Review: Ventus Ethnic Winds: Bansuri by Impact Soundworks


Impact Soundworks has birthed another magical member to the ethnic winds family. Ventus Ethnic Winds: Bansuri delivers a multi-sampled instrument with arps, runs and phrases and a level of deep sampling usually seen in libraries with 3 times the asking price.

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Review: Ventus Ethnic Winds: Bansuri by Impact Soundworks

For the third release in the Ventus Ethnic Winds series, Impact Soundworks brings us the haunting sound of “Lord Krishna’s Divine Instrument“– the Ventus Bansuri Flute, steeped in the ancient roots of Hindustani and Northern Indian music.

The Bansuri is a 6 or 7-hole bamboo flute about thirty inches in length which is blown from the side (transverse). The Bansuri dates as far back in history as 1500 BC as a widely used instrument in sacred Hindu music, often paired with the Sitar and Tambura to provide drone accompaniment.

Ventus Bansuri is available for $99.00 from Impact Soundworks



The Ventus Bansuri has a haunting and beautiful sound that evokes the imagery of centuries of India’s religious history and sacred song. This, like the Shakuhachi is somewhat remarkable in that they have such a beautiful tone and a complex range of articulations for such a simple instrument. There are several ethnic libraries that offer a limited set of Bansuri samples, but this is truly the first offering of the flute in a serious offering that composers can get excited about. There is truly no comparison to the sound and playability of the Ventus Bansuri!

Ventus Bansuri is deeply sampled and with multiple microphone positions included, really goes the extra mile in delivering a beautiful sound and a rich playing experience.

Across the new releases, Impact Soundworks has standardized on their new articulation system called TACT (Total Articulation Control Technology) found in all of the Ventus series libraries so if this is not your first library in the series – rest assured that there is not much of a learning curve. There is a wealth of control afforded here, all of which is covered in detail by Andrew Aversa in one of the videos linked below. I really like this new articulation system a lot and if you are new to it, expect a bit of a learning curve, but worthwhile to be sure.

When I started working with the Bansuri, I immediately took note of the realistic haunting and breathy sound of the sampled Bansuri. This is as authentic a playing experience as you can get unless you play the real thing. The inclusion of True Legato and Portamento, multiple sustains, Staccato, bends and ornaments, as well as the Phrases patch made this an absolutely remarkable playing experience for me. The Ventus Bansuri is clearly at home in traditional Indian music but would also be a suitable tool for film scores that call fot an Indian theme or it could even be used as a voice in ambient or meditational music. You can extend the effectiveness of the Ventus Bansuri by adding the compliment of the Impact Soundworks Sitar Nation library.
Let’s dive into the interface.

Having reviewed the Ventus Shakuhachi, I would reiterate how much like the interface design, which is very crisp and clean. There are 4 NKIs in the library including a low memory footprint patch, a Phrases patch, a full performance version patch and a Sitar & Tambura Drones patch. All of the important controls are placed clearly on the main page. Control of Ornaments (Level and Triggering probability control), Dynamics, Vibrato and Flutter are all assignable or Midi learnable and offer additional parameters for the latter two. Mic control, ADSR envelope control, fine tuning and transposition are also located at the bottom of the main page along with a micro tuner.

I like the fact that all of these allow for immediate control without having to go to the TACT controls tab to change them. It is quicker this way if you know what you want. The most important takeaway for me here was how well the velocity sensitivity affects the dynamics of the overall sound. The sound is simply brilliant and realistic – you can hear the “ancient” in the tones and timbres..

The Advanced Tab will be familiar if you own any of the other Ventus Series instruments. It includes the ability to record Ornaments as well as play back the ornaments that you have recorded.

The Advanced Tab includes the ability to record Ornaments as well as play back the ornaments that you have recorded.

