• Typewriter front panel
  • Typewriter rear panel


(23 customer reviews)

3.00 plus VAT

The sound of the written word!


“Yes, Mongo sampled a typewriter. If you are asking yourself right now, ‘What can I do with a typewriter sample?’, you need to hit yourself in the face with a frying-pan and then ask yourself, ‘What CAN’T I do with a typewriter sample?'” – The Razorwire Ballet

Razorwire Ballet logo

TypewriterYou never know when this might come in handy. Whether you want foley effects of the golden age of print, or weird percussion starting points, or sound design opportunities, the Imperial Typewriter is here for you.

Perhaps more importantly, though, you can also use it to rig a kind of Ferris Bueller-style automated typing sound to make your parents think you’re working on the Great American Novel when in fact you’ve stolen your mate’s dad’s Ferrari and gone joy-riding.

This Imperial is a blast from the past, with a wide carriage designed for larger paper sizes, little glass panels in the side to let you see its workings, and a shiny chrome bell on the back. (Mongo uses it for his poetry.) We’ve sampled it lovingly at 24-bit, including a mass of keystrikes, carriage returns, paper winds, clicks, buzzes, spool ratchets and other noises – 69 samples in all. The white keys of one octave are given over to keystrikes, which are varied randomly from a pool of 21 samples, while C4 is your space-bar and the black keys are things like shift, carriage return, the end-of-line bell and so on; so you can ‘type’ with one hand and use the other to punctuate your ‘typing’ with the appropriate other mechanical noises.

Typewriter rear panelThen one octave up from that we have a sequence of one-sample-per-key sounds: paper being spooled, the platen being shifted, the sound of the carriage being tabbed to the end, and so on. And finally there’s a little surprise up at the end, where you can thrill to the sound of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” being typed out by Mongo’s thick, spatulate fingers.

If realism isn’t your thing, why not record the output of Typewriter and then pitch it down four octaves for spacey subsonic rumbles? Or time-slice the platen feed samples for weird glitch effects? Or pitch the keystrikes up and use them as strange little maracas?

They say that a roomful of monkeys with typewriters will, given sufficient time, reproduce by chance the works of Shakespeare. Well, I’ve tried this with the nearest equivalents I could get (typewriter, Mongo, the lab store cupboard) and I think we may still have some way to go. But meanwhile, there’s Typewriter for Kontakt.

Thank you to Zach Heyde and J Blom for the awesome audio demos! If you’d like to hear more of Zach’s work, you can catch his BandCamp page here and take a look at his personal website here.

(All our Kontakt instruments require a full copy of Native Instruments Kontakt v4.2.3 or higher (including all versions of Kontakt 5). Kontakt Player is not supported: instruments will load, but will time out after 15 minutes. See the FAQ for further information.)

23 reviews for Typewriter

  1. alacantec4 (verified owner)

    Somewhat a niche kontakt bank set with 69 wavs. Purchased it as inspired by those 120bpm keys found at Arthur Bakers’s remix of “In the Night“ by PSB!

  2. mightbeacoolusername (verified owner)

    I don’t know why anyone would not want this! It’s one of the most delightful sample libraries around. The typewriter is one of those items that is burned into our cultural sonic memory – even those who have never used them instantly associate them with the all the delightful and terrible romance of writing. Evocative.

  3. dannyhearnmusic (verified owner)

    Have actually bought this one twice now, as I lost my original copy a while back, but it’s been an invaluable tool in the past! Initially purchased this for a track set to lyrics about the media/tabloids, the typewriter made for a perfect percussion track. Have found a few uses for it since, as it can also be used in foley quite convincingly, and as a sound effect to layer other percussion tracks. Recommend experimenting with this one 🙂

  4. michael.topic (verified owner)

    If you know Thomas Dolby’s track “Dissidents” you’ll know how striking the percussive tones of an old fashioned typewriter can be, in the context of a song. I bought this little instrument for the purpose of including these sounds effects, heavily processed, as a contrast to a drum machine. Very pleased.

  5. d_Vincent_b (verified owner)

    This looked like a fun product and it has a fun price to go with it. Even though I probably won’t be using this in a track anytime soon, it is still a fun gimmick to pull out once in a while. Oh and it also made my grandma smile, so that’s priceless.
    The second demo “Typing and Computing” had some really interesting sounds. I figured the lead sound was kontakts tone machine with maybe the paper advance samples, but I can’t quite nail that sound. I did discover that slowing down the samples and playing with the formants, with the different time and tone machines, gets some very cool sound effects.

  6. steflinux (verified owner)

    Perfect Kontakt Instrument to bring back nostalgia. Besides, WAV samples are provided.

  7. joao.bispo.pt (verified owner)

    Good for foley or rhythm. Quirky and good sounding.

  8. johnup12 (verified owner)

    Experimentalists, grab this! It can be a lot of fun.

  9. zachheyde (verified owner)

    Excellent quality–crisp recordings, and very intuitive to use. Was a blast using this on a recent track of mine, it became the star instrument! Highly recommended 🙂

  10. Monika Edvardsen (verified owner)

    I had recorded a song with my own typewriter as “drums”, but tired of editing my sloppy “drumming”, I got this to replace my audio. To my horror I realized it was missing one important articulation: The sound of still writing (or “dry-writing”?) after the carriage has stopped. We’ve all done it as chilluns, and it’s a specific sound that needs to be a part of the arsenal. I could, of course, try adding my own sounds to this instrument and hope my recordings won’t sound too different. Cause this one does sound very good indeed.

