Soundiron tells us that Street Erhu is a live-performance phrase library that features thousands of high-fidelity traditional Chinese erhu violin phrases. With 6.3GB of content, this collection covers 8 instruments, in different sizes and voicings. Soundiron says that the library is designed to combine the authentic realism of a naturally emotive live performance with the control and flexibility of granular deep phrase sampling. Here's what they have to say about it in their own words...
The Erhu is a traditional 2-string violin dating back to ancient China. The instrument has a small hollow snake or goat-skinned cylindrical resonating body and a long thin neck with no fingerboard. It is played upright in the performer's lap, with the bow passing between the strings rather than over them. Bow contact on the strings is never broken, giving the erhu it's distinctly fluid playing style. The phrases were performed by veteran street musician Qi Xin Huang, with several different instruments hand-crafted by Bay Area erhu maker Ken Lam. The goal was to explore both traditional and improvised material, captured with large-diaphragm mics placed in a dry, close stereo configuration for maximum presence and clarity.
Each erhu set features a variety of songs and motifs, with 24 - 36 short phrases per song. Songs can be selected and loaded instantly using selector key-switches or the song selection menu. When a new song is selected, its phrases are dynamically mapped over the key range. There's also a pop-out 40-step phrase sequencer panel built-in, capable of multiple playback modes. There are custom UI controls for attack and release, start offset, time-stretching, pitch shifting, legato cross-fading, bowing sfx, crescendo swelling, and volume & resonant filter LFO effects with adjustable shape, rate and synch, with full automation support on all parameters. Current phrase playback and offset start positions are also displayed in the live waveform window. Each erhu can also be set into a wide range of customizable environments using the integrated convolution effect.
While these organic phrases are not tempo-synched, there is real-time speed control over sample playback. The included Kontakt 5 presets use the Time Machine Pro time-stretching engine. There are also Kontakt 4 presets that use the older TM2 engine. We know how challenging phrase based composition can be, but for some types of instruments, it's the only way to achieve truly life-like performances. That's why we've designed this new library from the ground up to make phrase construction as easy, flexible and intuitive as possible. Each phrase was edited for tight granularity to allow precise custom sequencing. Street Erhu also comes with accessible sample directories and uncompressed wav files to allow direct use and manipulation in host sequencers and other external editing environments.
There is also a collection of live performances on busy city streets and subway stations, to use in atmospheric sound design, post production and experimental music creation. There is also a bonus collection of ethereal and evolving ambiences, drones and pads that we hand-sculpted from the raw erhu source material as well as custom convolution reverb impulse files covering a number of real-world environments and effects. Street Erhu Specs:
83 nki presets
6.3 GB Installed
24 bit / 48kHz stereo
Open format to allow user customization
Format(s): Kontakt 4.2.4, Kontakt 5.0.2 and PCM wav
Pricing and Availability:
$69 (price goes to $79 on July 5th, 2012)