Sounds

Balinese Gamelan

by Soniccouture

Sampling the unique, magical sound of a Balinese Gamelan is no small undertaking. The 25 instruments that make up The London Symphony Orchestra's Semara Dana Gamelan Ensemble had to be recorded in great detail, as if each were to be a sample library in its own right.

A Gamelan is an ensemble of instruments originating in Indonesia. The majority of Gamelan instruments are percussive, and they include xylophone-like metallophones of different sizes and pitches, tuned gong chimes, very large pitched gongs and an assortment of drums and percussion. The two dominant types of Gamelan ensembles are Javanese and Balinese. Balinese Gamelan has a characteristic "shimmering" sound due to the detuning of paired instruments playing the same musical part.

Sampling the unique, magical sound of a Balinese Gamelan is no small undertaking. The 25 instruments that make up The London Symphony Orchestra's Semara Dana Gamelan Ensemble had to be recorded in great detail, as if each were to be a sample library in its own right. Any compromise in the number of velocity layers or the round-robin alternate samples could result in the whole living, breathing sound losing realism and dynamic expression.

For this compact collection, we condensed the essential Gamelan sound into three plug-and-play sets. You get all the tuned instruments (reduced versions), including the big gongs, the paired metallophones and the kettle gongs, combined and arranged across a chromatic keyboard, ready to play. This set does not include the percussion (kendang drums, cengceng, kempli, kajar, bebende, gentorak). It is ideal for anyone who wants the essence of gamelan–the magical flavor–without breaking the bank or the hard drive.

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