The simsimiyya is a traditional plucked lyre played in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. It is mostly used by Bedouins as a social instrument. In Egypt it is traditionally used to accompany a dance called bambutiyya.


This library includes samples from two instruments, one small simsimiyya (simsimiyya I) and one slightly larger (simsimiyya II). The smaller instrument includes a selection of percussive hits while the larger includes recorded tremolo samples for a very authentic sound.

The dedicated retrigger key-switch provides an intuitive way to play double plucks or tremolo live on each instrument. Both instruments also feature a selection of unique Ebow drone samples.

Round Robin & Dynamics

The plucked articulation of both instruments was recorded with multiple repetition samples (round robin): x12 for simsimiyya I, and x9 for simsimiyya II. Each instrument was sampled at three dynamic levels that will smoothly crossfade as you play at different velocities.

Playable Maqams

Simsimiyya is one of the few sample libraries available that gives you playable maqams (Middle Eastern modes). Our unique system lets you use key-switches to switch between the various pre-programmed maqams and Kontakt’s keyboard will update to show you which notes are playable in your selection.

The system also allows you to create your own custom scale presets and trigger quarter tone notes on the fly.

Kontakt Keyboard Maqams

Effects & Controls

The on-screen controls allow you to easily adjust the various instrument settings and effects. Both instruments have the same range of effects: Chorus, Saturation, Delay, and Reverb, each of which can be enabled/disabled independently.

Other controls include the maqam selection and editing menus, ADSR settings, fine tuning, ebow tuning, and ebow volume.


Kontakt 4.2 or higher (full version of Kontakt required, will not work in the free Kontakt Player)
800 MB Disk Space

Audio Demos

User Guide

Simsimiyya User Guide


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