185 Plucked Acoustic Instruments
If you lift the dampers of a grand piano, then reach in and pluck the strings inside, the sound you get is beautiful, but altogether different from what people know as a piano sound. If you scrape one of its wound bass strings with your fingernail, you’ll hear another, completely unique sound that changes dramatically depending on where along the length of the string you touch it. Similarly, the sound of an open guitar string vibrating on its harmonic divisions is very pretty, but seldom produced by a guitarist in normal playing, and then only at certain pitches.
What if an instrument were capable of producing such unique timbres on demand?
Welcome to Plectrum, the library of original acoustic instruments created by Geoffrey Gee. This library features 185 keyboard instruments that you have never played before.
Each Plectrum instrument is original in the sense that it brings to your fingertips unique sounds from prepared instruments and found objects, tuned and voiced to play with a responsiveness, ambience, and decay comparable to a piano.
Each Plectrum instrument is acoustic in the sense that it was constructed from high-resolution recordings taken of physical materials in real environments. Multiple takes and articulations of each sound are set up for “round robin” playback, offering the texture and aural richness of an acoustic instrument.
These are virtual instruments then, not only because they run in software, but because they can only be played in software. These instruments do not exist anywhere else. It is up to you to explore and discover what they can do.
Nine categories of beautiful sound
Instruments in the first four categories, Strummed Strings, Struck Strings, Plucked Strings, and String Harmonics, were created by playing conventional stringed instruments, such as piano and guitar, in unusual ways. The strings were tuned and detuned, sometimes muted, and then hit, scraped, tapped, plucked and strummed to capture harmonics and timbres that are rarely available when playing the instruments as they were designed to be played.
Instruments in the second four categories, Glass, Ceramics, Metals, and Found Objects, were made from sounds produced from strikes and collisions between various materials and objects that were then programmed to play as tuned percussion instruments. Even those sounds with no obvious center pitch are designed to work well when played along with other tonal instruments.
The ninth category, Habitats, features natural world environments such as marsh, hillside, forest stream, rain, and thunder. You can play them much as you would play a synth pad, and what you hear is an ever-evolving environmental sound to place behind other tracks in your music.Whether you use Gee’s original acoustic instruments to play songs you know well, or music you are hearing for the first time, these instruments invite you to listen, again.
Plectrum V2 comes to you as a 3-DVD set, and contains the Kontakt 2 Player engine along with the 12GB Plectrum sound library. Plectrum V2 is Mac and PC compatible and runs as a standalone application or as a plugin inside your own DAW software.
Installation and registration is simple, thanks to Native Instruments’ comprehensive installer and friendly Service Center registration tool. The amazing sounds of Plectrum rely on the disk streaming capabilities the Kontakt Player engine, so while a fast hard disk is necessary, the CPU load remains low.
If you own the full version of Native Instruments’ Kontakt software, Plectrum instruments can be opened (but not edited) from within the main program.
“Plectrum is brilliant in concept and execution, and I recommend it to anyone who needs to be reminded of the truly wonderful things you can do with samplers,” writes Marty Cutler in Electronic Musician. “All the presets have been optimized to sound wonderful,” writes Craig Anderton in Keyboard. Legendary keyboardist and founding member of the Pat Metheny Group Lyle Mays called Plectrum a “ perfect combination of acoustic nuance and modern technology.”
• 187 original instruments
• 45 combination “Multis”
• Round robin playback, with multiple articulations under every key
• Nine easy access categories
• Fast instrument loading and selection
• Fully multitimbral, allowing custom split and layer “Multis”
• High performance audio engine, powered by Native Instruments Konatkt 2 Player
• AU, VST, RTAS, and Standalone
• Thousands of full length high resolution samples, voiced for making music.