Music Software Review: Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla by Crypto Cipher

Crypto Cipher was founded in 2010 by Sumit Kumar, an electronic music composer and sample library developer living in New Dehli. The company offers affordable, authentic sounding, and high-quality sample instruments for Kontakt. In this review, we check out two of their tabla-centric offerings, Tabla Tarang and Solo Tabla.

What is Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla?

The tabla is a percussion instrument that is often used in the traditional music of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, and it is played with the dominant hand. Tabla Tarang is the sound and recreation of 13 unique hand made tablas. Crypto Cipher have teamed up with tabla artists and tabla makers to sample hand made tabla drums. They were tuned separately by hitting hammer on the rim of tabla according to Raga, and all the tablas were placed in semicircular positions, covering lower bass tablas from the left, to higher pitched tablas towards to the right.

Solo Tabla is a playable multi-sampled Kontakt instrument with two mic positions and advanced script programing. Musicians have control over each sound as well as each drum. Solo Tabla can be tuned up and down with the micro tuning feature on each sound.

Key Features of Tabla Tarrang

  • Price Tag: $79
  • 13 sampled Tabla Drums
  • Multisamples with up to 20 RR and 7 velocity layers
  • 3 Patches: Master Patch, Lite patch and Multi Patch
  • Three Mic Types (Ribbon, Condensor, Dynamic)
  • Ta, Tin, and Tun Articulations performed on Tabla
  • Legato Articulation and Arpeggiator
  • Drum Articulations Ruff, Flam, Roll, and Drag
  • Fine Tuning and ADSR control for each drum with “Reset” Option
  • Velocity Curve Control
  • Effects: Mute, Heat, Doubler, Compressor, EQ, Phaser, and Reverb
  • Sample Resolution: 44.1khz/24 bit
  • Library Size: 2.93 GB
  • Note: Full retail version of Kontakt 5.4.2 or higher is required.

Key Features of Solo Tabla

  • Price Tag: $79
  • Sampeled Left Drum, Right Drum, and Combo Drums
  • Advance Scripting features total control over individual sounds. Each drum can be tuned/panned separately and each sound can be fine tuned.
  • Special effects on UI include – Wide effects, Mute effects, Doubler, and Heat effects
  • 7 impulse response reverbs
  • Bonus Midi Loops included which cover Indian traditional Tabla patterns in 4/4 and various complex patterns
  • Additional bonus patches includes ‘Bass Drum performance’ along with other performance Patches covering various articulation in Rex/Wave and Kontakt Format.
  • Sample Resolution: 44.1khz/24 bit
  • Library Size: 2.1 GB
  • Note: Full retail version of Kontakt 5.4.2 or higher is required.

Installation of Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla

Installation files can be downloaded after purchase from the Crypto Cipher webshop. Unzip all files and copy them into a folder of your choice. As the library requires the full retail version of Kontakt, it will not appear in the libraries tab pane. It can be added, however, to the quick launch menu instead. Due to the high amount of samples, a batch resave is highly recommended.

The Interface of Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla

The interfaces of each of these instrument may be the most unusual I’ve ever seen. They are bright and colourful (bringing to my mind a lovely taste of the Indian world), and packed with features and parameters. This might lead to a bit to confusion, as you may be left looking for the parameters for a while until you will find them. It just takes a bit of getting used to.

Crypto Cipher - Tabla Tarrang (Main GUI)

Crypto Cipher – Tabla Tarrang (Main GUI)

Crypto Cipher - Solo Tabla (Main GUI)

Crypto Cipher – Solo Tabla (Main GUI)

The Sound of Tabla Tarrang & Solo Tabla

The sound of each instrument is outstanding. The samples have been very well recorded, and they sound clean, punchy, and detailed. Combined with the generous amount of round robins and velocity layers, you get a very playable and natural sounding set of instruments. With the authenticity of the recording process, the articulations, and the sampling philosophy these products are imbued with, it’s easy to trust that you’re getting the real deal here. These qualities are well represented in the wonderful demos of Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla, as you can hear below:


Without question, Tabla Tarang & Solo Tabla are outstanding instruments. Crypto Cipher have created them with a lot of love for the details. For $79 each, you get a lot of value with these rare instruments, which will fit the bill perfectly for traditional Indian music. I am also sure that they will find their place in modern cinematic composing and other contemporary/popular music. A job well done by Crypto Cipher.

Written by: Panos Kolias

Panos Kolias is a film, tv and concert music composer and musician. He regularly produces cues and other commercial music for major television programs like CSB ABC and others. He's a part of the electronic duo DubLion Project and works also as a musician, educator, orchestrator, and technical consultant. Besides composing for TV and film and composing concert music, he holds a lecturer position at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, teaching Music Technology and Film scoring courses.

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