Strummed Mountain Dulcimer
I made this teardrop-shaped Mountain Dulcimer last year, and making a strummed Kontakt instrument out of it, was also quite a challenge.
My Mountain Dulcimer is tuned in a standard way (D-A-dd) and it is a diatonic instrument (ionian/mixolydian) but the Kontakt instrument is chromatic. The melody is normally played on the double d string accompanied by the two drone strings (D and A). Playing a note on the (melody) double d string (MIDI Note 50-72, purple keys in GUI) will trigger the strumming of both drone strings. The active notes on the D string (MIDI Note 26-32, yellow keys) and A string (MIDI Note 33-49 green keys) are indicated as red keys. For different chords, change the D and A string notes just before playing the double d string notes (easier to program in DAW).
4 round robins were recorded of each fretted note on each string using a Rode NT2-A microphone and the internal piezo. The sound level of each string can be adjusted individually.
The strumming interval between the strings can be adjusted (and automated) and the direction: up, down or alternating.
On sustain pedal up or down (according to preference), the strumming is deactivated, and notes can be played individually on each string.
Demo of the instrument (Molly Malone): https://youtu.be/BoQ4uA4iAyQ
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
The thinking (wo)man's dulcimer
What I like about instruments like this is that they force me to think – and listen – to draw the best from them. That means I spend more time on subtleties: dynamics and arrangement, with repeated listens necessary to explore suitable EQ settings and effects, along with the most effective ways of balancing and blending it with other instruments. I really enjoyed its fragility, crispness and sustain. The UI is pure elegance and even though I didn’t get into the key switches for different chords this time, I was left with the impression Peter has left plenty of room for experimentation, which means plenty of rewarding revisits. No one needs a mountain on which to strum this dulcimer – it generates its own heady atmosphere.