Sounds

eBow Guitar

by Soniccouture

The eBow (energy bow), is a small, hand-held device that "bows" the strings of a guitar using an electromagnetic field. It produces a unique guitar sound, with a very slow attack and infinite sustain.

The eBow (energy bow), is a small, hand-held device that "bows" the strings of a guitar using an electromagnetic field. It produces a unique guitar sound, with a very slow attack and infinite sustain. The guitarist holds the eBow over the string, near the pickup or hole, so that the string sits in a small notch on the underside of the eBow. The  eBow's magnets then cause the string to vibrate until it feeds back on itself at its own resonant frequency. This feedback loop is similar to amplifier feedback, but it's much more controllable. The player can vary the loudness of the sound by moving closer or farther away from the string, as with amplifier feedback. The eBow is switchable from low-power mode to high-power mode, which gives a strong, harmonically rich sound. The eBow has been used at one time or another by many top guitarists and acts: Radiohead, Tom Petty, Dave Gilmour, Sigur Ros, NIN, Coldplay, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, REM, U2 and more.

To create our eBow library, two guitars, an acoustic and an electric, were painstakingly sampled, with high- and low-power eBow settings, with vibrato and without. Several note-off samples were recorded for every note, to make the instrument's response as detailed and lifelike as possible. The level of the note-off sounds can be mixed to taste by the user. The acoustic was recorded in full stereo to give a natural, spacious image. The electric was recorded mono DI for use with amp simulators or for re-amping.

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