10th February 2010
Realsamples has announced the release of English Spinet II, a virtual copy of a prestigious Benjamin Slade spinet from around 1705, as part of the "Edition Beurmann" sample series. The instrument is taken from the famous collection of historical instruments by Professor Andreas E. Beurmann.
Realsamples says: "Certain musical instruments are unparalleled even after centuries of trial and error – the famous stringed instruments by Stradivari, to name the most popular example. Another one would be a spinet built by famous 18th century-builder Benjamin Slade. Its sweet and warm sound outperforms any modern spinet. However, only one spinet of Slade survived throughout history."
To make this sound available to players worldwide within the English Spinet II sample library, German collector Professor Andreas Beurmann and realsamples joined forces to offer a virtual version of the rare spinet. The result is a sample library with more than 700 single samples of the instrument to provide even subtle nuances of the sounds.
Like all spinets, the instrument is not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are minuscule, no given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings: "We sampled every key eight times to offer the slight yet very important timbre changes of the instruments." says Nicolay Ketterer, head of realsamples, who led the recording sessions at the Hasselburg estate. In addition, the harpsichord is sampled with 4 different release samples of each note. "The sounds of the key release were originally regarded as side noise and as such, they were meant to be minimised. However, they contribute to the overall picture of the real instrument, and they are a vital part to the perception." he adds.
Recorded in the great sounding rooms of the Hasselburg estate, custom-made Wagner U47w tube 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 essays from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
Pricing & Availability
Following realsamples' ongoing Edition Beurmann, the virtual Slade spinet is the 11th instrument of the series to be released, featuring presets for all common software samplers including HAlion, Kontakt2 and higher, EXS24 and GigaStudio3.
The English Spinet II library is available in 44.1/48 khz, 96 khz and 192 khz resolution, starting at $139.95.