Accordion

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Sonokinetic proudly presents ‘Accordion’.

The accordion is an instrument that has been on our ‘to do’ list for quite some time. The instrument can provide you with a very nice ‘couleur locale’ whenever you need to give a song that French twist. The accordion brings a breath of fresh air and evokes feelings of romance, passion and nostalgia.

As with other Sonokinetic instruments, we focused on getting a ‘real’ sound instead of a ‘perfect’ sound, as you can hear from the demo tracks skilfully created by our demo composers. We are very proud of the finished product and believe that it will empower lots of people to make MIDI recorded accordion tracks that sound like they were played under a bridge along the river Seine.

We started by recording all tones the instrument made, in all registers. For the basses side we captured samples with and without the extra low octave. We also recorded short attack notes for all the basses, at different velocities.

Then of course came the challenge of making all of this accessible from a master keyboard, and that’s when we realised how ergonomically ingenious a real accordion actually is. The way the instrument is laid out allows for a great deal of flexibility, allowing you to play all kinds of chords with just one button in the left-hand section, and switching between bass notes along the cycle of fifths really easily. This method of playing explains the often quite complex and challenging patterns played with apparent ease by even mediocre accordion players. Making these patterns accessible to keyboard players would demand more than just mapping the recorded sounds to the keys, so we’ve integrated a sequencer into the Sonokinetic Accordion. The sequencer allows you to make full use of all the playing styles of a real accordion and do so very intuitively. The Kontakt script has a built in chord analyser, so it will automatically choose the right button sample for the chord you play. If you have the sequencer active, it will play one of the preset patterns, or you can program your own, using the interface.

  • 3.0 GB sample pool, 5500+ samples
  • 5 Accordion Registers – keyswitchable
  • Chord recognition: root, major, minor, diminished 7th, dominant 7th
  • Sustains, shorts and basses
  • On-board 16-step sequencer with adjustable length and beats
  • Multiple round robin samples
  • Multiple velocity layers
  • Accordion Reverb
  • Switchable key and button noise
  • Custom designed interface
  • Open Kontakt format for complete user customisation (Kontakt 4.2.4 or 5 Full version only, NOT compatible with the free Kontakt Player)
  • Royalty and copyright free content license
  • Accordion Reference document (PDF)
  • Artwork: “Accordion” DVD cover. Designed by Pavel Fuksa

All files in 44.1 kHz, 24 Bit NCW format.
Programmed for Kontakt 4.2.4 and Kontakt 5

THE INTERFACE

The main user interface for Accordion is designed to closely mimic the functions and key layout of a real-life piano accordion. The upper half of the interface contains all of the controls for tempo-synced sequencer programming, volume and reverb. The lower half has controls for choosing different registers, key and button noises. There are several keyswitches that control the sequencer and registers.

THE INSTRUMENT

Before we look at the functions of Sonokinetic Accordion it’s useful to know a little about how a real-life accordion is played. This will allow you get the most out of the instrument and help to make your ‘accordion’ performance more realistic.

An accordion of this type is usually worn around the player’s neck, positioned in front of his chest. His two arms will grip either side of the accordion and squeeze and release to push air through the bellows and reeds. This creates the accordion’s characteristic pumping sound.

The player’s right and left hands have very different functions: The right hand will normally play a melody on a piano style keyboard. Above this keyboard there are ‘register’ buttons, which create a particular tone by utilising different sets of reeds. The left hand will perform bass notes and chords on a rank of buttons. Traditionally these are used to underpin the right hand’s melody.

Sonokinetic Accordion is controlled in a very similar way. The Kontakt keyboard is split into right and left hand playable ranges indicated by the blue keys.

THE RIGHT HAND

The performance of the right hand range operates in an identical fashion to most other chromatic Kontakt instruments much like a piano. The blue keys indicate the playable range.

We have sampled the accordion as cleanly as possible and minimized the amount of extraneous key noises in the samples. These noises can be added back into the performance by activating the Key Noise button on the interface.

Sonokinetic Accordion has five different registers for the right hand, which lend the instrument different tones. These can be selected with the register buttons by clicking them in the interface.

