realsamples releases historical Spinet and Harpsichord samples 31/01/08
What is it about harpsichords this week? We've only just brought you the news of the Precisionsound Cembalo/Harpsichord sample library when German-based sample manufacturer realsamples tell us that they have introduced two 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.
Hitchcocks 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 spinetâ€™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 millenium, 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 8â€™+8â€™ 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.
Both spinets and harpsichords are not touch-sensitive in
the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are
minuscule, not any given note will sound exactly the same
due to different resonances of body and strings.
Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented
harpsichords and spinets by always triggering off the exact
same digital sample, leaving said sterile sounding
In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay
tribute to the liveliness and depth of the historical
instruments, 8 variations of each note were captured for this collection.
The release sounds of the keys are also important: What
was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even
simply left out in artificial simulations, resulting in a very
abstract overall picture. Therefore, 4 release
samples of each note were sampled.
Realsamples tell us that the instruments of the Edition Beurmann are the first
samples 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.
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. About Prof. Andreas E. Beurmann
Professor Andreas E. Beurmann, born 1928, co-founded the record company Miller
International in 1961, originating the radio play label Europa shortly after. At this time,
Beurmann began to build his collection of old instruments which now ranks among
the worldâ€™s most precious selections of historical instruments. It is partly on display at
the â€œMuseum fÃ¼r Kunst und Gewerbeâ€� in Hamburg, Germany.
The cooperation of Beurmann and realsamples now makes these instruments
available to be played both at the museum in Hamburg, where a GigaStudio system
is to be installed, and in your personal studio by using realsamplesâ€™ upcoming
Parts of the large collection (comprehending several hundreds of antique
instruments) can be seen at the Museum fÃ¼r Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg,
Germany. Pricing and Availability:
Available on CD or DVD starting at $89.95 USD.