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What are your favourite instruments?

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
The human voice... and there is no sample library or technology that can replicate or represent it adequately enough, except perhaps in the most general of choral applications.

The true holy grail of sample libraries for me is a virtual singer that can convincingly sing lyrics and sound like anyone I choose. But that's a long long long way off, given today's tech.
 

KEM

Ludwig Göransson Fanboy
1. Electric Guitar - Easily my #1, it's my first instrument and still my favorite to play, and there's unlimited possibilities with it sonically, there's nothing I love more than the electric guitar

2. Moog - I've never owned an analog synth before but I've had the opportunity to play a few and there's just nothing that beats that thick, huge bass

3. Cello - My favorite instrument of the orchestra, it has so much range, and in my opinion there's no instrument in the orchestra than can stand on its own and express as much emotion as the cello

4. Trombone - 12 of them, every time, nothing better than that

5. Duduk - I don't know what it is about it, it's just such a unique instrument, it sounds so ancient and foreign and out of any "ethnic" instrument it's for sure my favorite


But I think the computer is really the best instrument;)

I’m an idiot… how did I of all people forget about my beloved 808?!
 
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widescreen

widescreen

Senior Member
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But I think the computer is really the best instrument;)
Do you blow air in it or use mallets to play it? But I guess, sometimes a boot kick is sufficent. How is the sound, compared to a woodblock or a trash can?
It could be a nice change in timbre if you add a bigger graphics card or some more SSDs.

:grin:
 

Bee_Abney

Senior Member
First off, I can't believe that I wrote a piece called 'Cows' and didn't include any cowbell. I included moos, but no bells. I think we can all agree that this invalidates anything further I have to say.

1) Voice. As with NekujaK, I'd have to say that the human voice tops the bill for me. Despite that, I mostly listen to music without any vocals. But as a single class of instrument, the voice is continually astonishing. So much variety, intimate and epic, such pain and joy, and anything you can think of. I love it. For a library, I am drawn to any that does something I can't sing myself, so I'll go for Bela D Media's Vampiric Basso Profundo, with honourable mentions to Voices of War and Dark Era's throat singing. The best library I have for actually being able to simply play and get something that sounds like singing is Era II Vocal Codex.

2) Guitar. As a guitar player, perhaps oddly, the guitar doesn't figure at all amongst my favourite instruments to listen to. It is a great instrument for very basic playing or for virtuosos; in between it is a little frustrating. Still, it is my 'voice' more so than my actual voice, so I'm including it here. Electric or acoustic. And for samples, I'd probably go for a sample pack of longer-form playing over a sample library instrument.

3) Viola. An enduring favourite is the viola which is warm and lovely and can also be as scary as a violin. The best I have is Native Instruments Amati Viola; I hope that there is better out there.

4) Upright Bass. The upright bass has the most wonderful resonance and frequencies and can be wonderfully percussive. I wish I had one, or space for one; but I use an acoustic bass guitar. When I want the upright sound, with some more experimental options, I use the Nordisk Contrabass. The one in Insanity Samples' Cool Jazz is surprisingly good, too.

5) Tagelharpa. I only properly discovered this instrument this year. I expect I'll get one eventually, but for now I'm looking for a good sample library. Dark Era's doesn't sound at all real to me; but I'll use it anyway for now!

6) West African or Haitian percussion. If I'm picking one drum, it's the djembe. I tend to like most things I can't even approximate myself, and that includes Haitian drumming. For sample libraries, it probably has to be FlyingHand Percussion For drums more generally, Hammers is amazing.

Most honourable of honourable mentions: Piano. Probably the best instrument available for composers; possibly (for me as a listener) just the best instrument that isn't the human voice.
 

Sseltenrych

Active Member
I don't think anyone has mentioned the English Horn, which can do gorgeous solo melodies.
As can the oboe. 🎶😁

And second prize goes to the Irish Flute/Piccolo
The one playing the melody in this short piece:

 

Robin Thompson

New Member
The horn was my first love. I took it up as a child after hearing Peter and the Wolf (but alas never got terribly good at it). A good horn part speaks to the soul.

I also like the double-bass -- its power and surprising flexibility always feel good to write for. The harp too.

And I'm always a sucker for a creative electric invention, in which category I give obligatory mentions to the theramin and Craig Huxley's blaster beam.
 

SteveC

Active Member
My favorite instrument is also the voice. I must add, however, that each voice is a different instrument. The technology isn't even close.
 

Tremendouz

Senior Member
Besides those that were already mentioned (cello, electric guitar, harp), the Irish low whistle is something I fell in love with a couple of years ago. It has such a beautiful, unique sound, it's relatively easy to play plus it won't break the bank (€50-150 for a perfectly fine handmade instrument, although more expensive ones exist). That's a combo you don't find too often in instruments.

EDIT: Ilya Efimov has a pretty decent low D whistle for Kontakt but after playing the real deal it just doesn't feel deeply sampled enough to satisfy my needs.
 

from_theashes

Active Member
1. Electric Guitar: playing (electric) guitar for 25 years now… this is by far my favorite.
2. Electric Bass: cause an electric guitar only sounds massive with a massive electric bass!
2. Drums!: I love great sounding drums! GetGoodDrums for classic rock drum kits, Damage 2 for cinematic percussion and EW Hollywood Perc. for orchestral percussion.
3. Cello: I really enjoy the sound from solo cello, over chamber sections to symphonic sections.
4. Horns: When it comes to brass, horns are my favorites by far!
5. Synths: coming from modern metal, synths where always part of the music I make. Same with cinematic compositions.
 
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