For their latest sample library, Spitfire Audio have teamed up with composer and multi-instrumentalist Aska Matsumiya, capturing a seven-piece set of rare crystal singing bowls played in the Round Chapel in Hackney, London, a venue renowned for its unconventional shape and cast iron columns.
Crystal Bowls by Aska Matsumiya combines recordings of the high-purity quartz bowls with samples of tuning forks, and the instruments have been played using a selection of traditional mallets along with modern drumsticks and brushes. The approach, along with the room’s unique acoustic, is said to broaden the sonic capabilities of the instruments, complementing their prolonged, resonant tones with a set of short, percussive sounds, and leaves plenty of opportunity to process the samples to create something new and unique.
The library’s GUI is simple and intuitive, and offers a set of four main controls to help shape the sound of the samples: Attack, Release, Offset and Reverb — the latter utilises an impulse response captured in the Round Chapel. Five selectable playing styles are available, and users can create their own mix of signals that have each been captured with different beater options: Brushes, Soft Mallet, Sticks, Rubber Mallet, Plastic Mallet and Hot Rods. A pair of tuning fork sounds offer higher, sharper tones, and a collection of six Warped signals are present, which have been created by running the core samples through a range of guitar pedals and granular synths.
Crystal Bowls by Aska Matsumiya runs in Native Instruments’ Kontakt, the latest version of which is supported on PCs running Windows 10 or 11, and Macs running macOS 11 or above. VST3, AU and AAX plug-ins are available, as well as a standalone application. The library requires 2.1GB of free disk space.
Pricing & Availability
Crystal Bowls by Aska Matsumiya is available now, priced at $99£79 including VAT/ €99.