We found our Thunder Drum on an obscure island somewhere in Indonesia, but they are available in many countries around the world.
A Thunder Drum is made with a spring attached to the skin, so when it is shaken the spring moves and creates a continuous resonance through the body of the instrument. This results in a sound very much like thunder. The drums come in various shapes and sizes, and are sometimes known by other names such as Thunder Tube, Spring Drum, or, Thunder Maker.
For this instrument we recorded a variety of rumbles, peals of thunder, strikes, and special effects using contact mics. As the samples were intended to be manipulated, pitch shifted and mangled, the recordings were made at 96 kHz. The sounds can be pitched very low and still have some interesting high frequency content when working at full resolution.
Focus Sample Mapping
In the past, large sample sets of unpitched 'special effect' type sound were not easy to work with. Either you were given one huge folder of samples to sort through and try to make some sense of, or you might have a single sample mapped in each preset - meaning you'd have to slowly auditon each preset to find something you want.
Soniccouture's Focus KSP Script makes it a pleasure to work with large groups of samples. With Thunder Drum, you start with 127 different samples all mapped in one instrument. So, you can play each key and hear a different sound. Great for audtioning, but not so handy for working creatively with a sample. This is where it gets clever - if you play a key and like the sound you hear, simply hit the 'Focus' button. Now that sound is automatically mapped across the whole keybaord, so you can play it at different ptiches, make a patch, etc etc.
How Focus Mapping Works :
1. Audition all 127 sounds mapped in one keyboard instrument
2. Find a sound you like
3. Hit 'Focus' button
4. The single sound is now mapped across the entire keyboard, centered on C3.
Kontakt 4 + 5 only : NOT compatible with Free Kontakt Player.