Sonic Couture have just relaunched their site & released a new sample library of the oldest lithophone: “The Skiddaw Stones are probably the most unusual and certainly the oldest instrument that Soniccouture has sampled. A Lithophone ( litho = stone, phone= voice ) dating from 1840, The Skiddaw Stones are composed of 61 tuned and shaped rocks, made from the rare hornfels stone, found in Cumbria, England. Hornfels is said to have a superior tone and longer ring than the more commonly used slate.
The Stones currently reside at the Keswick Museum , who very kindly agreed to let us take them off-site, to a studio for the recording. As the stones are insured for £350 000, this was no casual undertaking. Every stone was carefully wrapped and packed in custom made flight-cases for transportation. Once at the studio, two different sets of mallets were used to laboriously capture large sets of velocity hits, then an extra articulation was recorded – the sound of the head of the wooden mallet being scraped across the stone surface – a surprisingly haunting and resonant sound.”
Check out the demoes at the new Sonic Couture site, plus if you register you gain access to two free sample sets plus a set of kontakt script tutorial videos:
I also discovered when I logged into my account, that buying the full product sample sets also gives you access to the compact versions & the ableton LIVE sample sets, which is damn handy – thanks Sonic Couture, I am downloading the gamelan set for LIVE now…