There is barely another instrument to combine both zeitgeist and timelessness in the way a spinet does: Despite being around for centuries already, its sound is still relevant in many musical territories, while at the same time being inextricably connected to the musical works of its time. The brilliant timbre comprises lots of majestic warmth and elegance as well – something often underestimated due to cold and sterile sounding spinet simulations of current keyboards and samplers. The English Spinet library features an instrument built by Thomas Hitchcock in London in 1718. Hitchcocks instruments are widely known as the best-sounding spinets ever built and pointed the way ahead for all spinets to come. Only about 36 of his masterpieces are preserved to this day.
The instrument still remains in good condition and is fully playable despite its age. It is now available for your sampler within the English Spinet library, presented in its original Valotti tuning at 403 Hz (Presets in 440 Hz are included, too).
Like harpsichords, spinets are not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are minuscule, not any given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings.
Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented spinets by triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving said sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this historical instrument, we captured 8 variations of each note.
The key release sounds are also of major importance: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in simulations, resulting in a very abstract overall picture. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples of each note. In addition to the samples, the library contains an essay in German from Prof. Andreas Beurmann, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
Presets are included for HAlion®, Kontakt2® (or higher) and EXS24® software samplers.
The sample library consists of more than 700 single recordings.
For the recording process, we employed tube-driven Royer® R-122V® ribbon microphones with Crane Song™ Flamingo® preamps and Universal Audio™ 2192® digital converters. We recorded the samples at 192 kHz/24 bits, downsampled to your resolution of choice.