A harpsichord recorded with an old dented SM58. ...

The story

Name: James Blunsdon

Sample instrument name: Harpsichord

I had some real fun recording this with the help of three film music friends. We found this gem hidden away in the college after one of our tutors told us about it. With the help of Ross, El and Emma, we each took turns to sample the notes in 5ths. I initially used an LDC but this picked up too much noise from a fan we couldn’t turn off and someone playing a trumpet next door so we resorted to an old dented SM58.

1x velocity layer, 6xRR

I’ve tried to tune the samples as best as I can but they’re still slightly off. I recommend using a low-cut to reduce rumble that was picked up from the soundboard and adding reverb (as per usual!) I owe my thanks to Dave Hilowitz’s fantastic YouTube channel that I used to learn how to sample with Kontakt. My next challenge is to make use of the script editor.

If this get’s featured in a video my only request is that Christian wears a baroque wig.

Enjoy! 🙂

Kontakt Version: 5.8.1


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

  • A Harpsichord

    One of the toughest things about sampling is coming up with a good instrument to sample. You can have all of the fanciest recording gear, but you can't make a sub par instrument sound better with it. You'll just get a very high quality recording of a poor instrument. That's sort of what's happened here. The harpsichord in question is so badly out of tune that it is mostly unusable. Because the notes on single keys aren't in tune with each other, trying to tune them in sampling software isn't going to work. It might be possible in Melodyne, but the results would be sub par. You really have to start with a great instrument that's in tune. While out of tune pianos seem to be a thing, out of tune harpsichords are antithetical to the Baroque ethos. Even when used in pop music, harpsichords seem always to be in tune. Other reviewers have commented that there is only one velocity layer here, but Harpsichords aren't velocity sensitive instruments. You can't play different dynamics with them. They're always just one volume, so there really isn't any need for multiple velocity layers. Sadly absent from this library are release triggers to capture the sound of the jacks returning. It's also unfortunate that the multiple stops on this instrument weren't captured. As a first effort, this is really good. However, with every sample pack we each create, we learn new things. I've chalked up several failed sampling attempts to 'learning lessons.' I guess that's how it goes.

    Sam Ecoff20 October 2021
  • Just a simple harpsichord.

    If you are looking for a free, simple, plug-n-play harpsichord, this is it. There is really nothing very special about it, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately there are no dynamics at all, and some samples have some little, barely noticable noises. It also sounds very dry, and the range is not that wide. Nevertheless, if you want a harpsichord, give it a try for sure!

    Alex Raptakis15 October 2021