Version: Kontakt 4.2.2 / NCW / V1
Hybrid Stringed Tones
Download Method: Kontakt Hub
Cloud Cello is the big brother (or sister, if you like) of the Cloud Viola. She's a deeply multisampled hybrid Kontakt sample library created from a ordinary 17th century classical stringed instrument, but played and recorded in an extra-ordinary way.
Cloud Cello opens up new orchestral-ish, cinematic tones and textures that sound both familiar and alien....in a good way. There are also 38 free Cloud Cello patches for Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 included with the Kontakt version.
How Was It Sampled?
So, you take an unsuspecting cello, remove all the strings except one and place it in a stand. Instead of a conventional bow, use something with a bit more texture and bite - in this case, a ball of coarse garden string sounded best. Stringing a standard bow with garden twine doesnt work, you'd need an impossible 10 metre bow to play a smooth note.
After many experiments and cups of coffee, a retractable dog lead, an elaborate pulley system and a classic vintage fishing reel came to the rescue. This system can hold long lengths of string under tension and be drawn evenly over the cello string to produce a usable tone.
Next step is to rig up some suitable mics. A contact mic near the bridge gave good body, and a large diaphragm condenser near the string picked up the 'grist'. Then using a capo for accurate tuning, thousands of passes were recorded to get enough samples for 5 x round robins per note plus conventionally bowed accents and col legno notes for extra flavour.
The final step is to form the Clouds by pushing each note 100% wet through a bespoke swirly setting on my Strymon Big Sky reverb pedal, and then do the same thing all over again with a different setting for 200% wetness.
Two instrument variations - solo & ensemble versions.
- 2GB of 24bit samples (uncompressed).
- 50 themed instrument presets (.nki's) each with modwheel patch morphing for variation.
- 38 extra patches for Omnisphere 2 using Cloud Cello samples.
- Three octave keyrange - C1 to C4
- Seven deeply sampled articulations through eight 'oscillators'.
- Accented bow: short bowed note with conventional bow. 5 x round robin per note. Two mic positions- valve condensor and contact mic.
- Col legno: Latin for 'gently thwacked with the back of the bow'. 5 x round robin per note. Two mic positions- valve condensor and contact mic.
- Twine: bowed with 5 meters of green garden string. 5 x round robin per note, minimum 20 seconds per sample. Two mic positions- valve condensor and contact mic. Hard-wired to CC11 for expression pedal or midi controllers.
- Dark Cloud: Twine recorded 100% wet reverbed through Strymon Big Sky hardware reverb. Playback through Kontakt grain oscillator.
- Pale Cloud: the Dark Cloud recorded 100% wet reverbed through Strymon Big Sky hardware reverb unit, so basically 200% wet!
- Sub Bass: (ensemble only) Moog voyger sine bass.
- Effects per oscillator: tremolo, vibrato, saturation, pitch selection, pan, lowpass filter, high pass filter, reverband delay.
- Master output effects: low pass filter, highpass filter, rotor effect, delay, cabinet modelling and EQ.
- Master unison control for up to eight voices per note.
- Velocity to volume amount control.
- Aftertouch to pitchbend amount control.
- Aftertouch to filter light/dark control.
- Advanced architecture with automatable midi control of everything on the interface.
- 74 specially created convolution reverb impulses recorded from real spaces, expensive hardware, and some less obvious sources including a Roland Space Echo, Strymon Big Sky and the stage of Glyndebourne Opera House.
- Built in instruction manual in RTFM tab.