The Mbira, shorthand for Mbira dzavadzimu or “voice of the ancestors”, is an instrument that has been played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe for thousands of years. It’s also the national instrument of Zimbabwe.
It is very significant in Shona religion and culture, and considered to be a sacred instrument. The Mbira is usually played to facilitate communication with ancestral spirits.
Our Mbira bva Zimbabwe is a twenty-two key version with added machachara—or “sizzler”, as we call it—to give a buzzing sound. The buzzing is traditionally important because it is believed to attract the ancestral spirits.
We have deconstructed the sizzler from the original tone, so that you can mix between the chromatic tone, the release noises, and the sizzler sound, all within the Kontakt interface. You can also adjust the sizzler’s decay independently, to find your perfect balance between the tone of the Mbira keys and the buzz of the sizzler.
We sampled the Mbira bva Zimbabwe library in two velocity layers, and recorded four round robins for each of the chromatic metal keys, sizzlers, and release samples. The instrument was close-miked in stereo. The key range of the Precisionsound Mbira bva Zimbabwe is from B1-C5.
The Mbira bva Zimbabwe contains:
- 252 stereo 24-bit WAV samples
- Chromatic metal key notes and release noises
- Percussive “sizzler” samples from the Mbira body
- 1 program for NI Kontakt 3+ with scripted interface
- 3 programs for NI Kontakt 2+
- 3 programs for Logic EXS24