Documentation

v1.5  |  Documentation and Instrument Guide

Introduction

Welcome to Epic Laundry!  I bet you never thought you would hear those words strung together.  There really isn’t too much you need to know before banging away on the instruments in this library, but there are a few points worth mentioning:

  • Installation: The archive with the files uses .rar compression, so extract it with WinRar (for Windows) or UnRarX (for Mac).  Keep the folder structure intact, and drop it into your library.
  • License: Use these sounds however you like in your personal projects, as instruments or sound effects.  Don’t repackage them or resell them.  Sound good?  Easy enough.
  • Key Mapping : The percussive instruments all span the same keyrange, from C3-E3.  Each key does the same thing, though, and that’s “play a round robin hit.”  I laid it out in that manner because I find that to be a very playable arrangement.  I like being able to do a little roll across the three white keys in that range and let the RR hits and different velocities produce a nice result.    This arrangement also makes it easy to stack multiple instruments on the same MIDI channel and whack them all at once for lots of noise.

New in v1.5

There are big changes in v1.5 of Epic Laundry.  One might even say a whole laundry-list of them.  If one were using bad puns.  Which one is.

  • Entirely remastered sound and new recordings!   I was unhappy with some aspects of the original release, and so I remastered everything that was there to begin with, re-recorded parts, and added a lot of entirely new content.
  • Halion compaitbility!  Thanks to Bo Clausen, who has provided Halion users with a near-full set of patches to use in their sampler.  Some instruments remain Kontakt exclusive due to the nature of their construction, but there is plenty for Halion users to enjoy.  You get both the Halion and Kontakt patches when purchasing Epic Laundry.
  • Six brand new instruments!   I ventured back into the laundry room and took recordings for five new percussive instruments, and added one more LaunDrone to cap things off.  The new material is as follows:
    • Washing Machine Hit v2
    • Washing Machine Lid
    • Dryer Inner Drum
    • Backplate Hand
    • Detergent Bottle Era
    • LaunDrone NiNy
    • …details on each can be found below.

Upgrading

If you own Epic Laundry and want to upgrade to v1.5, I recommend doing a full new install alongside the original library.  The character of some of the sounds has been changed from the initial release, and you may want to keep the originals.  Additionally, the directory structure of the library has changed so as to accommodate having both the Halion and Kontakt patches.  If you have already purchased EL, I will contact you with instructions on how to download the new version.

Important Note for Halion users…

Due to differences in the samplers, some Kontakt instruments could not be recreated in Halion.  Those are noted below.  Also, Bo has provided the following notes about the Halion release:

  • The Drum Kits folder: All the Drum Kit patches can be controlled with QC (Quick Control). QC is controlling – “Attack” – “Damp” – and 6 different Reverb parameters.  These kits are all centered on G#2, with mirrored hits on either side – a very nice way to play drums with two hands.  “The Lint Trap Drum + Reverse” patch has all the reversed zips/sweeps on the black keys, and forward/reverse is choking independent on left/right hand (center)
  • The LaunDrones folder: The LaunDrones folder contains 2 subfolders – “Basic Drones” and “Combi Drones”.  The “Basic Drone” folder contains all the drones as one patch per drone.  QC is controlling – “Attack” – “Release” – “Cutoff” – “Resonance” – and 4 different Reverb parameters.  The “Combi Drones” folder contains various combinations and tweaking of Drones.  QC is controlling different things depending on the combination – “Drone Volumes” – “Attack” – “Release” – “Filter” – “Resonance” – “FX” – and Reverb parameters.

With that out of the way, on to the full instrument listings…

1 | Washing Machine

  • Washing Machine Buzz – I struck the machine using my hand, with the lid open, near a plastic piece on the inner rim above the chamber.   It produced a nice, buzzing tone.
    (2x Velocity levels, 9xRR )
  • Washing Machine Deep – Two sets of low, soft taps on the front wall of the machine using my fingers.  Recorded with the mic very close.   The set on keys C1-E1 has a bit more metallic noise and only one velocity level.  Additionally, on F3 you get a RR set of seven finger rolls.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Washing Machine Hit RR – This instrument is a more standard whacking of the machine, using my hand.  It was struck on the front, with the lid closed.
    (3x Velocity levels, 12xRR)
  • Washing Machine Hit v2 RR – A second set of washing machine abuse, with a bit different character than the first.
    (4x Velocity levels, 8xRR)
  • Washing Machine Lid RR – I opened up the washing machine, and with the lid propped up, struck it with my finegrtips for a resonant, ringing tone.
    (4x Velocity levels, 10xRR)

