Tuesday 28 May 2013

Taishokoto Ableton Live Instrument Rack

The Taishokoto is a Japanese acoustic instrument invented about 100 years ago. It consists of a long resonant box over which are strung a number of strings which are strummed by the right hand and "stopped" by a typewriter like keyboard with the left hand.

The Taishkoto has as many as 6 strings - the lowest of which are drone strings and are not "stopped" - usually tuned to G and perhaps a second drone tuned to D while the remaining strings are all tuned to G an octave higher. These higher strings have a characteristic sound produced by the slightly out of tune
harmonics beating against each other.

For this rack I have multi-sampled a 6 string Taishokoto and set the samples up to give a pseudo "round-robin" effect so that each strum sounds slightly different. I've separated the drone so the relative volume of the note and drone can be adjusted and I've also made the drone tuneable so that the instrument can be easily played in any key.

All notes played below a certain point on the keyboard play the G/D drone and the keys that produce the melody notes have their own G/D drone triggered from them. Play around with it and you will soon get the idea.

Download Taishokoto Rack for Ableton Live 8/9 or file mirrored here

Let me know if you enjoy this or use it in any of your music.

The Tashokoto is also know as Tashigoto or Nagoya Harp and is very similar to the Indian BulBul Tarang but usually made a lot more carefully.