Realsamples has introduced two new sample libraries of antique instruments, featuring a spinet and a harpsichord. The libraries mark the start of the "Edition Beurmann", a series of instruments out of the renowned historical keyboard instrument collection of Professor Andreas E. Beurmann.
The "English Spinet" library features an instrument built by Thomas Hitchcock in London in 1718. Hitchcock's instruments are widely known as the best-sounding spinets ever built and pointed the way ahead for all spinets to come. Only about 36 of his masterpieces are preserved to this day. Surprisingly full sounding for a spinet, the Hitchcock owes its full-bodied sound to the optimised construction and design, also providing a much more immediate response compared to a harpsichord: The spinet's lid directs the sound reflections right to the player, whereas a harpsichord radiates its sound into the room.
The "Italian Harpsichord" Library contains a historical harpsichord built in 1579 by Pierluigi in Livorno. Sharing its tonal qualities for almost half a millennium, it is a classic example of how Italian harpsichords were built for about 200 years. Compared to its Dutch and English siblings, the Pierluigi harpsichord stands out due to its light and simple design (one 8'+8' register) and mostly because of its fundamental, sonorous warm and deep sound. This unique instrument in the collection of Andreas Beurmann still remains in excellent condition and is fully playable despite its age.
Spinets and harpsichords are 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.
Many keyboards and samplers represent harpsichords and spinets by always triggering the exact same digital sample, leaving said sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of the historical instruments, Realsamples captured 8 variations of each note.
The release sounds of the keys are also important: What was originally side noise is often overlooked and even simply left out in artificial simulations, resulting in an abstract overall picture. Therefore, Realsamples recorded 4 release samples of each note.
The instruments are recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution, using active tube-driven Royer R-122V ribbon microphones.
Presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt, EXS24, Independence, MachFive, Reason NN-XT, VSampler3 and GigaStudio, amongst others.
The sample libraries are available in 44.1/48 khz, 96 khz and 192 khz resolution, starting at $89.95. The instruments can be purchased directly on the realsamples website on CD or DVD.
In addition to the samples, every library contains an essay from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.