VDL Doumbek Sounds! (Sorta)

So, I'm writing a band piece that prominently features doumbek (another topic for another day, perhaps). I had resigned myself to either using VDL Bongos or VDL Djembe 14"; sounds to, at least, emulate or ";cover"; the doumbek part. Trial runs of the bongo sound were just not cutting it, so I decided to go with the djembe sound.

The problem I started having was that there's also a djembe part, so the two voices were interfering with each other. I did, however, figure out a workable solution:

I'm not very tech-y and don't really do much tweaking ";behind the curtain"; in many of the programs I use, but I decided to mess with the tuning of the djembe and see what result I could get. After tuning the djembe up 12 full steps and turning the EQ Hi all the way up (and the lows a little), I found a pretty sweet doumbek sound.

I did a little snapshot/taste-test/Pepsi Challenge to post here. Linked is a short audio clip that plays the djembe first in its unaltered settings, then the same excerpt as ";doumbek."; I think you'll find the result to be fairly representative of the tone and timbre of the doumbek.

Well, I guess this was so impressive that everyone is speechless! You're very welcome... ;)
Wow, didn't even see this - a very ingenious solution, Eric! Gonna have to stow this one away for future reference :) And you might notice that I moved the post here to the Helpful Hints board, since this is certainly a great solution for the problem presented.

Thanks for sharing!
I would've added this to the last post, but wanted to separately mention that I've already found a use for this in a show I'm working on.

Eric, thanks again for sharing your findings!
Glad to help you out for a change, Bryan! Now, I only owe you a few dozen favors!

Have a great time at PASIC.
I was shown this trick at the Tapspace booth at PASIC this year by Murray Gusseck and one other staff member (sorry I don't remember the name), and I thought that it would be cool to figure out how to use midi messages to control the tuning, which would give you correct playback every time you load from scratch, or need to switch the tuning mid piece.

I'm not sure if this should be a separate post, but figured best to post it here where it is related.

anyway here's how I figured it out in Sibelius.  I am unfamiliar with Finale, so maybe someone can try it out....

in Kontakt player you need to click on the ";auto"; tab on the left side where the VDL library shows up. 

make sure ";Host Automation"; is highlighted.  once you are there, you can take any host par. that is ";not assigned"; and drag it to the Tuning knob on the instrument you want to control the tuning of (you need to repeat this with different C#'s if you want to control more than one instrument.  once you have set this, go back to Sibelius, put in a midi message pertaining to the controller you just set and a value to change the tuning. 

The midi values I have found are 63 is default (well very close and Sibelius doesn't like 63.5), and from there plus or minus you will either raise or lower the tuning respectively.

I'm not sure if this will work on definite pitch instruments because I once you change the value and come back later, the instrument is always slightly out of tune. (maybe someone can find a solution to this).

This could easily be taken a step further to control many other parameters.  For instance I was also shown at PASIC that you can change the tuning, attack, and tone to create a marching 13"; snare sound. (the other controller number and parameters are all listed in the ";Host Automation";.  ...Any knob/fader of the instruments you have loaded can be assigned a controller if it does not have one already.....

Just thought I'd pass this along. Enjoy!

Rob Zolnowski
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