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Which Harp Library should I buy during these Christmas Sales?

NathanTiemeyer

Active Member
Hey guys! I'm looking to purchase an all-round solid orchestral harp library and I'm hoping to take advantage of this sales time to find a good one.
I'm looking for a harp library with plenty of glissando options but of course great plucking / good at general playing single notes, and other articulations would be good too. Something that sounds great out of the box, that fits well in a mix, and something I don't have to worry about EQing too much or meddling with. :)
I looked at Cineharps but I think it's a tad out of my price range, it sounds great though. If Spitfire does their Christmas Wishlist again, should I pull the trigger on their harp? Is it super wet like most of their libraries or is it more versatile with the mic options? What other options during this sale period can you all recommend? Thanks in advance! :)
 
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NathanTiemeyer

NathanTiemeyer

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Both of them are good in their own way. I have a composition with different sampling libraries. These are certainly not the best examples for the harp, but may be useful.
Here is the spitfire

and here сinesamples

In my opinion, cineharps sounds more cinematic and fits easily into the orchestra mix.
Beautiful work! Both examples sound really good. :) So, if you had to choose one, you would choose Cineharps?


Nice examples. :)

I'd mention the Orange Tree Samples Angelic Harp, on sale at a nice price with the code Holiday2018

Seems a nice bright crisp Harp with some nice options, maybe a bit on the brittle side in places to my ears.

Orange tree sounds great as well! But I think I've got it narrowed down now to Cineharps and Spitfire harps ... decisions, decisions! Anyone else prefer one over the other?
 

Scamper

Sample Hooter
If Spitfire does their Christmas Wishlist again, should I pull the trigger on their harp? Is it super wet like most of their libraries or is it more versatile with the mic options?

I find the Spitfire Harp not to be too wet. I didn't find a proper mic comparison among the Spitfire walkthrough or demos and I would make a little mic demo, but I won't be home for a couple of days.
While I really like the Spitfire Harp, I think it's a quite different character compared to other harp libraries. To me it might sound a bit more authentic, but other libraries might be more versatile in different contexts.
 

JohnG

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In my opinion, cineharps sounds more cinematic and fits easily into the orchestra mix.

I think the reason it fits better is that your velocities are just a little too high on the Spitfire harp. I find the Spitfire harp works best for me at rather low velocities. Also, I'd be curious to know which mic position(s) you're using on the Spitfire harp. That also can affect how well it blends, of course.

no knock on your example, which is a nice bijou -- fun composition. And no knock on Cineharps either.
 
I'm looking for a harp library with plenty of glissando options but of course great plucking / good at general playing single notes, and other articulations would be good too. Something that sounds great out of the box, that fits well in a mix, and something I don't have to worry about EQing too much or meddling with.

All the usual suspects have beautiful pre-recorded glissandos and single notes, and fit easily in a mix.

The problem comes when you try to use them in solo, exposed contexts: As crucial as legato transitions are to realistic string and wind VIs, "pre-pluck buzz" noise is to the harp -- but few if any libraries include these.

When a harpist plucks a string that is already vibrating from a previous note, there will inevitably be a momentary buzzing sound before the string is plucked, as the string will briefly vibrate against the finger before it is stopped and re-plucked.

In a live harp performance with many repeated notes, the pre-pluck noises can be heard clearly:

In another thread, Chocolate Audio claimed that their harp can in fact perform such pre-pluck buzz noises, but unfortunately I haven't heard any demo that demonstrates these settings:
that is part of our library for sure as far as I remember. Part of the release samples that are triggered when releasing a key (we chose to have a piano-like sustain experience, so the opposite of an harp) so if you retrigger that key you will hear before it the buzz of the string. This depends on user settings of course, but it's thought like that.
 
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robgb

Inspiration is for amateurs
I found something called Angel Harp that's free from The Producer Store. I added Kontakt's glissando script to it and it's pretty nice. Here's me noodling, plus demoing a bunch of random glissandos. It's recorded dry. The room sound is mine.

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/harp-demo-mp3.17397/][/AUDIOPLUS]

Spitfire also has a free mini-harp in Labs, I believe. (Or at least they used to.)
 

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gregjazz

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All the usual suspects have beautiful pre-recorded glissandos and single notes, and fit easily in a mix.

The problem comes when you try to use them in solo, exposed contexts: As crucial as legato transitions are to realistic string and wind VIs, "pre-pluck buzz" noise is to the harp -- but few if any libraries include these.

When a harpist plucks a string that is already vibrating from a previous note, there will inevitably be a momentary buzzing sound before the string is plucked, as the string will briefly vibrate against the finger before it is stopped and re-plucked.
YES!

The sustain of the harp is so pure by itself, it makes buzz noises and other extraneous sounds even more noticeable.

That's one of the things we wanted to address with our Angelic Harp library. That and how most harp libraries have an unnatural build-up when repeating notes. On a real harp, when you pluck a string, it doesn't get added to the existing sustain, but it gets muted a moment before re-plucking the string. Recreating this not only results in a cleaner sound, but also replicates the little buzz noises that you expect from a real harp performance.
 
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NathanTiemeyer

NathanTiemeyer

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Honestly, having looked hard at the competition, the KFL Harp still stands very strongly.
Especially when you dig into the script possibilities (pedal script, playing with the glissando script).
It has a great sound, some nice articulations and is light on resources.

Spitfire Skala - sounds great, nice features but too wet for my uses.
OrangeTree - sounds really nice, but lacking articulations.
ChocolateAudio - just not the tone for me.
Soundiron Elyssium - same, not loving the tone.

The OT Harps and the one in OT Sphere sound probably the best imo, but $$$$.

KFL Harp it is for now. :)
Totally agree with everything you're saying! It's too bad about the spitfire harp I really wanna pull the trigger on it but I do agree I think the hall might just be too wet.

What do you think of Cineharps?
 

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
If you had to pick one as a standalone piece for more intimate music (just a room ambience for example), which would you choose?
If I was writing a solo harp piece and looking for more detail and definition, I would lean towards CineHarps, as the generally more upfront character of the library allows it to stand on its own, whether or not it's playing with other instruments.
 
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NathanTiemeyer

NathanTiemeyer

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If I was writing a solo harp piece and looking for more detail and definition, I would lean towards CineHarps, as the generally more upfront character of the library allows it to stand on its own, whether or not it's playing with other instruments.
Hi Chris, really appreciate your reviews and input as always! :) Do you like Cineharps in a dense orchestral mix for color / glissandi in the background as well?

Nice sound, good articulations and features.
But at that price point I think the OT Harp choices edge it out.
Only reasoning I'm considering Cineharps is because it's on sale! Haha!
 

ChrisSiuMusic

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Tha
Hi Chris, really appreciate your reviews and input as always! :) Do you like Cineharps in a dense orchestral mix for color / glissandi in the background as well?


Only reasoning I'm considering Cineharps is because it's on sale! Haha!
Thanks Nathan! I do, in fact I use it more for glissandi when I want it to be more audible. On the other hand, I'll use Symphonic Harps for general plucking purposes when I want to fill in the sound a little bit more. You can't go wrong either way to be honest :)
 
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