The slick, rich tone of a rare traditional Italian harpsichord is stunningly captured in over 1,600 individual samples and patches for all leading samplers. The Italian Harpsichord III library features an instrument built around 1690 by an anonymous maker. Featuring three sounds – a front and a rear 8′ register as well both together – it allows for the traditional rich and slick Italian harpsichord tone, offering additional flexibility by choosing the adequate 8′ or using the gentle 2 x 8′ combination with its inspiring and complex harmonics. While it is very typical for the Italian style to feature a housing seperated from the painted cabinet, this instrument is one of the rare Italian harpsichords with a fixed housing. Instead, it belongs to the category of so-called ‘false inner-outer’ instruments: The edges of the body as well as the offset cheeks are used to pretend that it features a separate housing.
After more than 300 years, the harpsichord still remains in fully playable condition despite its age. It is now available for the first time in the sampler with the Italian Harpsichord III library, presented in its original Kirnberger III-tuning at 382 Hz, captured with all three register variations – front 8′, rear 8′ and both 8′ registers together. Like all harpsichords, the instrument is 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 twice due to different resonances of body and strings. Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented harpsichords by always triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving a cold and sterile sounding impression.
How the samples were captured In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, we captured every sampled register with 8 variations of each note. The release sounds of the keys are also of major importance: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in artifical simulations, resulting in a very abstract overall picture. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples per note.
The sample library consists of more than 1600 single samples.
To start right away, presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt2 and higher, EXS24 and GigaStudio3.
Recording the instrument
For the critical task of recording the harpsichord, we employed custom-made Wagner U47w tube microphones in conjunction with Crane Song Flamingo preamps and Universal Audio 2192 digital converters to do the instrument justice. For maximum sound quality, we recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution, downsampled to 44.1 khz/24 bits.
In addition to the samples, the library contains an essay in German from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
* 3 different register combinations sampled: Front 8′, Rear 8′ and 2 x 8′
* 8 different samples of each note per register combination
* 4 different release sounds of each note per register combination
* Ready to play HAlion / Kontakt / EXS24 and GigaStudio3 presets
* Wav format (except GigaStudio version)
* no mastering applied
* recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution and downsampled