The Lockdown Mandolin

A Havana 8 String Mandolin sampled with MXL 603s and MXL 991 microphones....

The story

I picked this Havana 8 String Mandolin a year back, just before a recording session. Ever since then, I wanted to sample this mandolin and finally sat down a week back to do that (thanks to the mandatory COVID-19 lockdown phase here in India).

It takes a while to get a decent intonation on this one but the 7th-12th frets always seem to be a bit off (which kinda adds a vibe to this instrument). Owing to this I have done some mild pitch corrections to ensure that it is not drastically off-key (you can notice a bit of a detune on the topmost E).
I have always loved the sound and the image of this mandolin when it was double-tracked and panned. So I have recorded two notes per sample (with two different picks and mics) and panned them halfway through left and right.

This instrument contains two Round Robins and one dynamic layer per RR. I personally love the way this turned out as it has a bit of a dulcimer vibe to it. I am building a much more detailed version with 5RRs and 2 Dynamic Layers per RR, which I hope to release soon.

The samples were recorded with MXL 603s and MXL 991 microphones in my home studio at 24bit 48Khz.

Requires Kontakt 5.8.1 or above.

This is my first ever sampling project and I am really delighted to share it with the Pianobook community.


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

  • I wish this had actual controls!

    This mesmerizing mandoling is sampled perfectly with just a little noise which is audible only if you hold the notes manually or with a sustain pedal. It has great character but unfortunately the dynamic range is on the low side. With that said, there are 8 preset patches with much different sounds for you to check out, and all of them have something new and unique to offer. I really wish though this had more controls to shape the sound myself or at least to tweak the presets a little bit. Nevertheless, this is absolutely worth it!

    Alex Raptakis16 October 2021