It’s also possible to switch registers on the fly with the green keyswitches from C0 to E0. The activated register keyswitch will change to pink in colour when pressed.

THE LEFT HAND

With Sonokinetic Accordion we have sampled single notes and different chords for the left hand performance to give an authentic sound. The playback engine within Accordion will detect these intervals automatically and play the corresponding major, minor and 7th chords. Below we have explained in detail which combinations of keys trigger which samples but the engine is intuitive and will normally detect the correct chords (including inversions) from your natural playing style.

The default left-hand articulation is sustained.

There is also an option to switch to a short articulation with the Shorts button. A bass note can be added to the chord with the Bass button.
Like the right-hand, there is a noise button to add realistic press and release button sounds to the performance. Click the Button Noise switch in the interface to turn these on.

THE SEQUENCER

A real accordion has a very distinctive style of playing which you can easily emulate by using the on-board chord sequencer within Sonokinetic Accordion. This feature makes it incredibly easy to lay down live accordion performances using both hands to play.

The sequencer can be turned on and off with the button at the top right. Root notes, 3rds, 5ths and chords can be programmed to create a sequence. Simply click the disabled black and grey buttons to enable them and they will glow yellow. The black buttons indicate the downbeat of each bar.

Clicking and dragging the Beats and Length indicator numbers can adjust the number of beats and length of the sequence. This feature can be useful for performing triplets, 3/4 time or other time signatures.

It’s also possible to switch the sequencer into double-time with the 16th notes button shown here.

We’ve included a selection of sequencer patterns in .nka format within the Accordion ‘Data’ folder in both 4/4 and 3/4 time. These patterns can be loaded with the Load button and you can save the current pattern with Save.

The sequencer patterns will tempo-sync to your host DAW tempo automatically. However, you should ensure that you program your sequencer chords slightly ahead of the beat to allow the complex scripting within Accordion to detect a change of chord before the start of a new beat. We recommend quantizing the played sequence and then using your DAW’s ‘delay’ function to set a few milliseconds pre-delay. For information on how to achieve this within your own DAW please refer to the documentation.

VOLUME

The MOD wheel of the keyboard is assigned to dynamically control the volume of the instrument. This can be reassigned to an alternative controller by right clicking on the wheel graphic. Reassigning this control to a foot pedal can be very useful for controlling dynamics whilst playing live with both hands.

The relative volume of the left-hand samples can be controlled with the volume knob shown here. Use this to balance the volumes of the left and right hand parts.

REVERB

Accordion comes with a bespoke reverb to simulate a realistic playing environment. Adjust this with the dial shown here. You can further customize or replace the impulse response within the Kontakt instrument editor Insert Effects panel, shown below:

PERFORMANCE

We have sampled both the ‘in’ and ‘out’ notes of the accordion to preserve the pumping sound. You’ll notice this most when using the sequencer. Be sure to use the MOD wheel liberally to maintain the dynamic character of the instrument.

With the left hand, try to avoid playing in legato fashion as the chord recognition system will attempt to figure out chord combinations and may miss the playbakc of some notes. Instead play in a staccato fashion, or at least leave a small gap between each note / chord that you play.

Our aim with Accordion is to make as natural sounding instrument as possible, including all the foibles of a real-life accordion. Although we’ve taken care to make Accordion very playable, we’ve also preserved the character of the instrument. For this reason you will find that the tuning of individual notes is realistic and not exact. You may also notice some discrepencies in the volumes between notes. All of this adds up to a virtual accordion that’s full of character.

Audio Demos: Composed and performed with dedicated care and ear by professional musicians and composers.

Sonokinetic dedicates its development attention to a select few formats. We carefully select which sampling software engines to program for and base these investments on usability, flexibility, stability and effective use of computing power. We are constant looking to evolve and for ways to invest in more user-friendly ways to make our libraries accessible for production and performance.
  • MAC & PC
  • Compatible Kontakt 4.2.4 and Kontakt 5 (not compatible with the free Kontakt Player!)
  • Format: 44.1 kHz, 24 Bit NCW format
  • For more information or support please check our FAQ or support service
  • Available as DOWNLOAD ONLY also available on USB stick (express shipping)

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