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Ethno Trailer

The following QuickTime movie highlights the features in Ethno2. Click the image below to activate and play it.

Download movie (5.4 MB)

Demo Movies

Composed and performed live by Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for Dream Theater
Preset: India Fantasy
Right Click to Download QuickTime movie (10.3 MB)

In all of these videos, Jordan employs Ethno's built-in mixing features to enhance the mix. For example, at the beginning of this video, notice that the percussion instruments sit wide left and right, while the vocal phrase is just to the right of center. As Jordan brings in more instruments, they blend coherently more towards the center of the mix. By the time everything is in full swing, good balance and spread is maintained overall. All of this is achieved using Ethno's built-in pan, volume, EQ and synth engine features. You can also employ multiple separate outputs to further manage Ethno's multiple instruments within the mixing environment of your host software or hardware mixer.

View more videos showcasing the MOTU Ethno Instrument presets.


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Ethno Instrument 2 — Universal world/ethnic instrument

Keyboard KeyBuy Award

"Ethno 2 should be at the top of your list. With a Key Buy award, it's sure at the top of ours."
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Mix Certified Hit

Mix Certified Hit
Winter NAMM 2010
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"Ethno 2 is fantastic by the way, had a little play today, it sounds really vibrant and organic!"
-Rik Simpson
Coldplay Producer

Tempo, Transports and Time Stretching

A sophisticated playback engine drives the Ethno Instrument's advanced tempo, transport and time-stretching features.

When loops and phrases play together, or play along with the tracks in your host software, there are many ways in which the loop can interact with other loops and your host's time line. It could play back at its own tempo, or it could match the tempo of other loops and your host. But where will the loop start — and when will it come in — after it is triggered? Right away, or at the next downbeat? Will the loop's beats and barlines line up with your host software's time line (or the beats and bars of other loops)? Or will the loop always start at its own first beat?

A quality sound engine

When you get down to the business of crafting music with loops and phrases, all of these considerations quickly come into play. Fortunately, Ethno provides a wide range of features to handle all of the scenarios, independently for each loop, so that you can get exactly the results you want for each loop. The bottom line is that Ethno provides perhaps the easiest, yet most flexible and capable, playback engine for a loop/phrase library ever devised.

Time-stretching loops

Even more importantly, it has to sound good. Ethno Instrument employs a combination of beat slicing and very high-quality time-stretching technology to play loops at an extremely wide range of tempos without sacrificing sound quality or rhythmic accuracy. To demonstrate Ethno's extreme tempo ranges, here is an original example that includes Ethno's massive taiko drums, African bass, Indian tabla and Spanish guitar. Each loop comes in separately, so you can hear it:

The original example above is at 110 beats per minute (BPM). Now listen to these same loops at 90 and 60 BPM. Slowing down is much harder to do than going faster:

Now let's go faster. Here's an extreme example at 170 BPM:

With slice loops, such as those used in the examples above, Ethno Instrument uses a combination of slicing and audio time-stretching to achieve optimal results at any tempo. But what about phrases such as vocals and other similar material?

New in Ethno 2

Time-stretching phrases

Ethno Version 2 employs newly licensed audio time-stretching technology from the IRCAM institute for audio research in Paris for exceptionally high-quality results when speeding up or slowing down phrases. This gives you a great deal of flexibility because you can use Ethno's extensive library of phrases at just about any tempo you wish.

Time-stretching presets are provided for various types of material (vocals, percussive, etc.) to further maintain excellent sound quality at all tempos.

Here's an example of an original loop — a Spanish rumba guitar:

Here's what typical time-stretching algorithms sound like:

Now let's listen to Ethno 2's time-stretching of this phrase, below. Notice that the slider brings down the tempo by 50%, but then we click the "Half" button to further slow the tempo by another 50%. That's going from the original tempo of 110 BPM (beats per minute) down to 22 BPM! Even at this extreme, the pitch holds up just fine, and you can even clearly hear in great detail the individual scrapes of the musician's fingernails on the metal strings of the guitar!

Here's another example. This is one of Ethno Version 2's new Balkan vocal phrases:

Now here's the same vocal phrase slowed down to half speed: