Saunakantele (Old detuned zither)

A very old and very out of tune zither sampled in a sauna!

The story

While rummaging through my grandfathers old instrument collection, I picked up this over 100 years old kantele. It has been laying around collecting dust and getting detuned for decades.

The instrument is a kantele, sometimes called the Finnish Zither for foreigners. It is a really old folk instrument in Finland and has also roots in the viking era.

One stroke of the strings created a beautiful yet eerie sound and I realized I must sample this somehow.

I picked the instrument and carried it to the closest quiet place I could find…a sauna of course. I set up my zoom there and started sampling.

The instrument is rather detuned and produces a very uneven sound (as you can hear in the instrument). I thought its still a pretty sound and I have no skill in tuning it.
I hope these sounds will someday be useful to someone.

Reviews for Saunakantele (Old detuned zither)

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Really cool with some issues

    This is such a unique instrument to sample and it has a really organic and exotic sound. Especially with added effects this creates some really amazing textures. Unfortunately as mentioned by other the tuning is pretty off making it pretty hard for practical production and composing situations. I don't think this is a mistake on the part of the sample maker since they say it in the title but it definitely does limit its usefulness. For anyone who loves this sound but finds this instrument hard to work with try the leftist zither uploaded fairly recently, i think its amazing. This is a valiant effort and it sounds really good but can definitely be improved upon.

    septemberwalk10 November 2021
  • So much potential, but so many issues.

    This library has so much potential, and the instrument being sampled is so interesting, but there are many problems with this library. The instrument wasn't well tuned before sampling began. Some notes are as much as a half step sharp or flat. There are some samples where you can hear the pitch of the string being tweaked while the sample is still being recorded. There is a fair amount of noise in the recordings, and the sample start times have not been set correctly in Kontakt. There is a random amount of dead space before notes start. In many of the patches, it's a half second or more. This makes it nearly impossible to play anything in time. There are multiple notes which do not have the correct pitch centers set, so the entire zone plays a half step sharp or flat. I'd absolutely love to hear this samplist take another stab at sampling this instrument. I think it's a great choice for sampling, and I think it has so much to offer. There are just some issues that need to be addressed to make it as good as it deserves to be.

    Sam Ecoff05 November 2021
  • Not your regular Zither

    This little one has QUITE the character, but I personally find it hard to deal with.

    The Plucked patch is out of tune, even the octaves themselves, which means you can't really play it in a regular way, but could be of a benefit for single note use for the sake of creating an atmosphere, just like the available demos. There is some delay between pressing the note and hearing it, so that's something that you might need to get used to. It's not a major issue since it's not meant to be played fast anyway.

    The Warped Pad is just a down-sliding sample stretched across the keybed, which is a little bit intimidating for me.

    The Arp Pad is interesting, but the arpeggios are fixed major or minor depending on what key you press. If you are familiar with music harmony, it's basically the harmonic sequence of C major.

    Alex Raptakis01 December 2021