The story

Langspil-Icelandic traditional fiddle
For my first foray into Kontakt sample-instrument creation, I decided to sample my Langspil.
The Langspil is a traditional Icelandic string instrument, a primitive fiddle really.
This particular instrument was built by my grandfather some 50 years ago. He was a self-taught artisan, making all kinds of wooden objects as well as painting in oils.
I am very fond of this particular instruments as is represents my Icelandic musical heritage and, of course, always reminds me of my grandfather, a kind old man who loved making wooden toys for his grandchildren.

The Langspil has been variously played with a bow (violin/viola), hit with a wooden stick or plucked with the fingers.
For this version, I decided to mainly stick with the second method, hitting the strings with a wooden spatula. However, I also included a few strums and plucks.
It is a three-stringed instrument, having a narrow fingerboard under the first string while the remaining two strings drone in 5ths.
The tuning is C-G-C

I recorded the Langspil using my trusty old modded Oktava MK-219 through a JoeMeek VC3 preamp.
Along with the main instrument, the pack contains a distorted version (useful for a ‘almost but not quite guitar’ sound) and some obligatory pads and droney stretchedversions for soundtracks and such.

I would be happy for any feedback, particularly pointers for improvement in future instrument sampling.

Jon Bentsson



Reviews for Langspil

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

  • A cool instrument to have on Pianobook!

    This type of instrument is pretty rare outside the nordic region so it's fun to have one available on Pianobook! The recording quality is good and the instrument sounds nice - once you take the reverb off! It would be nice to have a GUI of some sort to control this (or just ship the instrument with the convolution bypassed). The uppermost notes sound a little synthetic, and there's room for a probably a whole octave of reasonable-sounding notes by extending the low end, so I'd shift the whole range down, cutting the top 2-4 notes and adding the extended bass range, shifting the chord/drones out of the way. The arrangement of the chord keys is also a little confusing, and sound like they might benefit from being combined into multiple velocity layers of the same keyrange. On that note, velocity layers and RRs would take this instrument from good to exceptional, but it plays ok without them.
    The extra patches with pads, soundscapes etc. are also fun - I think a GUI would be useful again here to control the ADSR and maybe some effects.

    Overall a great first instrument! The sampling is really well done and I hope you'll be encouraged to tinker around with Kontakt some more to try out GUI scripting and some more complex builds :).

    EamonSamplist 09 February 2023