The HarpTime VST synthesizer was designed to reproduce the sound of the plucked folk harp, and uses an advanced physical modeling synthesis in which twelve strings are all individually modeled to allow true sympathetic resonances. The harp has a beautiful sound which is usable in very many musical styles (mediaeval period music, classical, folk, ambient, film music and ballads, for example). However, samples can only reproduce a limited, and somewhat ‘static’ snapshot of a particular real instrument being played. In comparison, physical modeling allowed us to build a VSTi which reproduces the characteristic of a variety of real harps, with more flexibility, control, and dynamics than a sample set will normally provide. HarpTime can reproduce the beautiful of the Celtic harp, as well as that of many similar types, such as Japanese (koto), Paraguayan and African harps.
Features: String Modeling:
HarpTime features a sophisticated sympathetic resonance among a set of 12 individual physically-modeled strings.
In the ‘Pro’ model, each string is simulated with its own timbre and pluck position parameters, for a more realistic acoustic emulation.
The strings can be tuned individually, which allows the use of microtuned intonations and scales.
The maximum polyphony is 12 simultaneous voices for the ‘Pro’ model and 8 voices for the ‘Fun’ model.
Another unique feature of this synthesizer is its modeling of the effects of a harp’s Bray Pins (which hold a string to the body of the harp) There are ten different different attack and decay behaviors modeled, by means of a “Shaping” control, some of which model the classic buzzing tone of mediaeval harps.
A unique “SelfBend” feature is implemented to emulate the pitch envelope typical of loose strings.
Adjustable smoothed Pitch Modulation, controlled by an LFO.
The playing style (from soft to hard plucking) can be affected by a “Pick” control which allows variation in the touch of the player.
Velocity Sensitivity is adjustable.
A “Damp” switch allows the sustain of HarpTime’s strings to be set on HarpTime’s control panel; this control behaves similarly to the Release stage of an amplitude envelope on a more typical synthesizer.
The master tuning frequency of the synthesizer can also be adjusted.
The ModWheel can be used to ‘strum’ octaves, in a Glissandi effect. Only the white notes are played.
A double “Low Pass/Band Pass” filter, which allows a great deal of control over the timbre of the sound. This means, for example, that electric harp timbres are possible.
The internal stereo Chorus adds more depth and timbral variation to the sound.
Controls String Controls:
The following controls are implemented as a single set in the Fun version, or one separate set per string in the Pro version of HarpTime.
Exciter: (per string) Controls the maximum energy sent to the string.
Tuning: (per string) Retunes the string range -100 to +100 cents of semitone.
PikPosi: (per string) Controls the effective pluck position on the string, changing the harmonics of the sound.
PikBrig: (per string) NoiseFilter Frequency Control affects brightness of picking.
The following controls affect all strings :