In this incredibly versatile library, Soundiron has decided to give us a thorough exploration of an instrument called the Waterphone (also known as the Waterharp). The waterphone is an instrument like none other – it consists of a vessel that spouts a cylindrical neck, and several metal rods of different dimensions around the rim of the vessel. The vessel can be filled with water, or left empty. Each of the rods can be bowed or struck, and this can create various textures and/or dissonant harmonies. The movement of the water in the vessel continuously alters the sound in a very unsettling fashion. Waterphones are commonly used in suspense, horror and thriller soundtracks, and they can even be found in sci-fi scores such as The Matrix.
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In creating Waterharp, Soundiron sampled the usage of many different mallets, sticks and bows. They used various microphones, and even hydrophones (underwater microphones) placed inside the instrument itself. In addition, they filled the waterphone with boiling water, and sampled it at four different temperatures. How crazy is that?
Patches and Samples
Soundiron gives us three categories of patches: Bowed sounds, Percussion sounds and Ambiences.
The bowed samples were recorded with an empty vessel, a full vessel, a vessel filled with boiling water, and a full vessel recorded with hydrophones. They also give us a solid selection of pitched sustains, staccatos and miscellaneous bowed sound effects.
The percussion sounds consist of samples played with various different mallets: for example, wooden, rubber and metal. There’s also a hand-struck waterphone percussion patch, and a selection of sound effects and glissandos.
Finally, in the ambience patches, Soundiron combines a bunch of their audio recordings to create a selection of sustained textural/atmospheric sounds.
The best part about this library is that every single sample is unlocked, and accessible in all their 24-bit/48kHz glory for ultimate user customization.
The interface is very simple and straightforward. We have our basic attack and release controls, as well as the ‘edge’ control which is used to adjust the sample start point. Soundiron also gives us knobs to adjust pitch and vibrato. The vibrato works amazingly well, and can really add to the sound of the waterphone. Finally, we have a wet knob for adjusting the reverb.
In terms of reverb, Soundiron has provided us with over thirty unique impulse responses to choose from. These include cathedrals, churches, storm drains, warehouses, bunkers and the inside of a cargo van. We can access these through the “impulse” menu at the bottom right of the window.
Lastly, just above the impulse menu is the “sound” menu. We can switch between the different sample subcategories here.
- Full version of Kontakt 5.1 or later
- 24-bit / 48kHz unlocked WAV samples
- 9 GB disk space