Ash’s Harmonium

A hand-pumped harmonium from a music shop in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

The story

I bought this hand-pumped harmonium on a whim from a music shop called Haken & Bell (now sadly an estate agent’s) in Abingdon, Oxfordshire when I was sixteen in 1995. It’s a rather romantic instrument – in the sense that as much as I love electronic music and electronic tools, it’s nice to have an instrument manually powered and driven by reeds and air.

I did come upstairs once, however, to find that my three-year-old twins had completely dismantled it (it all slots together with wire pins and grooves – no screws) and were meticulously inspecting each constituent part, and spent days putting it back together again. Anyway, it’s as good as new and sounds as good as they day I bought it.

I recorded it with a stereo pair of AKG C1000S’ and have left it untouched other than a touch of EQing down the bottom end. I’d love to map volume intensity to the mod wheel for more expressive playing but I don’t know how to do that! Can anyone help a brother out?

Reviews for Ash’s Harmonium

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Very nicely captured, has some warm and country music texture.

    Great sounding instrument! I did not know about harmonium, but it has some country like warm texture. Nice to have and add extra layer to the music.

    Asuka Amane17 October 2021
  • Very nice, authentic sound...

    This library was really well sampled and has a great sound. My only complaint is that the stereo field for the samples is really wide low notes are almost entirely in the left ear and high notes entirely in the right. This can make it a little bit difficult to mix in with other libraries, but it's a pretty easy fix. Not much in terms of a GUI either.

    Christopher14 October 2021
  • Fantastic samples with just a bit of tweaking needed.

    Thank you so much for making this instrument available to us. I have two other harmoniums and this makes a lovely addition. The tone of the lower notes is particularly rich. I did make one or two changes in Kontakt. Firstly, the attack was to slow (at least for my taste) and I had to adjust each sample to start precisely on the note) as this was not an ADSR issue. Secondly I noticed a buzzing noise for most notes to which I added a low pass filter and increased the gain. This solved the issue. I now have a wonderful instrument tailored to my individual taste.

    Nigel24 January 2022
  • Waves in a small ocean of reeds

    A wonderful sounding little harmonium sampleset. As others have commented there's a little bit to be tweaked in the timing of notes and feel of instrument, but overall this is a nice and dry take on harmonium with some lovely swells, like waves in a small ocean of reeds.

    Conner09 November 2021
  • Shut your eyes and you're in an Icelandic church with Sigur Ros

    Great authentic sound and well recorded.

    Jim Sanger17 October 2021
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