2 | Dryer

  • Dryer Hit RR – Strikes on the top of the Dryer, with the door closed, using my fingers.  Additionally, there is a swiping sound on F3.
    (3x Velocity levels, 11xRR)
  • Dryer Old RR – For this one, I pounded on the sidewall of the old dryer.  The old dryer is a bit rusty and gutted, and has a pile of junk on top.  Despite this, it makes some interesting noise.
    (3x Velocity levels, 12xRR)
  • Dryer Inner Drum RR – Open the dryer up and inside is a wonderful cylindrical drum.  Strikes on the drum and on the back wall (which sounds a bit like a kick drum) with my hands make up this instrument.
    (3x Velocity levels, 10xRR + 1x Velocity (back wall), 10xRR)
  • Dryer Sharp RR – Probably the most useful Dryer patch.  I struck the top of the dryer using my nails and fingers at once.
    (4x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Faceplate ARP – This uses K2’s standard arpeggiator script to take the Dryer Faceplate and turn it into a rhythmic instrument.  If you pop open the instrument editor and look in the scripts section, you’ll find all the arpeggiator controls.  It is tempo sync’d.
  • Faceplate ARP Filter – Same as above, except this time, you get to play around with a delay effect and modulation on CC1 to morph the sound around quite significantly.
  • Faceplate RR – Finger taps on the plastic faceplate of the Dryer (where the controls are) produced a somewhat snare-like sound.  Particularly so when you bring CC1 up to cut the lower frequencies a bit.
    (3x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Plucked Plate RR – Granular synthesis turned the Faceplate strikes into a chromatic, stringlike sound.  I will admit that I like the ones based on the Detergent bottles better, but this one still has its own character.  CC1 controls the length of the pluck.

3 | Dryer Backplate

For several of these instruments, the backplate was held vertically in a table vice and struck / bowed in a variety of ways.

  • Backplate Deep RR – This sound resulted from tapping the vice itself with my fingers, reverberating the backplate.  The sounds were rather quiet, and were recorded up close.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Backplate Finger RR – Another set of fingered strikes on the vice, but hit in a different location than the Deep instrument.
    (3x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Backplate FX Bowed – I found a discarded length of rubber belt from some machine, and used it to bow the backplate while held in the vice.  I also used a 16″x4″ piece of thin metal as a bow for some of the other effects on this patch.
  • Backplate Hammered RR – this resulted from a standard hammer tapping lightly on the vice holding the backplate up.  Additionally, on F3 there is a hit that didn’t quite fit in with the rest but sounded cool, so it randomly modulates the sample start time to give it some variation.
    (1x Velocity level, 12xRR)
  • Backplate Hand RR – Strikes on the backplate with the palm of my hand.  Held aloft and let to ring, for a splashy sound.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Backplate RR + FX – This is the main backplate instrument.  I held it aloft with my hand in this one, and struck it with my free hand.  It has a cymbal / gong like quality to it.  F3 has a sort of whoosh-y sound that when played before the main hit (preferrably at high velocity) gives the overall sound a ‘wha-BAM’ character.   Also included are a selection of rolls and scrapes on a concrete floor.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR, 6x scrapes, 6x rolls)

4 | Detergent Bottles

  • Detergent Bottle Era RR – A big empty bottle of Era detergent, struck on the sides and on the cap area (for muted strikes).  Has a deeper tone than the Purex bottle.
    (5x Velocity levels, 10xRR + 2x Velocity levels (muted) 10xRR)
  • Detergent Bottle RR – Fingered strikes on an empty Purex bottle.  Has a pleasantly hollow sound in the middle velocities, and a slappy tone when hit hard.
    (4x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Detergent Ensemble RR – These were sitting on a tabletop near the dryer, next to some boxes.  Some still had liquid in them.  I just sort of slammed my hand into the whole mess of them and recorded the results.
    (1x Velocity level, 16xRR)
  • Detergitar Bass RR – Another granular instrument, using the samples from the Detergent Bottle above.  There’s a convolution amp cabinet on it to give it a little bite.  CC1 opens a low pass filter.
  • Detergitar RR – This uses the Detergent Ensemble samples to create a shockingly nice sounding guitar/harp like tone through granular synthesis.  CC1 switches the detergitar from plucked to bowed.
  • Detergitar Tenor RR – Another one using the Detergent Bottle samples.  It has a bit different character than the regular Detergitar, slightly darker.  CC1 allows you to achieve a sound similar to a palm mute.
  • Electric Detergitar K3 RR – Playable in Kontakt 3 and up, this is the regular Detergitar with amp and cabinet simulation effects applied.  The front panel gives plenty of control over the sound.  Play with the Cabinet dial and you’ll get a wide variety of new tones.

