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.
I absolutely love everything a Sound Dust makes and Cloud Cello is no exception. This is a very deep and textural instrument. It has tons of options for sound design and it adds a ton of character to what might normally be very standard string parts. You can also make some totally out of this world sounds with this bad boy!
Highly recommend and the price on Kontakt Hub is great!