The Carnival

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The Carnival

Ever since we recorded and produced ‘Carousel’ several years ago, we’ve been hearing so many positive reactions about it, and about the need for ‘couleur locale’ like this. Loving Carousel as much as we do, we decided to do an encore, a sequel if you wish. We infused this new instrument with a lot of the things we’ve learned and perfected over the years. Our scripting mastermind Ken Black added an ingenious script to glue it all together and make it feel and play as it should in proper Sonokinetic fashion.

For the recording we went back to Hilversum in the Netherlands and booked the same studio we used for Celesta. We teamed up with A.W. de Vogel, who comes from a long lineage of prolific organ-men in the lowlands.
He brought along two of his most cherished barrel organs, a small hand operated one, and a larger one powered by an electric motor, that we barely got through the studio entrance.

The organs made some waves in the ‘Muziekgebouw van de Omroep’. These instruments have a tremendous ability to move people. Maybe it’s a Dutch thing, I don’t know, but it was very interesting to me how such a ‘mechanical’ instrument turned out to invoke so many emotions in so many different people. There is a certain kind of magic that radiates from the wooden dolls, the creaky mechanics, the lacquered cardboard piano rolls and the skilfully painted front. These instruments are meant to bring joy… and that they did!

In order to help convert this joy to a Kontakt instrument we tried to adapt some of the functionality of the original instrument to the digital equivalent.
We thought of the mechanical runs that permeate proper barrel organ music, and found a way to do that with the pitch wheel, and trills with the mod wheel, which all felt very natural to us. The ‘melody double’ function makes it very easy to play your melodies in octaves, and for the large organ we recorded the original tremolo effect.

All in all we feel we delivered an inspirational instrument with ‘The Carnival’ that not only sounds the part, but also makes it very easy to play ‘authentic’ material, and all the while being great fun in the process.

Relive fond memories of fairgrounds and boardwalks, or a trip to the canals of Amsterdam, with this one of a kind Kontakt version of a timeless classic.

The Carnival

  • 470 MB sample pool, 850+ samples
  • Big and Small organs with 4 registers respectively
  • Organ percussion and sampled Tremolo for the large organ
  • Octave Doubling
  • Automatic Tempo-synced trills (major and minor)
  • Tempo-synced runs in 5 scales
  • ‘The Carnival’ Bespoke Reverb
  • Sampled Bellows 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
  • The Carnival Reference document (PDF)
  • Artwork: “The Carnival” DVD cover. Designed by Sonokinetic

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


The Carnival Interface

The main user interface for ‘The Carnival’ contains all the controls within one screen. Both sizes of organs and all registers can be accessed. Buttons for octave doubling and sampled tremolo can be activated. There are also controls for tempo-synced trills and runs. Bellow and reverb amount can also be adjusted.


The first thing to notice with The Carnival is that we have sampled two completely different barrel organs, both large and small. Either organ can be selected with the SMALL or BIG buttons on the far left and right of the interface.


  • The small organ has registers Bas, Bourdon, Viool and Piccolo.
  • The large organ has registers Bas, Bourdon, Viool, Accomp and additional Percussion.

With both organs the various registers can be turned on or off by clicking the corresponding button on the interface shown above. The playable range of the instrument depends on which registers have been selected.
The blue keys on the Kontakt keyboard show the playable range of the tonal registers. The very light blue keys from G#0 to B0 show the playable range of the percussion section.

The Carnival DoublingDOUBLING

The Bourdon, Viool and Piccolo registers can be doubled in octaves by clicking on the ‘Double’ button. With the big organ this activates an octave above the played note. With the small organ this activates an octave below the played note.

Doubling can also be de/activated with the MIDI keyswitches A6 and A#6


With the big organ we have sampled the played tremolo from the Bourdon and Viool registers. Use this tremolo to add a different flavour to your organ parts.
You can turn the tremolo samples on / off by using either the button on the interface or MIDI keyswitches G6 and G#6


Anyone familiar with barrel organ music will know how often the arrangements feature runs and trills. These can be especially time consuming to program in MIDI so we have provided a very easy solution within The Carnival scripting. The intelligent scripting will adapt the tempo of these runs and trills to half-time and double-time at extreme tempos:


Tempo-synced upward and downward runs can be triggered by holding a note and then moving the pitch-bend wheel of your MIDI keyboard. Pull the wheel down for a descending run and push up for an ascending run. The type of scale that will be played can be selected on the interface. Choices are: Major, Minor, Chromatic, Pentatonic Major & Pentatonic Minor. You can also use the MIDI keyswitches from C#0 to E0 to choose the scale.

Another neat feature happens when you play a chord and then activate a run. The scripting chooses the furthest played note for a run. With an upward run, the lowest note of the chord will be chosen. Conversely, with a downward run the highest note of the chord will be chosen.


Tempo-synced major and minor trills can be selected with the buttons shown here on the interface. You can also use MIDI keyswitches F#0 and G0 to choose between major and minor.
Nudge the MOD wheel to activate a trill and either release the played key or move the MOD wheel to 0 to stop the trill.


Every time you play a note within The Carnival, a realistic bellow noise will play. When you release a key the bellows sound will slowly fade away. This adds to the authenticity of the sound as with a real-life barrel organ you can always hear the bellows pumping air.
Within The Carnival you can control the amount of bellow noise with this dial.


The Carnival comes with a bespoke reverb to simulate a realistic playing environment. Turn the reverb on and off with the button indicated here.

The wetness of the reverb can be adjusted with the dial.

You can further customize or replace the impulse response within the Kontakt instrument editor Insert Effects panel, shown below:


We have maintained the character of our sampled organs by capturing all the nuances of the original instruments. The samples include all of the character and noises from the organs which will ensure that your organ parts sound as realistic as possible.

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

  • MAC & PC
  • Compatible Kontakt 4.2.4 & Kontakt 5 (FULL VERSION ONLY! not compatible with the free Kontakt Player!)
  • Format: 44.1 kHz, 24bit NCW format
  • For more information or support please check our FAQ or support service
  • Available as DOWNLOAD also available on USB stick (express shipping)

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