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    Review: Soniccouture – Sheng Khaen Sho (KONTAKT)


    Review: Soniccouture – Sheng Khaen Sho (KONTAKT)

    If you are looking for a unique and authentic collection of Asian free reed instruments, you might want to check out Soniccouture’s latest release: Sheng Khaen Sho. This library features three traditional instruments from China, Laos, and Japan, each with its own history and sound. In this review, we will explore the features and sounds of this library and see how it can enhance your musical projects.

    What is Sheng Khaen Sho?

    Sheng Khaen Sho is a Kontakt Player compatible library that contains three instruments: the Chinese Sheng, the Laotian Khaen, and the Japanese Sho. These are all mouth organs that produce sound by blowing air through bamboo pipes with metal reeds inside. The instruments have different sizes, shapes, and tunings, but they share a common ancestor and a similar playing technique.

    The library was recorded with multiple microphones and includes over 3 GB of samples. It also features a custom interface that allows you to control various aspects of the instruments, such as breath modulation, key noise, vibrato, pressure, drone notes, and more. You can also use envelopes, LFOs, and filters to shape the sound further. The library comes with 30 sound design presets that showcase the sonic possibilities of these instruments.

    How does it sound?

    The instruments in Sheng Khaen Sho have a distinctive and expressive sound that can evoke different moods and atmospheres. The Sheng is the most versatile and chromatic of the three, with 30 metal keys that cover a wide range. It has a bright and airy tone that can be used for melodic or harmonic parts. The Khaen is the most rustic and rhythmic of the three, with long pipes that create a pulsing effect when breathing. It has a warm and earthy tone that can add texture and groove to your tracks. The Sho is the smallest and highest-pitched of the three, with 17 pipes that are tuned to a pentatonic scale. It has a delicate and ethereal tone that can create a sense of calmness and serenity.

    The library captures the nuances and details of these instruments with high-quality samples and realistic scripting. You can hear the subtle variations in pitch, timbre, and volume that result from the player’s breath control. You can also adjust the amount of key noise and vibrato to add more realism or character to the sound. The interface gives you easy access to all the parameters you need to fine-tune the performance and sound of each instrument.

    Who is it for?

    How does it sound?

    Sheng Khaen Sho is a library that can appeal to composers and producers who are looking for authentic and exotic sounds from Asia. Whether you want to create traditional or modern music, these instruments can add a unique flavor and dimension to your compositions. You can use them as solo instruments or layer them with other sounds to create rich textures and ambiances. You can also experiment with the sound design presets to discover new sonic landscapes.

    The library is compatible with Kontakt Player, which means you don’t need to own the full version of Kontakt to use it. It also supports NKS, which means you can integrate it with your Komplete Kontrol or Maschine hardware for seamless browsing and control.


    Soniccouture – Sheng Khaen Sho (KONTAKT) is a library that offers a rare opportunity to explore the sounds of three Asian free reed instruments in depth. The library delivers high-quality samples, realistic scripting, and flexible interface that allow you to create authentic and expressive performances with these instruments. Whether you want to add some ethnic flair or some sonic diversity to your music, Sheng Khaen Sho is a library worth checking out.


    Hi, I’m Adam Smith

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