Sonic Bloom Releases Array Mbira Pack For Ableton Live

Sonic Bloom has released Array Mbira, an Ableton Live Pack that recreates the bell- or harp-like sound of the lamellophone.

Madeleine Bloom, who founded and manages the Sonic Bloom website, sampled each of the 60 tines of her four-octave array mbira, which was developed by instrument-maker Array Instruments. Her instrument is made of sapele wood with an acoustic body of douglas fir that gives it a beautiful soft tone and medium sustain through the built-in two-channel piezo pickup system.

The mbira’s notes are arranged according to the circle of fifths,  and repeats each note twice or even three times to allow the playing of fast patterns with both hands. To emulate this, two versions are included with the Array Mbira pack that alternate between the doubled or tripled notes, either in a traditional round-robin or in a randomized fashion.

The alignment of all octaves of the same note close to each other lends itself to playing them in strums, which is reflected in the octave strum instrument rack and MIDI effect rack presets.

Sonic Bloom Array Mbira includes two folders of 34 Instrument Rack presets total, each of them fully macro mapped and gain staged.  They range from “swirling” pad sounds to distorted bass and dreamlike patterns. The Instrument Racks include delay, and reverb or an arpeggiator, their most important parameters, as well as the volume mapped to the macros.

Sonic Bloom Array Mbira Pack Specifics:

  • self-installing Live Pack with integrated lesson in Live’s Help section in English and German • 35 presets (34 fully macro mapped Instrument Racks, 1 MIDI effect rack)
  • 3 Live Sets
  • Ableton Live 9.7 Intro or higher required

Pricing and Availability. Sonic Bloom Array Mbira is a Live Pack which can be purchased directly on for € 29.  A free version is also available. (The free Lite version contains five presets from the full version, but with only two notes per octave and without the round robin and strum features. Made in and for Ableton Live 9.7 (Intro and up).)

More information in the Sonic Bloom online shop.

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