Review: Tbilat Drum by Soundiron


Tbilat Drum is a stunningly accurate, easily playable sample set that can translate into a very wide pallet of musical styles

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Review: Tbilat Drum by Soundiron

Soundiron has yet another compelling instrument in their latest release.

The North African Kingdom of Morocco brims with international intrigue and allure. Its varied landscape offers mountains, coasts and deserts. Its fabled historic cities such as Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakesh hold many ancient secrets. Moorish minarets, thriving souks or open-air markets and maze-like alleyways and streets dating back beyond medieval times. The Tbilat drum, a clay pot, hand percussion instrument, evokes these images with its unique sound which is similar to a bongo drum, yet with a tighter, more pronounced tone.

Tbilat Drum sells for $29 from Soundiron



You may not know the name of the Tbilat Drum by rote but, you most certainly know its sound. Only minutes after installation, I found inspiration wafting through my headphones.

Thanks to the team at Soundiron, now you too, can re-create that authentic Moroccan flavor in almost any musical environment. The set is a multi-sampled authentic Tbilat drum, meticulously recorded in a studio environment with a focus on playing with hands, fingers and various articulations of each style. The preset arpeggiator patterns sound incredibly “live” and authentic when layered up with different articulations.

Tbilat Drum is a stunningly accurate, easily playable sample set that can translate into a very wide pallet of musical styles and genres.

In addition, Soundiron has organized the instrument into a very simple-to-navigate user interface to make dialing in your desired sound both precise and efficient. Aside from the extensive sound designed drum instrument articulations, such as Shape, Target, Speed, Intensity and Fade, there are 20 additional customizable presets to utilize in everything from cinematic scoring to video game sound design, boomers, impacts, atmospheric and EDM compositions. I found many of these immediately useable and enough to compose an entire piece without any other sources.

Soundiron’s user interface incorporates everything you could want into a very efficient use of space. A quick scan of the controls reveals how much control you can exert over the sampled sounds. Controls for microphone placement (Hall Close, Hall Far, Dry Studio and Ambience), sit just above controls for Swell, Attack, Offset, Release, Vibrato, Filter and Pitch rest at the bottom of the control panel and next to a drop-down list for all the varied instrument choices.

What’s not immediately visible are the controls hidden under an inverted chevron on a tab just below the Kontakt Instrument Header.

Here lie the controls for LFO, FILTER and ARP. You’ll want to read the manual for full details on this section as you’ll spend time here, experimenting with preset patterns and setting up your own in the arpeggiator. You can also lock the scale to your project’s key signature. I should point out that the folks at Soundiron have really excellent manuals and while it’s unlikely you’ll ever catch me reading one unless I’m in trouble, it is worth mentioning that someone has invested a lot of time in developing a very concise set of instructions to help you navigate back from the brink of disaster. Err… I mean, composition. The manual also includes a brief “Tips” section that will provide some very useful suggestions for those inclined to discover them.

Note that to the right of the control panel, is the drop-down menu for the Articulation Selection. Here is where you’ll find all the variations and articulations to finesse the instrument for currently selected layer. These controls are not subject to the layer lock function and can also be selected with key-switches.


Exploring the Kontakt file search area, beyond the primary instrument, you’ll find 20 sound design presets

Exploring the Kontakt file search area, beyond the primary instrument, you’ll find a folder marked FX that sits below the Tbilat Drum.nki file. This folder contains 20 sound design presets which can be manipulated in a number of ways to extract sound possibilities far beyond the simple hand percussion instrument this set is based on. This is where you can start to build Cinematic FX like impacts, Boomers or other elements, making this set far more valuable than a mere hand percussion instrument.

And then… There are 18 effects available to further manipulate your sound. Located just below the control knobs on the User Interface is a button marked FX Rack. Click it and you’ll find a massively powerful set of effects available. Here you can find controls and presets for effects like EQs, Amps, Distortion, Reverbs, Delay – and you can easily create your own presets here, too.

Soundiron’s Tbilat Drum is an excellent value at just $29. With its multiple articulations and supremely well-designed interface, this would have been a great value had they stopped here. Lucky for us, they didn’t.

As such, we get an additional 20 custom FX and Atmospheric patches to play with, along with 18 customizable effects including convolution reverbs, delays, amps and other goodies to transform these basic hand percussion sounds into elaborate and unique cinematic sound design elements.

Oh, and did I mention that Soundiron has left the 3,481 wav samples unlocked? This means you can import the samples into anything that supports the format. Well done Soundiron!


Soundiron’s Tbilat Drum is available as a single downloadable file, occupying 2 GB of hard disk space once expanded. There is a total of 3,481 24bit, 48kHz samples formatted in PCM wav and unlocked so they may be imported into any sampler or DAW supporting the format.

To use the product with Kontakt, you must have the full version 5.5.2 or higher. There is 1 master NKI instrument bank with multi-sampled articulations and designed atmospheric impacts and 20 additional custom sound-designed FX and Ambient presets. The intuitive multi-layer interface controls include LFO, filter, glide, and arpeggiator while an additional FX rack provides controls for 18 individual effects including convolution reverb with custom rooms, chambers, halls and FX environments.

Tbilat Drum sells for $29 from Soundiron


Demos of Tbilat Drum by Soundiron

Videos of Tbilat Drum by Soundiron