Cinematique Instruments has launched Hammered Dulcimer, a hammered dulcimer instrument library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
We recorded the hammered dulcimer in two microphone positions. At the top of the instrument we placed – in a ms stereo set-up – a pair of Neumann U87s and at the bottom we put a single condenser. These two positions are covering a wide range of sound and you are free to mix them at your own requirements. We played the hammered dulcimer in minor thirds and concentrated mainly on three different articulations. Firstly we recorded the „normal“ notes which means that we hit the strings with the typical small wooden mallets, we called this articulation „Mallet“. Furthermore we struck the strings with a drum stick which we called „Sticks“ and finally we recorded an articulation where we struck the strings with a timpani mallet and damped the strings with the palm of the hand which we named „Muted“. All these articulation were recorded in 4 round robin variation and up to 4 velocity layer.
Beside this we cared most about producing the typical hammered dulcimer tremolo. Thus we equipped the instrument with two different ways to produce this roll alike tremolo. The first option to generate the tremolo will be achieved by duplicating each already played note when releasing the key. This lets you exactly control the velocity and tempo of the tremolo. The other and more easy way to produce the tremolo uses the modwheel. By turning the wheel you control the tremolo tempo from slow to fast. In order to avoid sounding too artificially we included a random factor which automatically affects the tempo and the velocity which results a very organic tremolo which lets you easy switch between single notes and tremolo rolls. Furthermore we added several functions and effects such as the control of reverb, delay, decay, distortion or octave which expands the entire sound of the hammered dulcimer and gives you a lot of options.
The library is available for purchase for 39 EUR. Requires Kontakt 4.22 full version or higher.