5 | Lint Trap

  • Lint Trap FX Sweeps Chunks – This is a collection of effects: long sweeps along the surface of the filter and the sound of the filter being inserted into the dryer.
    (18x sweeps, 8x chunks)
  • Lint Trap Zips ARP FX – This is a tempo sync’d rhythmic instrument using the samples from the Lint Trap Zips RR.  CC1 morphs the sound.  It uses K2’s built-in arpeggiation script, so just pop open the instrument editor and you have access to all the controls therein.
  • Lint Trap Zips RR – Quick strikes aganist the surface of the lint trap yielded this collection of scratchy sounding zips.
    (1x Velocity level, 16xRR)
  • Violint RR – Granular synthesized chromatic version of the Lint Trap Zips.  CC1 makes the notes sustain longer.  In the highest registers, it has a tone similar to a violin.  Lower down, the character is more… unique.  A bit like a jaw harp.

6 | Wash Basin

  • Basinochord RR – Last of the granular synthesis chromatic instruments, this one uses the samples from the Wash Basin Mallet RR.  CC1 swaps between a sharply plucked tone and a softer, pianolike sound.
  • Wash Basin Mallet RR – This is the sound of a large washbasin being struck with a rubber mallet.   Hollow sounding in the lower velocities and sharp and ringing in the harder hits.
    (3x Velocity levels, 10xRR)

7 | LaunDrones

  • ENV KS Beeps and Sweeps
  • ENV KS Dark Matters
  • ENV KS News Break
  • ENV KS Scratch Attack
  • ENV KS Spin Cycle

These are tempo sync’d envelope based instruments that allow you to keyswitch between four preset rhythmic patterns.  C1-D#1 on your keyboard will swap rhythms.  If you go into the instrument editor, you can dig around and find the flexible envelopes and change the existing patterns or add your own.  CC1 morphs the sound around on all the instruments.

  • LaunDrone Angry Bear (K3 and up)
  • LaunDrone Buzzcut
  • LaunDrone Cylon Detector (K3 and up)
  • LaunDrone Dischord
  • LaunDrone Ghost Dream
  • LaunDrone Ghost Scream
  • LaunDrone Heavy Wash
  • LaunDrone Metallibugs
  • LaunDrone Monstrosity
  • LaunDrone NiNy
  • LaunDrone Rattlesnake
  • LaunDrone Razor Scraper
  • LaunDrone Steel Breeze

The LaunDrones are all cool pads, completely based on original laundry source sounds that I timestretched like crazy and applied copious effects to in most cases.   On each, CC1 will mess with the sound and change it in a meaningful way.  You have front panel control of the attack and release, as well as a reverb setting.  Some of them work really well played melodically, others are more sound design oriented.  Have fun exploring them!

8| Drum Kits

  • Backplate Drum
  • Bottle Wash Glass Drum
  • Dryer Drum
  • Lint Trap Drum
  • Lint Trap Drum + Reverse
  • Washing Machine Drum

Programmer extraordinaire Bo Clausen contributed this useful and cool selection of remapped percussion.  These kits are centered on G#2, with mirrored hits on either side so you can bang away with both hands and make some noise.  They also have a tremendously useful damping control that cuts back the release of the sound, and can really affect its character.  Play around and try them out!

BONUS

  • Glass Window ARP Distorted
  • Glass Window ARP
  • Glass Window Distorted RR
  • Glass Window RR

There is a big glass window in the house that I recorded 19 taps on.  One velocity level.  True, it has nothing to do with laundry, but the instrument was finished and I felt like throwing it in to be generous.  Enjoy!

Tips

Here are a few thoughts that may increase your enjoyment of the library…

  • Try turning the Tune knob up to 36 on the percussive instruments.  Most of them respond really well to pitch shifting upwards like that and give you a whole new sound to play with that is still usable.   Some of them do ok when you shift them down lower, but some kind of fall apart in the deeper depths.  Play around, you’ll get more mileage out of the sounds.
  • Make a big multi with a whole bunch of the percussive instruments loaded up onto one MIDI channel, then spread them around the stereo field and bang away.   You can get some very cool, noisy layered percussion sounds going that way, and they’re all set to play on C3-E3 (with the occasional patch having an extra stroke on F3) so you don’t have to reach far to get a big sound.
  • Dig around in the instrument editor and try different effects and scripts on the sounds.  The .wav files are all open, too, so you can recombine them and use them in whole new instruments of your own devising (for personal use, of course).

I hope you have great fun playing with these sounds and making some cool music with them!

– Joel Steudler