Ancient Egypt - Ancient Middle East Libraries

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by AdamKmusic, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. AdamKmusic

    AdamKmusic Active Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    I'm working on some Ancient Egyptian - Ancient Middle Eastern tracks for a potential production library. Can anyone recommend any good kontakt libraries or any Zebra/Diva soundsets?
  2. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    London, UK
    Check out Ancient Era Persia.
    tim727 and Henu like this.
  3. OP

    AdamKmusic Active Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    That is one I did come across & liked the sound of it!
  4. Batrawi

    Batrawi Active Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Ancient Era is not Kontakt-based.
    I would go for NI discovery series middle east instead. besides it's around $150 less than Ancient Era if I remember correctly
  5. OP

    AdamKmusic Active Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    Yeah thats one thing putting me off, never used the player it's built in before.

    Is the Discovery series loop based or can you play legato/melody lines etc?
  6. KarlHeinz

    KarlHeinz Senior Member

    Nov 24, 2017
    As I have only used the percussion instruments of it so far I am not sure but looking at this it seems its the usual mix-up of playable, phrases, loops:

    Think the overview video should answer you question:

    muziksculp likes this.
  7. Jaap

    Jaap Yes, that's an alto flute

    The discovery middle east is nice, but it can't beat the Ancient Persia Era library. Don't let that sampler put you off. Really worth it for just this library (and it's a free player and quite stable nowadays).
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  8. Batrawi

    Batrawi Active Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    It has both loops and playable instruments. No legato though AFAIK, but for such instruments it shouldn't be a deal breaker afterall IMHO
  9. garyhiebner

    garyhiebner Active Member

    Jan 3, 2015
    Also EW RA has some instruments in there that would suit the style. And obviously using different modes will help. I found Phrygian Dominant worked very well. So use some eastern instruments and then give them the flavour with the mode.

    Also somewhere in the EW catalog there is this Persian 60 string ensemble patch that works wonders. With some chord phrases and you instantly transported to ancient Egypt.
  10. OP

    AdamKmusic Active Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    EW RA was another one I spotted, only thing is I'm a little hesitant to drop £200+ on libraries which are very much settled in one specific genre.
  11. Lode_Runner

    Lode_Runner Senior Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    Some options to look at:
    * Impact Soundworks Turkish Oud and Koron
    * Ilya Efimov Armenian Duduk
    * Sonokinetic: Sultan Drums, Sultan Strings, Qanun, Shahrazad, Yemenite, Delphi... and on it goes.
    * Soundiron Tbilat and Riq Drums
    * Evolution Series World Percussion Middle East
    * Big Fish Audio - Ancient World: Instruments of Antiquity.

    Caveats many of these are not ancient, and Persia, Turkey, Armenia, Greece etc are obviously not Egypt. Also these aren't personal recommendations as some I know very little about.
    rrichard63 likes this.
  12. TigerTheFrog

    TigerTheFrog I'm supposed to be working now.

    Nov 18, 2016
    Brooklyn, NY
    If you don't want to buy a genre-specific library, then I would recommend Best Service's Ethno World 6 (instruments) for Middle Eastern music. UVI's World Suite actually has more Middle Eastern instruments but EW6 has a much better Oud IMHO. It also has has a Bendir frame drum, a Darabuka, and an "Egyptian Fiddle."

    It is missing a Daf, however, so I recommend you pick up SONiVOX'S excellent Silk Road Percussion, which is available at for $4.99. While you're at it pick up Strezov Sampling's Duduk freebie

    The Evolution Series World Percussion Middle East library is in a class by its own. For everything else, it depends on the instrument and the price, but you can't go wrong with Tarilonte for quality.

    @Batrawi is the only Egyptian composer I know on the forum. Perhaps he will want to chime in. But I know he likes Tarilonte! :)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  13. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    +1 for EastWest RA and Era Persia.

    I also have Ethno World 6. It is really good, but most of the instruments (especially winds) are unplayable on their own, they just sound to "MIDI". If you later them in with some other elements, they can work if you tweak them correctly. The loops and elements are very nice, though.
  14. Zee

    Zee Member

    Jan 2, 2018
    I'd like to help but i need more information about the type of sound you're looking for, "ancient Egypt" is a vague term because we've been around for so long and were influenced by so many culture that it's hard to find a common factor, as the nice folk here already mentioned NI Middle East and Tari's Ancient Persia are the biggest two collection that cover that many instruments with that level of sampling(I only listened to the demos don't own either) Impact soundworks Oud is by far the most authentic sounding one to my ears Koron is also a great choice and the percussion collection in it is very underrated here's a couple more that i think would also help.
    Xtant Audio Simsimiyya
    Impact soundworks Bouzoki ( the instrument is originally greek)
    Soundiron Acoustic Saz
    Neocymatics clarinet collection
    Ethnaudio Breath of Anatolia
  15. Wally Garten

    Wally Garten Active Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    Yeah, this is one of the best freebies I've ever gotten.

