This is the first of an ongoing series of reviews of music software, virtual instruments, sample libraries and effects.

So without further ado, Imbibaphones by SoundIron.

The Instruments

The ‘concept’ of this instrument is that of glasses. It contains samples of white & red wine glasses, champagne flutes and martini glasses. There are 2 patches of each glass: one struck with a rubber mallet, the other a sustain. During the recording of this library at least one of the glasses broke, so of course being good sound designers, they recorded it and made 2 patches: Stirring Shards and Broken Wine Glass Mallet.

This instrument is realeased in Kontakt format and you will need the full version of Kontakt. There is also a folder of FX patches where the samples have been effected to create even more unique and otherworldly sounds.

Total = 24 different patches.

The samples themselves are excellent, as is everything that this company produces. 10x round robin sampling with an average of 4-6 different velocity layers. This ensures a nice natural feel avoiding the ‘machine-gun’ effect when the same sample is used repeatedly.

The Interface

SoundIron usually give you various ways of adjusting the pitch of an instrument. The patches by default are ‘tuned’ meaning they are automatically mapped across the keys. There is a button that can turn that off. There is also a button that can turn keyswitches on and off. These keyswitches are mapped from c-2 to c0 and are linked to the ‘stepping’ knob on the interface. This adjusts the pitch by semitones. So you can either hit the keyswitches, adjust the knob or use it tuned to play different pitches.

There is a knob to adjust the attack and release as well as a ‘swell’ knob for swelling the volume. This is useful for adding more expressiveness particularly with the sustain patches.

All patches have an FX page where you can add convolution reverb. There are no less than 45 different impulses available. You can adjust the wet/dry mix of the effect, the stereo width as well as adding a lowpass filter to darken the reverb.


All in all, it is a fantastic little instrument. I really like SoundIron and the odd and unique things they use to turn into very useable musical instruments.

The price $29 USD and worth every penny!


The track above was composed in about an hour using ONLY patches from this library.



©2011 Shannon Penner