Over the past year we have been busy exploring the sonic possibilities of out door instruments and spaces. After coming across a set of 19th Century bell chimes in a tower in South London, we knew we had to capture them and turn it in to something special. We wanted something raw, characterful, intimate which would work perfectly in cinematic music production. The bells themselves have a wonderful resonance and have the capability of being sculpted from a very bright and upfront sound, to much darker and distant, all via the use of the proximity fader. We also captured some natural ambiences in the area around us, from light bird song and breeze, to a light summer rainfall. These can be used to instantly add depth and interest, and give a real sense of place.
We recorded the bells with two things in mind - realism and flexibility. We wanted to capture a very organic and natural sound, whilst also providing multiple perspectives which can be controlled via both the proximity fader, or by adjusting the individual microphone positions to find the perfect balance. Our microphone set up consisted of a pair of Barcus Berry 4000 attached to the bells for an extremely upfront and detailed sound. This allows the user to completely eliminate any eternal ambience and have a completely dry sound. The second pair of microphones were Schoeps CCM4 and CCM8 in an MS configuration, and these were used at more of a distance to provide a darker and broader sound. Combined these can be balanced to get a wonderfully rich tone, which sounds fantastic when used in cinematic music production.
The library is housed within our custom Kontakt interface, which has a whole range of useful features and sound shaping tools to provide ultimate flexibility and reducing the need for external plugins and effects. The GLOBAL tab provides instant access to all of the main tone shaping controls such as microphone proximity, expression, tuning, velocity and the blur and gloss features which can be used to add high end bite or low end punch to the sound. There is a MIX tab which allowed complete control over the individual microphone levels. The SEQUENCER tab features our custom rhythm generator, which is a quick an inspiring way to create and manipulate rhythms. The sequencer features several useful controls such as step length, step strength, reverse, randomise, sequence shift and 2 custom draw modes. Presets can be accessed via the built in menu, and you can save your own custom rhythms by simply drawing it in and clicking save. Via the ENVELOPE tab you can control the ADSR of the amp, filter and pitch, and by clicking the FX tab you can access a range of onboard effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, distortion, tape saturation and filters.