Harpsichords

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by korgoasys, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

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    The Pianoteq ones are, like I said, in my top tier. I think for many people, they are the best choice and also quite affordable as well as easy to work with.

    A harpsichord kit can be affordable, but maintaining one is not (time-wise or money-wise). I have relatives who went that route and regretted it. I have pondered the decision many times.

    To Mike Fox: what are you comparing Cinesamples to? I didn't care that much for the audio demos when I thought about it over the holiday discount period. Saying something is the best, without mentioning even one other library, isn't very convincing. :)
     
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  2. muziksculp

    muziksculp Senior Member

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    If you are really into Harpsichords, have the $, and spcace you might want to consider this , hint.. It's not a sample library :) :

    I have one, and love it. One of Roland's very special products.

    It also offers more sounds, like Fortepiano, and other tuned perc. sounds, even an organ.

    https://www.roland.com/us/products/c-30/
     
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  3. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

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    Yes, I had the previous version -- wicked expensive, and I took a bath when I resold it.

    Some fatal flaws, including stability (fixed in the new version as it doesn't go for the three-legged approach), and the inability to record it without annoying the neighbours at full volume. Crazy that you couldn't defeat the built-in speakers when sending to other sources or to a recording interface.

    It was pretty well-done overall, at the time, and the newer model (quite old by now) is a big improvement sound-wise (except for no longer having reverse keys, and I think maybe not trying to model harpsichord action anymore either but it's been a couple of years since I was last at Bananas at Large in San Rafael CA and had a chance to play one again for a while).

    The built-in baroque organ choices are pretty good as well (although I forget which models in their historic series have which choices), and Roland offer two manuals and combinations thereof. Harpsichord was a passion of their founder, which is why they made this instrument.

    I own many harpsichord libraries because each is different. In actual project work, I may end up only using the two or three best ones, but having such coverage of the historic range, from Edition Beurmann, is an education for me and thus justified the cost (fairly cheap).

    Harpsichord is one of my life passions; I even published a couple of harpsichord patches for the Casio CZ-series back in the day, but no longer have copies (maybe someone else out there does...). It was a lot of fun using that unique synth engine (somewhat similar to Yamaha's FM-based DX-series, but also different in so many ways), to replicate the audio signature and envelope of a harpsichord. The CZ had six envelope stages vs. just four, as I recall, which allowed for more detail on the attack and also the string release.
     
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  4. rrichard63

    rrichard63 Perpetual Novice

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    If someone can find these patches, Oli Larkin's VirtualCZ (available at Plugin Boutique) is supposed to be able to load and play them. I haven't actually tried loading such patches, though.
     
  5. Living Fossil

    Living Fossil Senior Member

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    That's inaccurate.

    It has no mutes, but a double 8' plus 4' stop. (called "tutti")
     
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  6. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

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    It's still not enough flexibility. Sorry I forgot about the tutti; I didn't load Vienna Instruments when I made that comment, and only consulted my annotation file where I try to list specialties or missing aspects of each. I guess that file isn't as complete as I thought.

    Even so, I do use VSL's harpsichord in projects where the harpsichord is not soloed, as it blends really well. I was always hoping they'd offer an expansion for it, as they did with the wonderful Konzerthaus Organ (still by far my favourite pipe organ library).
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  7. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

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    The CZ patches were probably part of a compilation put together by CZ fans at the company I worked at then, Digital Equipment Corporation. Not sure how things got distributed in those days, pre-internet.

    My recollection is that we had to recreate them manually, and that we used a template on paper, which we filled in with our parameters and then labeled for the name of the sound. We were part of the greater CZ community as well, so I think our patches did make it into the general CZ user patch sets.

    I did a few others too, but most deeply remember programming the harpsichord ones. My others are more in the sound effects category or maybe soundscapes, and are used on some of my recordings. Back then, we didn't think about saving patches to things we sold. But I just now realized that a close friend bought my CZ101 from me, and if she still has it, it might have my user patches loaded. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  8. eli0s

    eli0s Member

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    Just bought XPERIMENTA Harpsichord. I can safely say that I really like the sound and the play-ability and the options it provides. Also, the round robins really help with repeated notes.
    And for the price they ask, it feels like a steal!
     
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  9. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    I assume you just play notes longer to make them seem louder, as on recorder?
     
  10. NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

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    Wouldn’t the percussive sound of fingers hitting the keys harder give somewhat of a thump that would add to perceived loudness?
     
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  11. Casiquire

    Casiquire Senior Member

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    In my experience it does. Keep in mind I've never played too roughly myself for fear of damaging someone else's instrument, but I've certainly heard performances where there are some hits that clearly induce greater body resonance and now gentle plucks that are essentially pure string tone
     
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  12. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    You'd have to mic your controller keyboard, but why not.

    I've used a clip-on mic on my EWI to catch my breathing in, and it worked very well.
     
  13. NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

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    Actually, I was referring to an actual harpsichord.
     
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  14. fcangia

    fcangia XPERIMENTA Project

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    Yes I was talkin about this!
     
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  15. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    What's an actual harpsichord? Sounds like a CD or something old like that.
     
  16. ptram

    ptram Senior Member

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    Harpsichords are the future! In the age of touch screens, nobody has fingers strong enough to press a piano key. So, enter the harpsichord.

    Paolo
     
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  17. muziksculp

    muziksculp Senior Member

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    Haha.. That's funny :)
     
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  18. Mark Schmieder

    Mark Schmieder Active Member

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    CineSamples stuff is on sale at Best Service at the moment, roughly 30% off (around $89) -- a frequent sale, of course. I listened to the video and the audio demos and didn't feel it was my cup of tea in terms of basic timbre, in spite of having so many mic options available, but it is certainly well-recorded and seems to have equivalent functionality to the harpsichords in Soniccouture's Conservatoire Collection.

    The excellent Precisionsound Blanchett Cembalo, mentioned several times in this thread and similar in quality to the Soniccouture library, appears to be included in the new Acoustic Keys Suite from UVI that just came out this week, which makes that library also worth considering at its introductory price of $99 for loyalty-qualified buyers.

    This is just meant to be a very current update on this topic, for anyone who visits it over the next few weeks as a reference for making a harpsichord library decision.
     
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