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realsamples has announced the release of German Lute-Harpsichord, the latest addition to its Edition Beurmann series of historical sample libraries for Kontakt, HALion, EXS24 and GigaStudio. The instrument is taken from the famous collection of historical instruments by Professor Andreas E. Beurmann.

The "German Lute-Harpsichord" library offers Johann Sebastian Bach's favourite instrument for which he composed several works. Despite 50 Lautenwerck builders in the 18th century in Germany, not a single instrument survived.

When the instruments had vanished, the awareness had gone as well: Only a couple of decades ago, musicologists found out that such an instrument had existed, solving the mystery of scores being written for Lautenwercke – such a composer's notion, until then, was supposed to refer to a regular lute or the lute-stop register of a harpsichord. Reason enough for Professor Beurmann to have a Lautenwerck reconstruction built for his collection by Ludwig Richter.

Back in the days of harpsichords and spinets, the lute-harpsichord offered a much warmer, soft and intimate yet defined tone. While having been built to imitate a lute on a keyboard instrument in the first place, it brings a consistent attack to the table and also allows for full decay of all notes due to missing dampers, resulting in a vibrant, reverberant but still transparent sound.

To make this sound available to players worldwide, German collector Professor Andreas Beurmann and realsamples joined forces to offer a virtual version of the rare instrument. The result is a sample library with nearly 700 single samples of the instrument to provide even subtle nuances.

"We sampled every key eight times to offer the slight yet very important timbre changes of the instruments. It's these little things that give you the feeling of playing the real instrument on your keyboard instead of just a loveless recreation," says Nicolay Ketterer, head of realsamples, who led the recording sessions at the Hasselburg estate, where most of the instruments of the Beurmann Collection are located. In addition, the Lautenwerck is sampled with 4 different release samples of each note.

Presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt, EXS24 and GigaStudio. 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 German Lute-Harpsichord library is available in 44.1/48 khz, 96 khz and 192 khz resolution, starting at $139.95. The sample library can be purchased directly on the realsamples website.

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