Sound Banks – a Priceless Aid in Contemporary Music Writing


  • Cătălin Răsvan National University of Music Bucharest



Sound banks, digital techniques, virtual instruments, sound samples, distinct category


Sound banks are collections of sound samples from musical instruments of the symphonic orchestra, traditional instruments from various areas of the world and sounds of virtual devices, such as synthesizers, which are increasingly present in contemporary musical creations. Sound banks are loaded in a device called sampler, which can edit and play them. The article describes analog and especially virtual samplers, complex devices that can store or play sounds from specific libraries of sound banks. It also defines and catalogs the main types of digital virtual instruments (that include traditional symphonic orchestra instruments, ones with modern electronic instruments/percussion instruments, and ethnic collections for various geographic areas. Our research on digital applications used in music writing relies on 20 years of experience. Currently, applications are valuable tools for composers and musicians, and for everyone in the contemporary music industry. In 2006, I created the first collection of sound banks made in Romania "The Essence of Panflute", library containing sound samples 583, grouped in 33 virtual instruments. This is the most complex virtual version of the Romanian pan flute, played by the renowned Cătălin Tîrcolea. The library is designed and edited by Cătălin Răsvan, for the company S.C. Canira Music Internațional. This collection of sound banks presents in minute detail the laborious process of recording and editing this virtual library. "The Essence of Panflute" has seen international acclaim, is distributed by the German company Best Service, one of the major companies in the world, was reviewed in the most prestigious magazine in this field, Sound on Sound, and has opened the door for current/future creators of music. We hope that it is only the beginning for our work in the research and development of digital virtual sound, which is a special category for the instruments in our country.



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