FractureSounds Blueprint FestiveBells

Christmas Special: Fracture Sounds Festive Bells | Blueprint overview

Just in time for Christmas: Fracture Sounds have released the latest Blueprint instrument, which follows Electric Keys, Greenhead Chimes and last month’s Gentle Winds.

The second bell-type instrument and the 4th VST in the series, Blueprint: Festive Bells offers a Native Instruments Kontakt sample library that is also compatible with the free Kontakt Player.

The Holy Xmas Trio

Festive Bells is a collection of various bell patches. There are 3 sampled instruments to choose from, some playable and some not. These are named Hand Bells, Sleigh Bells and Toy Bells.

Blueprint Festive Bells Interface
Festive Bells Kontakt Interface

Hand Bells, the first playable instrument out of two which are available, presents this quite soft sounding set of chimes. The bells provided in this patch are dynamically varied with multiple round robins and several velocity layers – which are mostly artificially generated, as it seems – but fairly convincing due to clever use of sound effects, audio manipulations and also efficient Kontakt script programming.

The sound of these handbells is not quite the conventional handbell sound. This patch has much more body to it, and my guess is it was probably layered with a couple or more instruments, as I could almost hear some tongue drum undertones and even the presence of singing bowls.

The second playable instrument presented is Toy Bells. With this one, the sound is significantly brighter and thinner and resembles that of an orchestral triangle, but in reality is most likely a blend of either a xylophone and/or a glockenspiel. Despite a quite bright, metallic timbre, it still manages to keep some of the warmth and depth of the previously mentioned instrument, and they actually complement each other quite well.

I only wish the tremolo setting was not based on such a small number of samples. Because of the fact the re-pitched, virtually stretched notes result with different timing – which is the nature of samplers like Kontakt – it makes it quite impractical to play more than a single note at once, with harmonies being quite impossible to achieve in a convincingly sounding way.

We are left with the third and last patch, which is the set of Sleigh Bells. These are basically one-shots and a bunch of pre-recorded sleigh phrases. But there’s a particular, quite oddly named feature that caught my attention right away: Instant Christmas. I watched the promotional video that Fracture Sounds have posted and apparently, this function is supposed to generate some sort of a rhythmic loop. However, that option does not appear to do anything – which could be some kind of a technical glitch.


Blueprint – Festive Bells can be obtained at the Fracture Sounds website. It is available for Native Instruments Kontakt, the free Kontakt Player 7 and also compatible with Komplete Kontrol and the NKS format. As always, download is done through Native Access which is the official NI plugin management application.