    I don't have Ancient Era, but I've used the player for the Vocal Codex library, and I agree -- it's nothing fancy, and the interface is a little weird-looking, but it gets the job done. (And the recordings are fantastic, at least on Vocal Codex.)
  16. Rap-sody

    Rap-sody Music... again and again

    Aug 29, 2017
    Tarilonte and Evolution series libraries are full of exotic sounds. You should find plenty of Ancient Egypt-era oriented sounds in these ones.
  17. Lode_Runner

    Lode_Runner Senior Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    Okay, sorry for trying to help.

    Koron = US$199 ~ £152.39 = <£200
    Evolution Series Middle East = US$99 ~ £75.81 = <£200
    Everything else I mentioned also <£200 except the last one, which was the only one I could find that had instruments that were from Mediteranean antiquity.

    and while the price of a lot of individual libraries does add up, one can do a lot with just a darabuka and a ney.

    And yes, I did note that my recommendations were not exclusively Ancient Egyptian, but provided them because there is no Ancient Egyptian instruments specific library in existence.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  18. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Concord CA
    I use Middle Eastern instruments more than anything else, and Tarilonte's libraries are must-haves -- especially for the winds.

    Percussion gets covered by a lot more people, and can be harder to judge, plus is pretty easy and cheap to pick up on your own and record live vs. using samples.

    Although I own all of the Evolution Series stuff, I despise the interface as it is rather difficult to get fine-tuned settings, documentation is almost non-existent as to the miking choices (most of which I dislike anyway) and instrument choices, and there isn't much in the way of idiomatic playing styles for some of the stuff. Some of it is very deeply recorded though, so at the right price, it's a good investment. I own everything they make, and do use it in project work. I turn off the far mics.

    World Percussion Middle East has the best darbuka (and the only bass darbuka), by far. Similarly with duff, and it has a few that are unique to that collection (muzhar, tabal, middle eastern tupan -- World Suite has the Bulgarian variety -- and the aforementioned bass darbuka). Its riq is fairly good, but not as deep as the single-instrument library from Soundiron, or possibly even the one in Vir2 World Impact.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, Ethno World seems slightly stronger in Middle Eastern melodic instruments than UVI World Suite, with both being somewhat of a mixed bag due to the material coming from many different generations of the products. The most critical instruments are covered by Tarilonte anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
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  19. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Concord CA
    As for Ancient Egyptian, there are a few instruments that claim to be in that category, in UVI World Suite, but it's not clear in some cases (also true of some of the older offerings in Ethno World) that they even knew what they had (perhaps bought at a bazaar).

    This gets especially confusing with stuff like strings, as there is inconsistency of terminology and also a lack of distinguishing Egyptian or Arabic (or sometimes even Turkish) playing styles vs. instrument styles (which are quite different from the orchestral counterparts).

    Looking at my chart right now, it is a bit of surprise that Egypt is one of Garritan World Instruments' specialties, with a few antique instruments that no other library covers:
    • Arghul (Egyptian Reed)
    • Mijwiz (Egyptian Double Reed)
    • Sistrum (U-Shaped Jingle)
    There is also a one-off library from Xtant Audio devoted to the Simsimiyya (Egyptian Lyre).

    Ethno World includes a 2 or 3 string historical Egyptian Fiddle.

    Kontakt's Factory Library includes a Nyatiti (Egyptian Lyre).
  20. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Concord CA
    Although I never use it in project work (so far), the previously mentioned Silk Road Percussion from SONiVOX is probably the strongest library they ever released, and for many years covered material that hadn't yet made it into other libraries. It includes the following fairly well-recorded instruments:
    • Bass Dumbek -- unique to this library still, I am pretty suire
    • Bendir (labeled as Bandir)
    • Copper Bowls -- likewise unique, unless labeled differently elsewhere
    • Daf -- large frame drums; one of the most important instruments
    • Darbuka -- a copper model, which is my own personal preference (though not this library's)
    • Dumbek -- a clay model, and an Egyptian one (metal, I think)
    • Frame Drum (Arabic) -- could be generic, or maybe something like a Tar
    • Nagada -- unique to this library still, and is Ancient Egyptian!
    • Riq -- by far the most important percussion element
    • Tibetan Bowl -- these are the singing bowls where you rub along the edge, as with a glass
    • Tonbak -- labeled Tombek, this is a Persian goblet drum, similar to a Dumbek, but wooden
    • Udu Drum
    I think I paid $9 for my copy, as part of a fire sale on SONiVOX libraries a few years back.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019

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