I was wondering how a certain instrument is called. You can hear it in this video at 0:11. Does anyone know the name of it?

  • 1
    Sounds like a keyboard with sampling. You can make a keyboard do all kinds of crazy things with just one base sound. For example, this was done by feeding a dog's bark into a keyboard and assigning it to one note, and then any other key you hit plays that same sound but as a different note: youtube.com/watch?v=vJM8cZD2XWo – Johnny Bones Aug 7 '17 at 14:39

It sounds like a common synthesizer setting called "Orchestral Hit," which imitates the sound of an entire orchestra dramatically playing the same note in unison at once. It is essentially a sound effect, but when used to play a melody, as in this song, it loses the orchestra feel.

The final impact puts me personally more in mind of a steel drum sound --perhaps because the bell-like quality of the steel drum is rich in overtones.


The sond is most often a layer of sounds. Stabs such as the one used in the song are usually sampled from actual orchestra recordings. The most common one is from the recordings of O Fortuna, see exhibit A. In 1985, the use of orchestra stabs was such a staple of music that they were included in the General MIDI standard as Patch 56. As a consequence, synthesizers and samplers have a very unique but generally similar sounding patch. It will be quite difficult to trace down the primary source for that synth. If I had to guess, it would be from a Roland or Yamaha keyboard or some sort.

There are other sounds underneath it and is hard to tell what comprises that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.