Gray Cat Music sets Uncle John’s Banjo FREE for BPB readers

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Gray Cat Music has released Uncle John’s Banjo, a Decent Sampler instrument. It is available for FREE for Bedroom Producers Blog readers.

Uncle John’s Banjo is a new Decent Sampler instrument by Gray Cat Music, and it’s FREE for BPB’s audience (yes, that means you! ❤️).

The instrument usually requires a payment of $5 (or more), but it’s free with the coupon code BPBRULES – thank you, Gray Cat Music!

If you aren’t familiar with Decent Sampler, it’s free to download, and there are lots of cool instruments available, like Folk Art Violin and Strands (cinematic cello library).

One of the cool things about Decent Sampler, other than being free, is that many of the instruments are unusual in one way or another; some are quirky to eccentric, and some have a fascinating history.

In Uncle John’s Banjo, we have an instrument with some history; the developer sampled a late 70s 5-string Hondo banjo that belonged to his uncle John.

The banjo has a fibreskyn head, which means the tone is a little fuller (more low-end) and not quite as bright as we might typically expect. I like the darker tone, and to take it a little further, the developer sampled it with a towel in the back.

The built-in effects LPF, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Attack, Release, and Tremolo allow you to tweak the sound further.

The Chorus adds atmosphere, even at low settings, and the Tremolo is ideal for accenting target notes.

As someone who doesn’t play the banjo, I think of songs like The Ballad of Jed Clampett and people having a great time playing great music.

But, as I’ve probably said too many times, I love it when instruments can evoke emotions that are contrary to what we typically expect, and the darker tone of Uncle John’s Banjo does that.

I know filmmakers have used the banjo in chilling scenes to great effect, so it’s not new, but it’s often an otherwise jolly-sounding banjo contrasting darker images.

I’m mentioning that because the developer has captured that quality perfectly with a short and simple demo.

If I had heard the minor melody in the demo video played by someone sitting on their porch in a small, otherwise silent town, I’d have thought twice about passing through.

However, when some melodic phrases hinge on the natural sixth (like you’d get from the Dorian mode) rather than the flat sixth, it’s undeniably more welcoming or even whimsical without losing its minor tonality.

I love that vagueness: the ability to be charming and chilling simultaneously. I realize I may be delving far deeper than I need to here, but as a film score addict, I feel that the middle ground between safe and unsafe is the ultimate tension.

Thanks again to Gray Cat Music, and apologies to anyone who wanted a free banjo without the emotional journey. However, I am here to just drive the bus, I don’t tell you where to get off –  the coupon code was at the first stop and there are no refunds!!

Download: Uncle John’s Banjo (FREE to BPB readers using coupon code BPBRULES)

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About Author

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James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

7 Comments

      • That worked for me, I got it free :-)

        This is perfect to play along with The Grid’s Swamp Thing (30 years this summer)

  1. Kyle Gray Young

    on

    I’m so thankful for everyone’s downloads! Please let me know what you make with this instrument! Thank you BPB!! :)

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