mp3 Demo - Johann Sebastian Bach - Englische Suite 3 G-Moll - Prelude
mp3 Demo - Georg Friedrich Händel - Lesson 1 B-Dur
mp3 Demo - Henry Purcell - Toccata con Fuga A
Demo tracks by Steffen Fahl
The performances contain additional reverb.
The English Spinet II library features an instrument built by Benjamin Slade in London around 1705.
Slade's spinets were essential to the history of the instrument. He had apprentices such as Thomas Hitchcock (see English Spinet library). The sampled instrument shows the qualities for which Slade is known, offering a very sweet-sounding yet majestic and brilliant tone. Only one spinet and one harpsichord of his instruments has survived.
Slade spinet - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann
The spinet still remains in great condition in the collection of Andreas Beurmann and is fully playable despite its age. It is now available for the first time in the sampler within the English Spinet II library, presented in its original Valotti tuning at 410 Hz - presets at 440 Hz are available as well.
front signature - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann
Another peculiar feature of the Slade spinet relies in its broken octave in the lower region: The C#1 and D#1 keys consist of two parts, which expands the key range about two tones.
split key range in the lower octave - photo by Andreas E. Beurmann
Like all spinets and harpsichords, the Slade is not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, not any given note will sound exactly the same twice due to different resonances of body and strings.
Up to now, many keyboards and samplers represented such instruments by always triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving a sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of this antique instrument, we captured 8 variations of each note.
left cheek - photo: Andreas E. Beurmann
The key release sounds are also of major importance: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in artifical simulations, resulting in a very abstract overall picture. Therefore, we recorded 4 release samples of each note. In addition, the library contains essays from Prof. Beurmann, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
Presets are included for HAlion®, Kontakt2® (or higher) and EXS24® software samplers.
The sample library consists of more than 600 single recordings.
For the recordings, we employed custom-made Wagner™ U47w® tube microphones in conjunction with Crane Song™ Flamingo® preamps and Universal Audio™ 2192® digital converters. The samples were recorded at 192 kHz/24 bits, downsampled to your resolution of choice.
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