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.

Reviews for The Lockdown Mandolin

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Searching for a great Mandolin sound

    I'm working on a project right now in LPX and found a need for a great Mandolin sound. LPX had nothing to offer and none of my other sample libraries had anything either so where do I turn? Of course - right here and simply type MANDOLIN in the search box, looking for a DS version and voila! Thanks!

    Rob Asselstine01 April 2022
  • 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 Raptakis01 December 2021
  • Great mandolin

    There's lots to love about this great mandolin library. it's well played and well recorded. The tuning is generally really good. I had no issues with it. My only wish is that it had a higher velocity layer so that you could get a slightly different timbre, maybe with vibrato when you dug in a little more. Even so, this is a really great library!

    Sam Ecoff05 November 2021
  • Could use more dynamics and rr

    This is recorded really well and sounds pretty realistic on its own. ALot of the notes kind of have this double picked quality that brings alot of character to it. The round robins and dynamic layers are definitely on the low side which makes it feel a bit robotic but as the sample maker mentioned, he plans to make a much more deeply sampled version which i am definitely exited to try. As it stands now there are more deeply sampled mandolins on pianobook as well in LABS that i would reach for before this one but im excited to see this get an update

    septemberwalk11 November 2021