Documentation and Instrument Guide


Peculiar Percussion is a collection of… pretty mundane objects that are nonetheless capable of producing interesting sounds.  Sure, it seems cooler to be using a ‘Bolivian Singing Plate’ instead of a ‘Random Metal Lid’, but in the end, it’s the sound that matters.

  • 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.

1| Percussion

  • Wooden Door –This is a pretty standard interior door, not really particularly well made.  One might even call it cheap, but it serves its purpose, which is cutting off entry to the boiler room.  There are two articulations: thumped (C3-E3) and knocked (C1-E1), with one alternate set of hard knocks at F3.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Wooden Railing – I particularly like the hollow sound of the lower velocities on this railing, which leads from the basement to the kitchen.  The whole thing is painted wood, including the supports.  The highest velocity has a buzzing rattle to it.
    (3x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Metal Lid – I think this is meant to go over a pot or maybe a kettle of some sort.  It’s just a big disc-shaped lid with a metal wire handle attached to the sides.   I held it by the handle and struck it, for a nice ringing, resonant tone.  There is an extra set of quiet strikes on F3.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)
  • Trowel – a common workshop item, I struck the rectangular part in several ways while holding it by the handle.  There are three sets of single velocity strikes here, on C2-E2, C3-E3, and C4-E4.  All have full round robin.
    (1x Velocity level, 10xRR)
  • Ventilation Duct – There are two different sets of strikes here, one was on a hollower, empty part of the duct, and another section had a sharper tone to it.
    (2x Velocity levels, 10xRR)

Ventilation Duct

2| Other stuff

  • PeculiarPad – AlienHorn
  • PeculiarPad – Interloper
  • PeculiarPad – LowBlow
  • PeculiarPad – Metalscape

These pads were derived from massively timestretched, manipulated, and looped samples of a trowel scrape and a railing hit.  Use CC1 to manipulate the sound in various ways.

  • Rail-o-Chord

This chromatic instrument uses Kontakt’s sometimes-wonky Tone Machine module to turn railing hits into something between a piano and dulcimer.   CC1 gradually adds in a brighter pluck to the otherwise very soft sound.   The 10xRR from the railing is maintained, so there is no problem with repeatedly hitting the same keys.