The Sonas Philicorda is the first premium virtual instrument from our new imprint Sonas. The sample library contains a huge collection of multi sampled recordings from a Philips Philicorda electronic organ, sampled through a vintage recording chain in a hidden boutique studio in Leeds. This virtual instrument plugin is designed to work with Kontakt 5 (full version required) and comes with 6493 sampled waveforms, a 3D modelled interface and a highly versatile collection of on board effects, from a spring reverb impulse and leslie cabinet emulator, to full synthesiser LFO’s, filters, envelopes and chorus for those looking to take their sound further than the traditional organ. This is the first Philicorda virtual instrument available that has every single vox and octave combination sampled individually.
The original Philicorda contains 2 sets of switches, the first set activating octaves and the second set activating different voices, which generate different harmonic attributes. Initially we thought sampling would be fairly straight forward as we could just record the different voices at each octave and layer them together. But after studying the circuit diagram we realised this wasn’t going to be possible!
The Philicorda uses what is called a frequency divider, which creates a high frequency waveform and then generates various sine waves below this frequency at different intervals. These can then be activated using the VOX switches. Because the waves are generated at the same time they stay fully phase aligned with one another, which gives it a very solid, full sound. The problem with sampling Vox settings separately and then recombining to emulate the original instrument, is that when you recombine them, the minute differences in phase alignment over time cause it to sound thin and phasey – and nothing like the real thing.
Basically there is no way to recreate these sounds faithfully without sampling every single combination. So we spent what can only be described as ‘bloody ages’ sampling all 217 Vox and octave combinations!
With the help of our super talented GUI designer we then built a custom 3d modelled interface to capture the true originality of this instrument. After editing the sounds, compiling the instrument and scripting some great custom effects, we finally created the Sonas Philicorda that you see before you!
This unique virtual instrument not only faithfully replicates the true character of the original organ, but goes further to offer some extremely fat synth sounds that can be shaped into lush evolving pads, dense uplifting chords and driving basses and leads. The filter resonance and filter drive can be pushed into self oscillation to create some wonderful harmonic effects that accentuate the rich harmonic tones of the organ beautifully.
We hope you enjoy using this instrument, we have become quite attached to it here at Samplephonics HQ. Stay tuned for some more exciting virtual instruments coming from our Sonas imprint.