Realsamples has released the German Celesta sample library, the latest addition to its ongoing Edition Beurmann, featuring instruments from the famous German collector Andreas Beurmann.
Invented over 125 years ago, the celesta remains an obscure yet fascinating instrument. Opposed to a piano, hammers touch steel plates instead of strings: It sports a vibrant, mellow and charming sound reminiscent of a vibraphone, glockenspiel, marimba and a piano – yet a sound of its own.
Back in the day, it was inspiring to those looking for a new sound – Tschaikowsky wrote some parts of his Nutcracker for a celesta. The instrument out of the Beurmann collection is from Schiedmayer and was built around 1960. It cost a fortune, and it still does, so there are few concert halls that keep one around. It’s great for anything from classical to those looking for unconsumed yet familiar sounds for pop, folk or any experimental genre.
For the critical task of recording the instrument, custom-made Wagner U47w tube microphones were used in conjunction with Crane Song Flamingo preamps and Universal Audio 2192 digital converters, captured in 192 kHz/24-Bit resolution. The sample library features 16 different samples of each key. A celesta owes a huge part of its character to the key release noises, so they were recorded with 8 samples per note to complete the virtual celesta experience.
Presets are available for all common sample formats including HALion, Kontakt (2+), EXS24 and GigaStudio3.
The German Celesta sample library is available to purchase in various formats starting at $139.95 USD.
More information: Realsamples / German Celesta
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Posted in news
on Nov 15, 2010
Necromare has released some more free sample-based VST instruments for Windows.
What can I say I love building instruments. I think it’s part of being a composer, to finally make the sounds you need and want. I keep coming up with ideas for instruments and there seems to be no end. I already have 50 plus most in the testing stages. Looks like I will be releasing them well into next year.
New Necromare plug-ins
- The Panning Piano – Simple piano that automatically pans left and right slowly as you play. Good for filing out a mix. The last octave includes some piano screeches.
- Piano Harp – Imagine if you played the piano like a harp? What would it sound like? It would sound like this VST great sound for mystical or romantic moods. Included in the last octave are Gliss samples for effect.
- Simple Acoustic Guitar – Straight Foward guitar. Good for picking or sketch work.
- Soft Mallet Xylophone – The xylophone played with a soft mallet. Velocity sensitive over 4 octaves.
- Toys – Toy Piano, a small scale piano with a tiny sound + an electronic children’s piano with baby xylophones instrument.
- VL-1 Drum – Drum sounds from the Casio VL-1 keyboard/calculator.
- Zeboo Drum Kit – Acoustic drum kit, GM Mapped. The last octaves are samples of Zeboo himself!
- Lucivier – The keyboard produces a celesta like tone while pipes produce flute like sounds at the same time. The bottom octave and the last are the sounds produced by using the three pedals on the bottom.
- Kazoo – The only instrument you need little to no experience to play. So why not try a VST. It’s a bit harsh but fun to knock around with.
- Gamelan Music – Three Gamelan instruments: Reyong, Gangsa and Calung.
- Electric Bass – Simple Electric Bass, keys are velocity sensitive to give a short note on harder strikes. The upper octaves include a classic bass slide.
- Whale Song – Made from CC whale song files. Includes a whale purr, a trumpet, gentle underwater sound fx, and more.
- Sinsonic Drums – Like many old toys from the past some have actually been used by pros. Mattel Synsonic drums have been used by kraftwerk and others. This is a knock off the original pays tribute to our toys of a bygone era.
- Basement Piano – Most homes might have one of these lurking in there corner basement. An old upright that you may have learned to play piano on or liked to beat on. Either way this pleasant piano will convey a warm nostalgic sound for your next tune.
- Southern Banjo – For some there is nothing like the sound of a picked banjo. for others they can do without. This is an attempt to faithfully recreate the sound of a great instrument.
The Necromare instruments are available as freeware VST plug-ins for Windows PC.
More information: Necromare
Necromare has released three new free sample-based VST instruments for Windows.
New Necromare plug-ins
- Waterphones, featuring sounds from the waterphone instrument – The mysteriously cool Waterphone..well plural. There are two instruments in one here. The lower octaves are a traditional waterphone. The Upper octaves are a vel sensitive experimental waterphone sound.
- Celesta, instrument with a soft dream like sound sampled over 4 octaves. plus a body hit sound at the last octave.
- Finger Pop, comprised of three waves spread across the keyboard. includes recordings of a low, med and hi finger pop for variety. Simple but might be good for rhythm padding.
Necromare plug-ins are available to download at no cost. Donations are appreciated.
More information: Necromare
Modartt has released the Celeste add-on, an expansion for Pianoteq featuring two instruments: Celesta and Glockenspiel.
The celesta has an appearance of an acoustic upright piano. It consists of metal plates stroke by felt hammers resembling piano hammers and there is also a sustain pedal. The timbre is very soft and subtle. The Pianoteq virtual copy is modelled after a modern five-octave German brand.
The glockenspiel is also made of metal plates but is stroke by hard metal mallets held by the musician, and is smaller and higher in pitch. The timbre is much more brilliant than the celesta. The Pianoteq virtual copy, modelled after a modern French brand, has been slightly extended to cover four octaves.
Both instruments are often recognized in classical masterpieces – the celesta in Tchaikovsky’s «Nutcracker» movement «Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy», and the glockenspiel in Mozart’s «Die Zauberflöte» (The Magic Flute). These instruments are still used today in various music genres.
Thanks to Pianoteq’s physical model, the add-on instruments come in several variants including a new and exclusive “humanization” feature for the strike point, achieving a variation that makes them more expressive sounding. This is particularly true for the glockenspiel where the musician never hits the plates at the exact same point.
The Celesta add-on for Pianoteq is available to purchase for 49 EUR (requires a licence of Pianoteq 3 Standard, PRO or PLAY).
More information: Pianoteq