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Selcuk Bor @MaestroRage

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Tsaiko Taiko Drums!

Posted by MaestroRage - February 6th, 2008


Tsaiko Taiko Drums
Size: 2.3 gigs (w/ expansion package which was 460ish megs)
Rating: 4.8/5
Has: Velocity Layering (10+), Key Switches (0), RAM efficiency (3-8), Mic Positioning (10), Intelligent Scripting
Price: $50 ($55 after Feb 22nd)

Tsaiko Taiko drums was a very rare find which I made while searching for some games to be a part of on gamedev.net. Sean Beeson (the creator and founder of said package) was advertising the product for $50 and I decided to spend some time with the demo's and see what it was all about.

I was quite literally blown away. The Taiko drums have always been an instrument of great interest to me and Tsaiko (pronounced Psycho) Taiko Drums zoned in on it, and then some. When I first opened a patch I saw only 4 highlighted notes *meaning I could pick only one of 4 to play as a note), and my heart sank a little. It seemed... quite limited. But that is where I was completely wrong. Going into the layer editor of Kontakt I saw that there was over 50 layers for those 4 notes! Normally when I inspect an instrument layer I will find it to have the normal 2-5, depending on how big the library is (including non tuned percussion like bass drum). But in Tsaiko Taiko's it was a big thick pillar. I could barely see the little snippets depicting a layer. 50+ hits of varying strength all into two drums each, and then 2 stick hits. Making up about 250+ samples at maximum power for just these 4 notes.

Changing the volume by just 1-2% changes the texture of the hit just enough to give a different feel, making it sound incredibly realistic. No Taiko drummer hits the drum at the same strength all the time and Sean saw this issue and grabbed it.

And he didn't just handle it with so many layers, he included some scripting (all these files are in .nki format, native Kontakt format which lets you write scripts for the samples you program in it). The script is simple, the random velocity adder/remover. You put in a number from 1 - 127 (the highest a velocity layer can go is 127), and it will take the notes you put down, and randomly add or subtract a number within the specified range. So you don't even have to program the volumes yourself individualy, the script will do it for you. It takes away a bit of your control but returns instead a very realistic outcome. And if you put only 2-3, you are gauranteed a similar but different textured sounds. Just don't put 127 or you're going to get really messed up sounds.

There is no need for keyswitches as you're not going to be using multiple styles of play, you are going to be using a very diverse set of drums.

The RAM efficiency is a field that can be either heavy or quite light. There are economic patches which will use reduced number of layers *as admittingly some do sound pretty close to the other*, and less effects are put into them. There are 4 taiko sets in unison multis which you can set up for some neat Taiko meshing. There are of course intensive patches which yield the Taiko's maximum power. No corners cut, no covering, just you, 4 keys, and everything the library has to offer. Not EVERY patch has 4 keys, some have 5, some more, like the shouts, stomps, and other neat thumps and bumps included (like sock potato. Hilarious to the mind, and yet a nice crunching sound to use)

It doesn't just end here though. Tsaiko Taiko comes with equalization for you. For the beginner composer, or somebody who just doesn't want to spend time putting limiters, equalizers and the such on their samples, EVERY patch comes with something. As far as I know, and I've tried pretty much everything, it all comes with at least a limiter to help keep them in control when you just want to go nuts on them.

Is this package worth $55? Yes yes, and then again yes. It's an unbelievable package and I could not be happier with it. The first package i've bought I could find nothing wrong with, seriously.

Tsaiko Taiko Drums!


Comments

Wow! :D I'll be sure to have all of this up on the Fast Guide to Audio Products today. Any short summaries for Voices of Passion and Symphonic Choirs? If not, or until you do, I'll just be using the first few sentences or so... ;)

i'll have em for ya soon I swear! I just want to make sure the detailed explanations are up to what I want and then i'll give ya links and more short descriptions!

woo, thanks for the help!

Have you by chance tried stormdrum? I'm thinking about purchasing that or RA (although I rarely follow through, but hey) since I was impressed by Gold, and further look into sounds by that company, and I'm more interested in percussion.

I have actually tried StormDrum. The first to be more precise. I wasn't too impressed by it to be honest. It's a large database of preset loops. You can slice up and cut out instruments for your own mixing needs but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I don't enjoy that kind of work.

It is however, an incredibly effective tool for synthetic productions for both electronic and gaming alike.

so its just loops and no single sounds!? thats just useless, not my cup of tea either hehe > : (

Well they have the loops cut up in some instances so when you press the key only the cut part plays. So TECHNICALLY it has single sounds, but as far as I know there is no "Drum Patch #1" which just has percussion sounds.

Storm Drum 2 might be different, never tried it, no intention to tbh.

I LOEV VOYSES OF PASHIN U R SADELY MISTACKEN IN UR REEVEEW