squelch, Evan Arnett developed some really cool ways to build more functionality into the Kontakt instruments we were making, so the Swell project seemed like a logical next step.
We were also very conscious of the existing market for drum libraries, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses. We wanted to focus on doing this one basic thing better than anything else that is out there yet.
Q: How did you go about creating the library?
A: The first step was to prototype the instrument to be sure that the types of recordings we would make would work within the framework of what Kontakt is capable of. We performed some cymbal swells ourselves and implemented them into the Kontakt instrument in a few different ways until we came up with a combination of performances and implementation that gave us the most natural and realistic results.
Next we did a mic shootout, testing many different mics and mic positions in our primary recording space. We made judgements based on detail, imaging, and mono-compatibility during playback. In the end we chose a 4 mic setup that included a pair of Schoeps CMC6.MK4s in ORTF and a spaced pair of Neumanns set equidistantly from the main mark. Everything ran through a set of John Hardy M1 preamps.
After that we developed our spreadsheet of recording coverage that would be needed with each cymbal in order to get the most out of the Kontakt instrument. Each cymbal would get multiple mallets, performance intensities, and performance lengths.
We then hired one of the session drummers that we bring in for other music composition work and he came with a gigantic array of cymbals, splashes and gongs. Brad Dale engineered the recording session. Even though we were moving quickly, we got very good coverage on a wide variety of cymbals, and even did some bonus hits and scrapes with some of them.
Once everything was recorded, Brad went about editing and mastering them, while Evan began final implementation into the Kontakt instruments. Evan built some really cool effects into the main swell knob that allow end users to really warp the cymbals into deep, complex sounds quickly.
After that we all spent some time with the mastered files and built hundreds of designed swells from the source material. We did everything from sweet sounding layered and EQ’d swells to heavily processed metallic rises that are hard to identify as having come from cymbal recordings.
In my opinion the designed swells are worth the price of admission by themselves
In my opinion the designed swells are worth the price of admission by themselves.
The last step was metadata tagging and packaging. That process takes forever, but it adds a lot the final product.
Q: Any pointers on using the sounds in a sound design context?
A: Flip over to that design tab in the Kontakt instrument and use those effects that are built in. The integration is very complex and adds a lot of movement and depth very quickly.
Thanks to René Coronado for taking the time for this Q&A. Get the full – or lite – version of Swell below:
Please share this:
License agreement for users of Sound Examples downloaded through A SOUND EFFECT (www.asoundeffect.com) (as “Distributor”).
This end user license agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into between you, a single user natural person (the “Licensee”), who has downloaded one or more Sound Examples through the Distributor, and the creator or creators of these Sound Examples (the “Licensor”). For multi-user licenses, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Agreement covers one or more Sound Examples downloaded by the Licensee via the Distributor.
The Licensor is the creator or creators of the Sound Examples, stated as such in the downloaded file(s) (“File”) the Licensee receives after registering with a valid email address and name.
By downloading, the Licensee accepts this EULA and agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions set out in this EULA and the EULA’s with similar terms for each Licensor in the File. Any files or material included in the File not specifically mentioned in each Licensor’s EULA is covered by the terms below. By downloading the Sound Examples, you'll also receive the A Sound Effect newsletter from time to time. You can unsubscribe from this anytime.
1. Grant of License
In consideration for the download of the Sound Examples via the Distributor, the Licensor grants the Licensee a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty free license to use the Sound Examples (“Sounds”) on the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement.
2. Rights Granted
The license granted in this agreement allows the Licensee to:
a. install and use the Sound Examples on one workstation at a time, although the Licensee is permitted to make and keep backup copies of the Sound Examples on other storage devices, and
b. distribute and publicly perform reproductions of the Sounds, where these are incorporated in and synchronized with other media productions, which shall mean products that contains at least one additional media element to the Sounds (music, voice, image, etc.), including but not limited to radio and television broadcasts, film, music compositions, web sites, podcasts, mobile apps, advertising, multi-media presentations, video games and similar.
The Licensee is not permitted to distribute or perform reproductions of the Sounds where these are not incorporated in and synchronized with other media productions, including but not limited to in toys, product design, greeting cards, ringtones, applications such as soundboards, hardware devices, media authoring tools etc.
To the furthest extension permitted by law, the Licensee is prohibited from adapting, modifying or repackaging any Sounds, except as permitted in Clause 2.
4. Intellectual property rights
All rights to the Sound Examples are owned by the Licensor and other than the license rights granted in this Agreement all rights in the Sounds and Sound Effect Libraries remain the property of the Licensor. The Licensee must not claim ownership or authorship of the Sounds or the Sound Examples.
The Licensee’s right to use the Sound Examples will automatically terminate in the event of any breach by the Licensee of the terms of this Agreement. In the event of termination, the Licensee shall delete or destroy all copies of the Sound Examples which the Licensee has produced.
The Licensee shall indemnify Licensor and Distributor from, and against any and all claims, demands, suits, awards, damages, suits, injuries, liabilities and all reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees incurred by the Licensor and the Distributor with respect to any matter that arises as a result of the Licensee’s breach of this Agreement.
Licensor and/or Distributor shall not be liable for any damages or for any loss of business or business profits, business interruption, or any other direct or indirect loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of any of Licensor’s Sounds.
To the furthest extension permitted by law, the Licensee must not assign, license, sublicense, sell or otherwise assign the Sounds to any third party, except as set out in Clause 2.B.
9. Applicable Law
This Agreement is governed by the law of Denmark without giving effect to the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods and the Uniform Law on the Formation of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.