It takes it one step further allowing you to save the ornaments to a script file that allows you to analyze the playback in a text editor. The Legato section allows for the fine tuning of the Length, Crossfade and Transition time. You can also tweak the overall Depth and Frequency of the Smooth Vibrato control found on the main interface page. The remaining controls offer a bit more advanced control for Mono Sample Fade Time, purging the memory for unused Mics and controlling whether the Pitch Wheel acts as a Bend or Release. Again, these controls are all part of TACT and offer Midi learn as well.

The FX Tab features the standard Impact Soundworks rack. Reverb and EQ are on by default. A flute like the Bansuri has a hauntingly beautiful tone with some reverb added in. I prefer to mix in the room using premium plugins and would defer to my toolset outside of Kontakt, but these FX are quite adequate and I find they are helpful for sculpting within the library, whether you use external plugins or not.

Introduced in the first Ventus Series instrument – Shakuhachi, the TACT (Total Articulation Control) System offers an entirely new and innovative way to control articulations within the library, Impact Soundworks has indicated that this will be the new standard for their libraries going forward, so once you master it, you will find working across libraries to be very easy with a familiar control interface. TACT is an exceptionally well thought out approach to controlling articulations and offers the ability to see the complete map in one place with a logical view. I won’t get into each option as they are well documented in both the manual and a video from Impact Soundworks.

There are almost 350 unique Phrases included in the Phrases NKI. Categorized as Arps & Runs, Longs, Mediums, Shorts and UniqueNotes, these for me are one of the highlights of the library.

The Arps & Runs are simply magical and by reversing the sample playback you can make some truly interesting music.

The same holds true for reversing playback on the other Phrases, in addition to retriggering the sample at different points in the Wav. Altering the microphone levels and attack also yield some interesting results. As I have worked with the instrument, I have also experimented with changing the DYN setting and prefer it as it is set out of the box. The fact that you can influence the playability of the Ventus Bansuri can lead you down the path to those “Happy Accidents” if you choose to go there. It’s really about imaginative playing if you want to stray from purely classical Indian music.

Ventus Bansuri includes a bonus of sorts by way of a Sitar and Tambura Drones patch. I suspect that this is a derivative of the Sitar Nation library, which by the way, is a wonderful compliment if you want to develop truly convincing Indian compositions. This glimpse into the possibilities is a really welcome addition to allow for a traditional drone background to be played along with the Bansuri.
Your approach can be traditional key-switching, the TACT system, using the interface with Midi learn or something in between. No matter how you want to experience Ventus Bansuri, make sure that you experience this amazing instrument!

Ventus Bansuri is another top performer from Impact Soundworks. As with the previous Ventus Series libraries, you could expect to find this level of deep sampling and feature set in an instrument costing 2-3 times this price. I can’t wait for the next installment in the Ventus Ethnic Winds series. The releases just keep getting better and better in the range they offer those members of the composer community looking for stellar Ethnic Winds!

I encourage you to take the time to watch the video on TACT and the overview video to determine whether Ventus Bansuri is the right tool for you. As with the other libraries in the Ventus Series, I will say that the sound is second to none and must be experienced to be fully appreciated.





Ventus Bansuri downloads at 6 GB and requires the full version of Kontakt version 5.5.2 or higher. Ventus Bansuri was sampled using warm ribbon and room microphones. It contains over 4,500 24 bit samples. All material was played by Josh Plotner.

Ventus Bansuri includes the new Impact Soundworks TACT (Total Articulation Control Technology) system to provide a new approach to articulation control including: True Legato, Portamento, 7 types of Sustain Articulations, 3 Release Ornaments, Staccato , Bends, Vibrato, FX Rack and Playback Editor. It also features more than 350 phrases of multiple style and length. Phrases are also provided in WAV format. As an added bonus there is a Tambura and Sitar Drones patch included that allows you to extend the realism of your compositions.

Full documentation and video demos of the TACT system are available at the Impact Soundworks links below.

Ventus Bansuri is available for $99.00 from Impact Soundworks

Demos of Ventus Ethnic Winds: Bansuri

Videos of Ventus Ethnic Winds: Bansuri