bnr koto13

Virtuoso Japanese Series

Price: $240  

KONTAKT LOGO no nks sKOTO 13, an exquisitely crafted virtual 13-string koto — the first release in our new Virtuoso Japanese Series of Kontakt instruments

The 13-string koto is one of Japan’s most dignified traditional instruments. Capable of everything from elegant, single plucked notes to aggressive glissandos, the koto boasts a wide range of musical expressions and can add a dash of refinement and grace to traditional Japanese music, modern film scores, and many other genres.

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Main Features

  • Stunningly realistic 13-string koto reproduction thanks to precise recording and scripting
  • Up to eight velocity layers and four round-robin samples for natural sounding dynamics
  • 26 koto articulations, all key switch selectable
  • Five banks of quintessential koto phrases, all key switch selectable
  • Plucking control function for full mastery over subtle, natural sounding plucked notes
  • Performance mode maps each of the 13 strings to a white key for easy performance of real koto glissandos and phrases
  • 28 classic koto scales transposable into any key
  • User scale mode for creating custom scales for specific pieces
  • Stellar tone colors captured in full 24-bit, 96 kHz fidelity (library contains 24-bit, 44.1 kHz samples)
  • Samples recorded with multiple microphones, and the Direct, Overhead, Room, and Stereo Mix sources can be mixed independently to create unique sounds
  • 48 built-in convolution reverb settings with individual channel reverb mixing
  • You need the Kontakt Full Version.
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Painstaking recording and scripting

umlaut logoThe koto was performed by Miki Maruta for the recording sessions. The recordings took place over several days at a Pastoral Sound Studio  in Tokyo, and we took extra care to capture the natural reverberation and full timbre of the instrument in the room. As a result, KOTO 13 reproduces Maruta’s perfect tone coloration and plucking expressiveness with all of her superlative musical technique.

Umlaut Audio was responsible for the Kontakt scripting. With meticulous scripting, the Umlaut Audio team faithfully translated our Japanese instrument expertise into the software instrument.

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koto13 007Natural plucking control, as if your fingers are directly in touch with the strings

For KOTO 13, we spent considerable time looking at how to reproduce the finely detailed plucking techniques of the koto. First, we captured every aspect of plucking behavior, from the moment the pick contacts the string to the final decay. Then, we fashioned a plucking control function to give the performer complete and flexible command over the plucking action. As a result, the performer can play the super-realistic sounds of the instrument with a natural plucking feel, as if your fingers are directly in touch with the strings. Since the samples themselves contain the plucking nuances, fast phrases and glissandos are possible without any latency or delay.

Rich array of articulations

The koto is capable of a huge range of musical expressions. Although famous for showy glissandos, tremolo picking, pitch bends, and vibrato, the koto has many more delicate tone variations, such as the tonal differences created by playing with the thumb, index, or middle finger or even chirashizume pick scrapes.

KOTO 13 contains 26 articulations and six phrase banks, all of which are key switch and MIDI CC selectable. 

Articulation list

  • Picking (thumb, index, and middle)
  • Pizzicato (left & right hands)
  • Double Picking
  • Keshizume
  • Short Bends Up & Down (Whole & Half)
  • Sustained Bends Up & Down (Whole & Half)
  • Tsuki-Iro (Whole & Half)
  • Hiki-Iro
  • Vibrato (Slow & Fast)
  • Tremolo (Slow & Fast)
  • Tremolo Sukuizume (Slow & Fast)
  • Picking Sukuizume
  • Chirashizume (Slow & Fast)

Phrase bank list, Hira scale in D

Sahrarin, Glissando Up, Glissando Down, Glissando Performance, Various Performance, Effects
  • Each phrase bank contains multiple phrases, banks are key switch selectable
  • Adjustable key and tempo

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KOTO13 GUI 003                    Key Switch                                            Scale (13 tone)                       Phrase Bank

Three scale modes — classic, chromatic, and user — accommodate all kinds of music, from traditional Japanese music to modern orchestral music, pop music, and film scores

The koto can be used to perform innumerable musical pieces by tuning the 13 strings to different scales. KOTO 13 maps the tones of each scale directly to 13 adjacent white keys. This lets the performer play in the most realistic style possible. For example, you can play a glissando simply by sweeping your finger along the keys and create beautiful arpeggios with multiple-finger trills.

KOTO 13 is packaged with 28 classic koto scales — such as Hira, Kumoi, Han Kumoi, Nakazora, Nogi, and Gaku — and features a user scale mode to create custom scales for specific pieces. A chromatic scale is also included to perform Western music with ease.
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G2 – D5 chromatic scale range

Classic scales from Japanese music
KOTO 13 supports 28 classic koto scales and a chromatic scale. An option is available to drop the first string tuning by an octave.

28 scales
Hira, Rokuagari, Yonkuagari, Kumoi, Hon Kumoi, Han Kumoi, Kata Kumoi, Nakazora, Akebono, Han Nakazora, Gaku, Han Gaku, Nogi, Hanagumo, Iwato 1, Iwato 2, Han Iwato 1, Han Iwato 2, Natsuyama, Kokin, Shin Kokin, Hira Kinjuu, Nijuu Kumoi, Kumoi Kinjuu, Akino, Ryukyu, Soufuren, Shin Setsugekka

Key transpositions: G / G# / A / A# / B / C / C# / D / D# / E

User scale mode
This mode lets the performer customize and store intervals for each of the 13 strings. By creating scales for a particular song or original composition, the performer can incorporate the sound of the koto into any piece of music.

Scale libraries provided as well
KOTO 13 comes with scales for famous koto pieces for instant access to the world of koto music.

Note: User scales cannot be transposed.

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Audio Mixer
Samples were recorded in three stereo microphone positions — Direct, Overhead, and Room — plus a Stereo Mix. Full mixing control is available, with individual Volume, Pan, Reverb Send, and EQ adjustments for each channel. KOTO 13 also comes with a quality convolution reverb for excellent in-instrument sound creation. The parallel output bus outputs microphone channels to individual DAW tracks for finer mixing sessions.

Note: When the Stereo Mix channel is active, multiple microphones are canceled to conserve memory.

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Load manager
With the load manager, the performer can load only the desired articulations. Skipping unnecessary samples obtains better performance from the Kontakt engine.

Native Instruments Kontakt 5.1 Full (Kontakt Player is not supported)

Operating system requirements:
Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer
Windows Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Data size:
9.2 GB NCW format (equivalent to 18.4 GB in wav format)

Notes on using this product
Native Instruments Kontakt 5.1 or newer (Full version) is required to use this library. (Kontakt Player is not supported)
Installing the product requires a minimum of 9.5 GB of free disk space.
Use the Native Instruments Kontakt recommended system requirements at a minimum. Installing the product on a computer with a faster CPU and ample RAM is recommended for optimal library performance.
*Registration is required in order to use the library.

Sonica Instruments
Virtuoso Japanese Series

Product code: SNCI 003
Retail price: $240

  • This product is downloaded and installed using the Continuata Connect Download utility.
  • To safeguard this product from illegal copying and sharing, each purchase is embedded with a unique, non-removable watermark used to track piracy.
[Sonica Instruments End User License Agreement]

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