Pebbles – a coffee break instrument

Even though those two limestone pebbles may look like two potatoes, believe you me, they’re the real thing. I wanted to test a Zoom H4n for field recording, then create a Native Instruments Kontakt 4 instrument out of what I’d recorded, just to prove myself I really don’t need a portable 8-tracker worth 4500 €.

It turned out both the pebbles and H4n were pretty good, even though I managed to clip some of the samples. And, what’s even more positive: I think I’ll ditch the idea of acquiring myself an expensive piece of something that’ll be used twice a year.

The two instruments are called “pebbles” and “pebbles_low”, both recorded at 96 kHz/24-bit, then resampled to 44.1 kHz with Audiofile Engineering‘s Sample Manager (SM for short). Some batch editing was also done in SM, but nothing drastic, though.

What really impressed me (again) was Kontakt 4’s AET (Authentic Expression Technology), used in conjunction with 8 randomly cycling round robin groups, each containing 9 velocity layers. The result may not be the greatest limestone sample, but it goddamn worked pretty well in the backing track of a certain track in the making.

Also included is a heavy dose of randomization (pitch, eq1, eq2) and some Time Machine controls, pitch bend controlling the playback rate, modulation wheel lowering the pitch two octaves. I recorded these for Alan Wake just before my deadline, by the way. They ended up in the in-game music.

Grab the both instruments, pebbles and pebbles_low, they’re free.

(Coffee break instrument = took less than 30 minutes of time to create.)