12th March 2008
Realsamples has released English Harpsichord, a new sample library that presents an instrument built by Jacob Kirckman in 1766. Due to its two manuals and many registers, the Kirckman harpsichord offers lots of unique sounds, sampled with 6 different register combinations, including the upper 8', lower 8' (principal 8'), both 8' together, the 4' register, the lute stop as well as the nasale stop only available with Kirckman harpsichords.
Kirckman harpsichords are highly sought-after instruments because of their sound quality and their signature sound. This harpsichord is one of seven Kirckman instruments within the Beurmann Collection. It remains in excellent playable condition despite its age.
Like all harpsichords, the Kirckman is not touch-sensitive. However, even if the differences are minuscule, no given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings. Many keyboards and samplers represent harpsichords by always triggering the exact same digital sample, leaving a cold and sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, every sampled register was captured with up to 8 variations of each note.
To complete the harpsichord experience, we recorded every register with 4 different release samples of each note.
Presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt, EXS24, Independence, MachFive, Reason NN-XT, VSampler3 or GigaStudio. The sample library contains more than 3600 single samples.
Recorded in the great sounding rooms of the Hasselburg estate, vintage Neumann TLM-170 microphones were used in conjunction with Crane Song Flamingo preamps and Universal Audio 2192 digital converters recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution.
Furthermore, the sample library contains an essay in German from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
The English Harpsichord library available in 44.1/48 khz, 96 khz and 192 khz resolution, starting at $139.95. The sounds can be purchased directly on the realsamples website.