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Over 30 different instruments were recorded in great depth to capture the living, breathing sound & dynamics of gamelan.
Play individual instruments or the whole ensemble at once - complete control over the gamelan sound for experts & newcomers alike.
Gamelan is an ensemble of instruments originating from Indonesia. The majority of Gamelan instruments are percussive, and most of these are bronze. They include xylophone-like metallophones of different sizes and pitch, tuned gong chimes, very large pitched gongs, and an assortment of drums and percussion. There are many types of Gamelan ensembles, but the two dominant types are Javanese and Balinese. Balinese Gamelan has a characteristic 'shimmering' sound which is due to the detuning of paired instruments playing the same musical part.
Although Gamelan music has been around for centuries (there is evidence of instruments existing before 800 AD), it is very much a living music in Indonesia, and is growing in popularity in the west. Styles keep evolving and new Gamelan music is being written all the time. Balinese "Gong Kebyar", a particularly flamboyant style, has dominated much of the century and is probably Bali's most famous export.
Gamelan music is very much about the collective - it has been described as 'a negotiation between musicians'. Many of the musicians play interlocking parts, in which alternate notes are shared between two instruments. This technique enables the ensemble to play incredibly fast passages.
The pulsing, resonant tones of Balinese Gamelan can bring unsettling moods to unexpected places.
One of our favourite examples of this is in S4 E3 of Breaking Bad.
Walter White contemplates his secret lab as the gamelan gongs and jegogs throb forbodingly in the background.
SHAPE PANEL: The first panel of the Balinese Gamelan instrument is for shaping the global sound of the gamelan.
INSTRUMENTS PANEL: The 'Mix' page: get into the serious nuts and bolts of the gamelan. Choose which instruments to feature in the ensemble, purge unwanted samples, tailor a natural performance with the Humanise controls.
TUNING PANEL: This screen offers powerful user control. If RETUNE is active, then the gamelans are in Equal Temperament, and can be also be individually tuned key by key; if RETUNE is inactive, the the original Balinese gamelan tuning is heard. The amount of Ombak, the Balinese detune offset that gives the classic shimmering sound, is fully adjustable.
EFFECTS PANEL: a completely user configurable FX chain: choose from 16 different effects in 6 insert slots - in any order you like. The Space processor offers everything from straight rooms and halls to ambient convolution effects.
The metallophones are generally divided into two sections, the core melody instruments, and the “gangsa” decorative instruments. All except the Ugal are generally played in pairs. Pairs of instruments are detuned, so you have a higher and lower pitched version of each.
There are four melodic instruments in the Batel ensemble, two Kantilan and two Pemadé. These have a similar range of notes, the Kantilan pitched an octave above the Pemade.
These smaller percussive instruments are variously used as time-keepers (Kempli), accents (Gentorak) and general rhythmic reinforcement for the main piece - the Ceng Ceng, for instance, has a function similar to a high-hat cymbal, enhancing syncopation of the main rhythm.
The kettle gongs are not paired instruments, but solo melodic and decorative instruments. The Reyong is commonly used within Gong Kebyar styles and Trompong in older styles.
In a large ensemble Gong Wadon, the largest gong, is the main gong of the cycle, marking the beginning or end of a structural section. The other gongs mark divisions within the cycle. In Gamelan Batel a smaller Kempur gong is used to mark the gong cycle and Klenong structural points within the cycle.
Kendang are two-headed skin drums, played with hands or sticks. Batel kendang are smaller and played with the hands.
Also available in a partnership product from Native Instruments + Soniccouture is Balinese Gamelan: Discovery Series.
Featuring a reduced Semaradana gamelan set, it is an ideal introduction to the sound of gamelan.
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/WASAPI,compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools. No extra purchase necessary.
Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.5 or later