The instruments of the great composers are museum pieces now, but in recent times specialists have begun
recreating our musical past in the form of reproductions.
Birmingham Conservatoire is an international music school and renowned centre for Early Music,
leading the field in introducing historical instruments to many young musicians for over 20 years.
Soniccouture worked with Martin Perkins and Joshua Sadler from BCU - choosing instruments to be sampled,
sourcing players and advising on the best way to sample them.
This instrument is a copy of a harpsichord originally made by Paul Taskin in 1762 and later enlarged by Jean Goermanns in 1780.
The original instrument is one of the most copied 18th century harpsichords, Michael Johnson’s copy is highly regarded as a faithful reproduction.
A Michael Johnson copy of a harpsichord made by Johannes Ruckers, made in 1637.The copy used for the sample library was made in 2000 by Michael Johnson. Generally speaking, 17th century harpsichords are smaller, and, significantly, shorter than those of the 18th century.
This instrument is a copy of a sixteenth century original in the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, and is typical of those of the late Renaissance. A typical hurdy gurdy of this era featured three drones strings (made of gut), two melody strings and a further higher drone string used for rhythm, known as the trompette. This features a buzzing bridge (chien - literally “dog”) which creates a harsh sound when the player increases pressure on the wheel. Traditionally, the player would play turn the wheel to the tempo of the music, using his wrist to effect a rhythm whilst turning the wheel.
Although there are no surviving original instruments, there are several descriptions, illustrations and paintings of English theorbos dating from the mid- 17th C. This instrumentwas made by Klaus Jacobson in 2005.The English theorbo has much in common with the small 12-course lute, from which it developed, but it takes elements of the larger, Italian theorbo, such as the deep body.
A single-strung, 14 course instrument made by Martin Haycock in 2005, after various seventeenth century Italian originals. This late Renaissance invention was the ultimate accompanying instrument of the time - by adding an extension to the neck, thick strings giving low notes were placed alongside the conventional lute meaning a player could play a bass- line and give the rhythm.
A French style, five- course instrument: a copy of various seventeenth century originals, made by Martin Haycock. The stringing of the instrument is unusual: the five courses correspond with the top strings of modern guitars, but they are double-strung apart from the top E. During the early 17th C, the guitar was primarily used as an accompanying instrument, playing for dances or accompanying singers.
The Psaltery is one of the oldest of all musical instruments, mentioned in the Bible and in numerous ancient Greek texts. A Psaltery is a diatonic instrument, used to play chords or melodies. It is played by plucking the strings with quills, one in each hand. As the notes are not stopped by the player, the long decay time give this instrument an ethereal quality.
This is a medium large drum with a long shell and skins at either end held in place by wooden rings. The skins can be tightened and on the lower skin there is a snare mechanism made from two gut strings.
The successor to the nakers - primarily an outdoor instrument - was the timpani. Used at first for ceremonial occasions with trumpets, by the 18th century the timpani found a new home in the orchestra. The drums are smaller compared to their modern counterparts, they use calf-skin drum heads, and are tuned to different notes without the aid of pedals
A naker is a small drum, of Arabic origin, with a metal or wood dome-shaped body and animal skin drum head. Played in pairs, nakers made their way to Europe at the time of the Crusades in the thirteenth century. The instruments sampled were copies of the pair in the Montagu collection.
Each Conservatoire Kontakt instrument features an 'options' page, where various specific control aspects of the instrument can be configured ; key-switches, MIDI controllers, velocity curves, tuning and scales.
23 GB core sample library (9 GB on disc with NCW lossless compression)
24 bit 96 khz stereo sampling
|Up to 10 velocity layers, 3 alternate Round Robin layers|
Key-off samples and multiple articulations according to instrument
Real time hand postion control for guitar instruments
Custom Convolution Reverb Impulse response library
User selectable scales and tuning control for all pitched instruments
Equal Temperament, Pure (ie. Just), Overtone 16-32, Pythagorean, Pythagorean Middle, Pythagorean Up, Mean Tone, 1/4 Silbermann, Werkmeister III, Kirnberger III, Neidhardt I, Valotti, Young 1/6 pC, Meantone 1/5, Meantone 1/6, Bach (Barnes), French 1/5, Handel Lambert, 1774 Mersenne I, Mersenne II, Neidhard 1724, Neidhard 1729, Rameau I, Rameau II, Telemann
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/WASAPI,compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools. No extra purchase necessary.
Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.5 or later