The story

This is a pack of 3 instruments: “Amateur Mouth Harp Player” where I sampled a basic mouth harp and applied some effects, “Time Warp Mouth Harp” where I stretched the samples out to make them less percussive, and “Warped Harp Organ” where one of the samples is looped and transformed into a bizarre sci-fi drone pad.

I just got a mouth harp and I wanted to try to sample it. Mouth harp doesn’t really have a pitch. You change the resonance by opening or closing your mouth while plucking it. So for “Amateur Mouth Harp Player” I sampled plucks in an open position, middle position, closed position, and transitions between where I changed my mouth position during a pluck. I did a 4 sample round robin for each position. Then I used groups to do mod wheel crossfades between the groups so you can use the mod wheel to change the sound in the same way a real mouth harp player would change the shape of their mouth.

All of that is basically one note, so I thought it would be easier to play if I reserved a whole octave to that same set of samples without changing the pitch. So C3 to B3 is all the same set of plucks.

A mouth harp player can also change the sound by lightly breathing out while plucking which adds extra buzz to the sound. So I sampled that too and set that for the top velocities. If you hit the notes lightly you’ll get a regular pluck. If you hit them hard you’ll get a breathy pluck.

Then I did the same thing while slightly muting the instrument with my lips to get a muted “plunk” sound with the same set of mouth positions. And I also recorded a set of “thwips” and “thwongs” that are just different plucks without putting the instrument to my mouth.

For “Time Warp Mouth Harp” I took one of the round robins and stretched each of the samples out using Paulstretch. This adds some unique interest to the sounds of the plucks and buzzes.

For “Warped Harp Organ” I took one singled “buzzed” sample and stretched it out even further. Then I looped it and tuned it a bit and let Kontakt spread the pitch across the keyboard to add tonality. Then I added a low pass filter hooked to the mod wheel to give control of the resonance. It really takes a kind of backwater instrument and makes it sound otherworldly.

Time Warp Mouth Harp - Sample Library Demo


Reviews for Time Warp Mouth Harp

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • So much fun.

    Amateur Mouth Harp. There are certain instruments that initially you might think wouldn't work as sampled instruments and for me this was one. However, Mike's done a super job of making it playable by spreading out the round robins of each technique over an octave and mapping the mouth resonance to the mod wheel. Super playable, super fun with some GUI FX for good measure. But there are 3 instruments here... The Time Warp version is completely different - think cinematic industrial sound design like Heavyocity do. It's brilliant, love it. Then there's the Warped Harp Organ - think cinematic industrial menacing pad with filter sweeps - again, really good. The 3 together couldn't be more of a contrast really. Great work.

    Mark Lord29 December 2021
  • Can be fun, can be menacing

    Inside this package you will find three different patches to play with. One of them is about this ultra fun sound effect along with some percussive elements to match it, and then you also have these heavily processed sound effect patches that can be very interesting with lots of use purposes. I think that most of the sound effects are based on a D note, with some exceptions, so in a musical context you might want to tweak the tuning a little bit.

    All the patches offer some extra options to mess with, so it's guaranteed you will have tons of fun with this one!

    Alex Raptakis26 December 2021
  • Simple but great fun...

    Mike's sampling of this jaw harp is a welcome addition to Pianobook. It's very quirky, but can provide some very unique percussive textures. The possibilities extend far beyond the library itself when you run it through a vocoder or a filter etc.

    The inclusion of a bit crusher and rotary speaker fx are the absolute perfect choices to accompany this sound. My only criticism is that the lower velocity could start a little quieter, but the is nothing a quick tweak under the hood of Kontakt can't fix.

    I'm not so sure I'd find a use for the warped patch. However the bass range can offer up some cool trailer music style impacts. Good work!

    R.Treves29 December 2021
  • Slapstick!

    This is another case where i think this library is really cool and unique but it not personally useful for me. The only place i could see this working for me is in some kind of slapstick comedy scenario. The sounds are interesting and i also think they could work as layered percussion in genres where they often use weird foley or other sounds in place of traditional hi hats. I think the pad also sounds cinematic which is really cool considering the source material. I always love to see these unique instruments on pianobook that aren't commonly sampled. Its because of creativity like this that you can pretty much find any instrument you would ever need on pianobook and this is awesome. This just wouldn't really work for me personally but its still cool.

    septemberwalk25 December 2021