  11. Poesque (verified owner)

    Just sprinkle on bug powder and your masterpiece will write itself.

  12. Guillaume (verified owner)

    An interesting and original instrument for SFX, for such a low price it’s not worth doing without it! I imagine you could even consider using it as a full-time replacement for your drum machine or percussionist on some particularly creative songs (prog rock or other styles).

  13. Stefano (verified owner)

    Yes, I think that this typewriter could be placed in the percussion section of the victorian steampunk orchestra!

  14. Ikuo (verified owner)

    Love it!

  15. Nick (verified owner)

    Yes, yes, I only bought it so I could get a big expensive library on KVR Marketplace for free, but having done so, I have no regrets. In fact I am utterly delighted with this thoroughly eccentric little offering and it will be featuring extensively on the intro and outro to my forthcoming romantic ballad “The Girl with the Beautiful Arse”, battering away in the background as the fictional author of the song dictates the following letter to the agony aunt of a local newspaper:
    “Dear Marjory, I have formed an attachment to a young lady, based, I am afraid, solely on my admiration for the exquisite curvature of her magnificent buttocks, as shown in the attached photograph, which I took covertly with a telephoto lens through the window of my car last week. I wonder, given the evidence provided, if you feel this is an adequate basis upon which to found a lasting relationship?”
    In the outro “Marjory” (clearly a nom de plume of a sweaty male hack) replies:
    SIr, I thank you for your letter, but fear I must inform you that you must desist in your unsavoury, if not positively illegal, activities in relation to this young woman at once. There are no circumstances in which I could imagine ANY sort of wholesome relationship between you and this person and that you should instead forward the deliciously upholstered lady’s contact details to me privately, so that I may approach her to offer any….er…counselling that she may require due to the traumatic effect of your unwanted attentions. Yours Marjory.
    Thank you so much for enabling me to achieve the desired effect without having to drag my lazy ass up to the loft to dig out the ageing Remington a pal gave me many years ago.

  16. Brent (verified owner)

    Classic Rhythmic Robot… Excellent instruments that you just can’t find anywhere else.

  17. Edward (verified owner)

    Excellent typewriter. I have been using samples of typewriters that I found online.

  18. Robert (verified owner)

    Believe it or not, I’ve got something like three typewriter emulations on my DAW. This is the best. By far. Maybe I’ll get back to work on my rock opera about a typing pool in the sixties.

  19. Richard

    Who on earth would use a typewriter as a musical instrument?!?! Well, it just might be you. This little gem can work its way into just about any kind of percussive arrangement. You can use it to add a subtle tone enhancement to a track, or you can use it to just obliterate every accepted standard and forge ahead. Don’t get tunnel vision and think this can only be used for percussive applications; because that, my friend, would be a mistake. Atmospheric, ambient, drone, and harsh lead synth sounds can all be enhanced with this baby.

  20. Josef Blom

    Have you ever thought to yourself, “This track is good, but it could really use some typewriter sounds”? I never did, but I got this library anyway.

    Honestly, I still never think that regarding my tracks, but it feels good knowing I have a very well sampled library available should I need one. With everything from key-clacks to carriage returns, and even the manual paper feed, this library will meet all your typewriter needs. It’s up to you to find a use for them, though.

  21. rogers (verified owner)

    Very unique kontakt bank.. Literally what can you not do with a typewriter?? Add a few distortion, eq, or any effect and youll get a knew percussion sound. Very very impressive sample quality, I downloaded the free C64 instrument and was impressed by the audio quality of your kontakt banks. Definelty a huge fan of your products, keep up the good work!

  22. Christopher

    When is a guiro not a guiro? Or more precisely, when is not a guiro a guiro? Answer: when it’s an RR typewriter. I know from guiros, as they are a basic element of my most successful, or perhaps notorious, music. The stuff that’s actually brought a few farthings into my piggybank. It was the glue that held together a house-of-straw “exotica” arrangement of Mele Kalikimaka, which also included guest-starring roles of other RR monsters: Skyline, Spectalk, and Drawbar Bass. I’m gonna figure how to teleport an mp3 of this colloidal brainfart to the Prof, and/or to Mongo, for consideration of worthiness of aural inclusion onto the site somewhere. Then tout-le-monde can hear the resultant, as my drinking buddy sez, sublime beauty if they so desire. Let me confess: by last count I am authorized as the sheepish license-holder/wielder of 27 of those fiendishly sculpted RR plugins. Warning — they are highly addictive, in a pleasantly mosquito-biteish way. Excuse me now, I’m off to scratch a bit.

  23. John

    I’m not sure how usable this is for the regular masses. But, it IS very useful for the pioneers of music who hold themselves above mere mortals! The ones who start trends, who push music envelopes, who do foley work etc. The samples are crisp and clean and realistic.One can especially use this as an extra rhythm component or for the total rhythm of a song. Good work!

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