Sonokinetic has announced the release of Alphorn, a new sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt featuring the sounds of a large wooden alphorn.

Sonokinetic Alphorn

This instrument, recorded on location at the Alphorn Centre in Friesenheim, the south of Germany, and played by renowned player and Alphorn builder Franz Schüssele, is an inspiring mix of nature and craftsmanship, producing silky smooth soft tones and rattling shouts alike, sounding a bit like a very warm brass instrument even though the whole thing including the mouthpiece is made of wood.

We had a great time with Franz trying to capture all the intricacies of this amazing instrument, and we think we succeeded, in the Sonokinetic style, warts and all, to make for a very original and natural sounding approximation of the real thing.

Since the Alphorn has no valves it only plays nature-tone harmonics, in the case of this instrument upwards from a low F. Some of these harmonics are not exactly tempered to our modern ears (most notably the one between Bb and B, and between Db and D). However sounding very off key in these cases we thought it good to offer a version of the instrument as you would get it with a real Alphorn player, so the ‘Natural’ version of the instrument we left unturned. The added benefit of this approach was that we could also add recorded legato transitions of up to three octaves (!) up and down for the natural instrument.

For general usability we also made an ‘Extended’ version, mapping the samples over the missing notes, and tuning it in Kontakt. This extended version is multitimbral, and capable of producing amazing beds of Alphorn ensemble sweetness. Further controls in the instrument are very basic, with a ‘growl’ control and a basic EQ and IR reverb. We, at Sonokinetic BV, are very proud to introduce Alphorn to you, and can’t wait to hear the amazing things you, our valued customer base, will produce with it.

The Alphorn library is available for purchase for 49.90 EUR. Requires full version of Kontakt 4.2.4 or higher.

More information: Sonokinetic / Alphorn