Näverlur

A Swedish birch horn

The story

While studying in Sweden, I took some samples of the school’s Näverlur, a traditional birch horn, for a project. As I’m not a brass player, I spent about 15 mins spluttering in the studio with a room mic running, managing to produce a handful of good quality sustained notes. Unfortunately the original samples were lost to a hard-drive wipe, but two survived in a verby, effects-laden form from the project I had originally sampled for. These samples are used in the ‘War Horn’ patch. A year on, I’ve taken up making sample instruments on the other side of the world and am regretting my lack of access to the näverlur. Fortunately, some friends still study at the school and one of them with brass experience kindly agreed to sample the instrument for me. Since I didn’t have any control over the sampling, the velocity layers and round robins are limited to whatever I could do with the samples available. The instrument uses WIPS scripts for legato, vibrato, etc. – you can enable Poly by switching from ‘Play’ mode to ‘Setup’ in the Articulation tab, but this will also disable other WIPS effects such as vibrato and breath control. The sound to me falls somewhere between a trumpet and a French horn. There are some inconsistencies across the range as to be expected from an instrument that is basically just a single wooden tube, but it can serve well as a substitute for horn lines if you’re looking for something a bit more rustic-sounding than typical brass. And the War Horn patch makes a great intro to any Viking raid.

Reviews for Näverlur

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  • Just different enough to be worth a little try

    This wee little instrument brings a very "human" touch of this fun little aerophone. The slightly inconsistencies of tone and minute audio artifects willl understably be undesirable for many users (can we start calling ourselves "Bookers"? Y'know, because, "Pianobook"? Eh, eh?), especially for more professional scores. But for the quickest sketches or when looking for a "rustic" quality of horn, this sits comfoprtably in that niché! Simple, and not able to be demanded of much more than what you get on the surface, but appreciable mix of longs and nice short sounds! Woo!

    JoelWyb22 January 2022
  • Good programming, weird instrument!

    This is another nicely made wind instrument by Eamon, featuring a nice legato, vibrato and many other options. This one to me is less interesting, but that's because of the nature of the instrument. It sounds like a very wonky and airy combination of a recorder and a trumpet, which honestly it's not bad, just a little weird.

    If you are not into that, you might find the extra "War Horn" patch more interesting, which is a pad-like sound based on the main instrument. It sounds lovely with some Reverb and an increased attack, which are already included in the GUI.

    Alex Raptakis24 January 2022