Wavelore Instruments has announced the imminent release of its first commercial product, American Zither, a new sample library virtual instrument plug-in powered by Tascam's GVI (Giga Virtual Instrument).
A Zither is a stringed instrument having usually 30 to 40 strings over a shallow horizontal soundboard and played with pick and fingers. However, the American Zither library were performed not with pick or fingers, but with wooden mallets.
Zithers come from many different cultures. They represent such a fundamental concept in string instrument design that it is not uncommon for many types to come from one area. Numbers of strings can vary widely, various sizes and shapes exist (add some frets and you've got a guitar, for example), and some even come with "thumper gizmos", where the push of a button can engage a spring-loaded device that plays a string or group of strings for you.
Wavelore's reference to the "American Zither" is a nod to a manufacturer who made such instruments in New Jersey during the late 1800's through the first quarter of the twentieth century. For decades after that period, many models continued to be made by various companies, most of whom also operated in the New England area. The only instrument made in the U.S during this period which is still in production is the Auto-Harp, a zither that is strummed with a pick or the player's fingers while chord buttons are pressed to damp unwanted notes. This allows a sonorous accompaniment (typically) for a voice or other instrument. Think, The Lovin' Spoonful's, "Do You Believe In Magic?".
- 24-bit audio resolution, using Tascam's disk acceleration for lossless compression resulting in smaller file sizes, quicker loading, and improved polyphony performance.
- Approximately 1.5 Gb of samples, after compression of the original 2 Gb of audio data.
- Recorded completely dry. Seamlessly integrates into your choice of virtual space.
- No loops; Samples decay fully and naturally. No truncation or extraneous noise.
- Approximately three-and-a-half octaves of playing range (A2-F6, or E2-C6), six velocity layers, and twelve round-robin/randomized samples per layer.
- Full implementation of GVI's iMIDI rules for realistic bends/vibrato, tremolo with speed control, and economic presets using just one velocity layer+spectral interpolation (Dynamic Expression Filter responding to velocity) for full dynamic range.
- Gigapulse resonance modelling with a variety of automation options in addition to the dry presets. Various resonance models are included as "shell" instruments, stackable with your other "Powered by GVI" instruments, offering user-definable sympathetic string and body resonance.
- Keyswitchable stacks using all articulations with all combinations of Gigapulse options.
- Expressive realtime performance capability.
- Integrated help files for the presets, engine, and Gigapulse models.
Key features of the GVI engine include:
- An easy to use, intuitive interface.
- 16 MIDI Channels.
- Pristine audio quality up to: 24-bit / 96 kHz.
- GigaPulse embedded file playback support.
- Stack instruments on a single MIDI channel for layered sound or multi-instruments.
- Multimode resonant filters and extensive MIDI modulations.
- iMIDI rules like Legato, Alternation, and Round-Robin give life to sampled instruments.
- Dynamic Expression Filter adds control over a sampled instruments intensity creating Expressive performances in real time.
American Zither is expected to ship in the first week of June and it can be pre-ordered now for $79.95 (or $59.95 if you already a Syncrosoft dongle) plus shipping. It will be available for Windows in VST, RTAS and standalone formats. The Mac OS X version of the GVI engine is expected to be released some time later this year.