This directory includes sound sources commonly used in Western art music, popular music and folk music. Many additional percussive sound sources native to various "world" (non-Western and ethnic) cultures are available within other sflib directories (e.g. the africa, asia, chinaperc, gamelan, and world directories), and some of these percussive sounds, such as the log drum and slit drum sources within the africa directory, have become increasinglky common in Western music as well.

I. Metallophones


  • Seven glock multisamples, medium mallet and medium hit, pitched g5 through c8


  • crt.fs5 crotale with strike tone of fs5
  • crt.d6 crotale with strike tone of d6
  • crt.f6 crotale with strike tone of f6
  • crt.gs6 crotale with strike tone of gs6
  • crt.cs7 crotale with strike tone of cs7


  • bt belltree; the last bell is struck at c. .67 seconds
  • marktree.lohi delicate bell tree, stroked low to high; last bell is struck at 1.755
  • marktree.hilo the same bell tree, stroked high to low; last bell is struck at 1.4


  • cym1 large cymbal struck with snare stick, emphasizing higher frequencies, approximate strike tone is cs5
  • cym2 large cymbal struck with a yarn mallet; strike tone is approximately c4
  • cym3 small cymbal struck with hard mallet in middle of cymbal emphasizing
  • lower frequencies; approximate strike tone is e4
  • fingcym small finger cymbals ; strike tone = d6
  • hihat.open and hihat.closed
  • The 12 handcym soundfiles are samples of hand cymbals used in European folk music.


  • gong.bf2 medium gong; approximate strike tone is bf2
  • gong.ef3 smaller gong; approximate strike tone is ef3

Alpenglocken and Cencerros

  • The 4 alpglock (alpenglocken) soundfiles (b4, cs5, fs5 and gs5) and the 4 cenc (cencerros) soundfiles (pitched at as4, cs5, e5 and gs5) are similar in timbre to cowbells, but these eight soundfiles differ markedly in timbre and attack hardness.
  • alpglock.cs5 is the brightest alpenglocken tone, with the hardest hit (as though struck by a snare stick), and alpglock.fs5 is the "mellowist," as though struck with a soft yarn mallet.

Metal Plates

  • plate1 struck with hard mallet; approximate strike tone is e4
  • plate2 struck with softer mallet; approximate strike tone is a4 (but flat)


  • trg1 large triangle; approximate strike tone is gs5 (but flat)
  • trg2 large triangle; approximate strike tone is fs6

Tubular Chimes

  • The 5 tubchime soundfiles are tubular chimes, pitched at c4 through g5. The source recordings for these soundfiles were of poor audio quality, and for this reason many users will find these soundfiles unusable. Sorry about that.


  • icebell strike tone = ca. b4
  • sleighbells short, dry sleighbells strike ; strike tone = ca. f6

II. Membranophones

Military Drums

  • mdrum military drum struck with snare stick
  • mdrum.b military drum struck with wire brush
  • mdrumoll military drum roll with wire brushes
  • mdrum.cross military drum with cross-stick attack; "dead-stick" quality
  • mdrum.roll military drum roll with snare sticks

Snare Drums

  • sdrum1 large snare struck with snare stick; approximate strike tone resonance is a3
  • sdrum1.cross snare drum with cross-stick hit; dry, "dead-stick" quality
  • sdrum1.roll snare stick roll
  • sdrum1.b snare drum; wire brush hit; approximate perceived pitch is gs3
  • sdrum1oll wire brush roll on snare drum; perceived pitch is roughly d3
  • sdrum2 smaller, drier snare drum, strike tone is roughly a3
  • sdrum2.cross snare drum 2 with cross-stick hit (dry, "dead-stick" quality)
  • sdrum2.roll higher pitched & dryer than sdrum1.roll
  • sdrum2.b wire brush hit on snare drum 2
  • sdrum2oll wire brush roll, dryer & higher pitched than sdrum1oll

Tom Toms and Timbales

  • tom1 10 inch tom-tom struck with finger
  • tom1.rim rim shot on 10 inch tom tom
  • tom2 8 inch tom-tom struck with finger
  • tom2.rim rim shot on 8 inch tom tom
  • timb1 large timbale struck with finger
  • timb1.rim finger rim shot on large timbale
  • timb2 smaller timbale struck with finger
  • timb1.rim finger rim shot on smaller timbale

See also the bekiseraba, haircut and djembe soundfiles in the sflib/africa directory for similar membranophonic sounds.

Bongos and Tumnba

  • bongo1 large bongo struck with finger
  • bongo1.roll finger roll on large bongo
  • bongo2 small bongo struck with finger
  • bongo2.roll finger roll on small bongo
  • conga.open conga struck with finger and allowed to resonate
  • conga.closed conga damped ("dead" finger stroke); lower pitch
  • conga.pop high pitched, short duration
  • conga finger hit conga.gliss pitch bend applied to conga strike
  • tumba.open resonant finger slap on tumba
  • tumba.closed lower pitched "dead" stroke on tumba

Bass Drums

  • bdrum bass drum struck with large beater
  • kdrum kick (foot pedal) drum; dry, damped (Also see the burundi and sangba
  • soundfiles in the africa directory for additional bass drum-like sounds.)


  • timp.c2 large timpani struck with normal felt timpani mallet; pitch = c2
  • timp.e2 large timpani struck with normal felt timpani mallet; pitch = e2
  • Soundfiles timp.roll.c3, 2timp.roll.e2 and timp.roll.f3 begin with a sforzando attack followed by a roll.
  • A group of handdrum soundfiles are recordings of German hand drums.

III. Idiophones


  • There are two groups of xylophone soundfiles:
  • xylo1 : hard mallets, hard hits; 6 multisamples, pitched g3 through c6
  • xylo2 : medium (cord) mallets, softer hits ; 9 multisamples, pitched a4 through c8

Temple Blocks and Woodblocks

  • tb1 temple block; approximate strike tone is ef5
  • tb2 temple block; approximate strike tone is c6 (flat)
  • wb woodblock; approximate strike tone is af5a
  • (The sflib/africa directory includes 8 pitched wooden block soundfiles similar to woodblocks.)

IV. Shakers and Miscellaneous Instruments

  • The timbres of the two cabasa soundfiles, cbsa and cbsa.roll sound somewhat like sandpaper blocks, and also are timbrally similar to the brazilian shaker (shakeraz.hi), and to some of the shakers in the africa directory.
  • maracaroll is a maraca roll. (See also the two maraka soundfiles in the africa directory.)


  • There are two groups of shaken rattle soundfiles, rattle1.1\f through rattle1.5, and the higher pitched rattle2.1\f through rattle2.4. Both groups include single shakes and multiple shakes.
  • The three cast soundfiles (cast, cast.a5 and cast.roll) are castenets.
  • The two watph soundfiles are waterphones.