The Guitar

A small handmade cigar-box guitar...

The story

A few years ago, I started building small instruments together with a good friend. This was done in a rather rudimentary way and most materials we used came from the hardware store.

This small cigar-box guitar here, was our first instrument we put together. It consists of two old cigar boxes we glued together and an 82 cm long wooden board over which three steel strings are stretched. The guitar is tuned to E – A – d and has a natural range from E2 to D5. Due to the cheap materials and construction, it sounds anything but flawless. Thus, the warm characteristics of its sounds are accompanied by many buzz sounds.

This guitar was my first attempt at sampling an instrument for Kontakt. Consequently, my setup was fairly simple. It consisted of a Røde NT1-A microphone, which I placed about 30 cm away from the guitar. I sampled each semitone of the instrument six times. Three times mezzoforte and three times forte fortissimo. This results in three round robins for each recorded dynamic. I chose these two dynamics because they best show the characteristics of the instrument. In the quiet and medium dynamics, the sound remains pretty much the same, which is why I decided to record at mezzoforte. Only when you hit the strings harder does the sound change, which is why I recorded at forte fortissimo. The Kontakt instrument features a simple GUI as well. There you can switch on an artificially created stereo spread as well as a reverb effect.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank David Hilowitz, whose YouTube tutorials helped me a lot in creating this sample instrument. I would also like to thank Patrick Bächli, who built the guitar with me.

Tuning: E – A – d
Microphone: Røde NT1-A
Unpacked audio size: 202 MB
Kontakt 6.5.1


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

  • I feel gifted to have this.

    This has become one of my favourite pianobook instruments, for real. Once you open the only patch you will find, you will be welcomed by a cute custom guitar wallpaper and three settings: Volume, Reverb and Stereo Spread, and everything works as intended. The quality of the samples is impeccable, you will find yourself kind of mesmerized while playing. My ONLY complain is that there is not enough range, so you are restricted to play on the lower range. With that said, restrictions often cause big surges of inspirations. While I was testing this instrument, I was inspired to create a mockup for a new soundtrack-like music track. Special thanks to Ronny for gifting this to us. Cheers to you!

    Alex Raptakis13 October 2021