More Harpsichord And A Spinet

realsamples releases historical Spinet and Harpsichord samples      31/01/08

More Harpsichord And A Spinet

Buying Choices
What is it about harpsichords this week? We've only just brought you the news of the Precisionsound Cembalo/Harpsichord sample library when German-based sample manufacturer realsamples tell us that they have introduced two sample libraries of antique instruments, featuring a spinet and a harpsichord. The libraries mark the start of the Edition Beurmann, a series of instruments out of the renowned historical keyboard instrument collection of Professor Andreas E. Beurmann.
The English Spinet library features an instrument built by Thomas Hitchcock in London in 1718.
Hitchcocks instruments are widely known as the best-sounding spinets ever built and pointed the way ahead for all spinets to come. Only about 36 of his masterpieces are preserved to this day. Surprisingly full sounding for a spinet, the Hitchcock owes its full-bodied sound to the optimised construction and design, also providing a much more immediate response compared to a harpsichord: The spinet’s lid directs the sound reflections right to the player, whereas a harpsichord radiates its sound into the room.

Hitchcock Spinet
The Italian Harpsichord Library contains a historical harpsichord built in 1579 by Pierluigi in Livorno. Sharing its tonal qualities for almost half a millenium, it is a classic example of how Italian harpsichords were built for about 200 years. Compared to its Dutch and English siblings, the Pierluigi harpsichord stands out due to its light and simple design (one 8’+8’ register) and mostly because of its fundamental, sonorous warm and deep sound.
This unique instrument in the collection of Andreas Beurmann still remains in excellent condition and is fully playable despite its age.
Both spinets and harpsichords are not touch-sensitive in the sense of a piano. However, even if the differences are minuscule, not any given note will sound exactly the same due to different resonances of body and strings.
Until now, many keyboards and samplers represented harpsichords and spinets by always triggering off the exact same digital sample, leaving said sterile sounding impression. In order to improve upon previous recreations and to pay tribute to the liveliness and depth of the historical instruments, 8 variations of each note were captured for this collection.
The release sounds of the keys are also important: What was originally side noise is now often overlooked and even simply left out in artificial simulations, resulting in a very abstract overall picture. Therefore, 4 release samples of each note were sampled.
Realsamples tell us that the instruments of the Edition Beurmann are the first samples recorded in 192 khz/24 bits resolution, using active tube-driven Royer R-122V ribbon microphones.
Presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion, Kontakt, EXS24, Independence, MachFive, Reason NN-XT, VSampler3 and GigaStudio, amongst others.
The sample libraries are available in 44.1/48 khz, 96 khz and 192 khz resolution.
In addition to the samples, every library contains an essay from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
About Prof. Andreas E. Beurmann
Professor Andreas E. Beurmann, born 1928, co-founded the record company Miller International in 1961, originating the radio play label Europa shortly after. At this time, Beurmann began to build his collection of old instruments which now ranks among the world’s most precious selections of historical instruments. It is partly on display at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe� in Hamburg, Germany.
The cooperation of Beurmann and realsamples now makes these instruments available to be played both at the museum in Hamburg, where a GigaStudio system is to be installed, and in your personal studio by using realsamples’ upcoming libraries.
Parts of the large collection (comprehending several hundreds of antique instruments) can be seen at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany.
Pricing and Availability:
Available on CD or DVD starting at $89.95 USD. More information:

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