I received an Oscar Schmidt autoharp from my mother-in-law a handful of years ago and I can’t say that I put it to good use until recently. I had always liked the way it sounded when you plucked the strings individually but it wasn’t very easy to do on a consistent basis when playing along with a piece of music. I decided that the best way to obtain this sound was to multisample each of the thirty-six strings. Those very samples are what’s contained in the Eccentric Autoharp library.
These samples are mapped in the middle four octaves and there a few round-robins set up for each note. Due to the very nature of the autoharp, other strings will vibrate sympathetically when only one is plucked. What you end up with is a very unique sound that is a cross between a harpsichord and a hammer dulcimer.
As an added bonus, I’ve also sampled all twelve chords and mapped each one to a key on the keyboard. Below shows how each chord is set up. The key marked ‘dissonance’ is all the strings being struck without any chord key pressed.
Dissonance – C1
C Seven – C2
D Minor – D2
E Seven – E2
F Major – F2
G Minor – G2
A Seven – A2
A# Major – A#2
C Major – C3
D Seven – D3
G Seven – G3
A Minor – A3
G Major – G4
These are the patches that are included and were created with Kontakt 5.
- Plucked Autoharp – This is the basic patch for this library.
- Plucked Autoharp-Panned and Looped – This is the same as #1 but loop points have been added in.
- There is also a slightly panning of the samples from left to right in reference to the keyboard.
- Strummed Autoharp – This patch contains each chord from the autoharp being strummed. It is mapped to the keyboard as stated above.
- Strummed Autoharp Major – This patch has the C Major chord mapped chromatically from C2 to C3.
- Strummed Autoharp Minor – This patch has the D Minor chord mapped chromatically from C2 to C3.
- Strummed Autoharp Seven – This patch has the C Seven chord mapped chromaticallyfrom C2 to C3.
- Creepy Keys – This is patch has a lovely haunting vibe to it.
- Distorted Keys – This patch has a bit of crunch added in during the attack portion of each note.
- Vibro Keys – This patch adds in a rotary speaker sim for that subtle vibraphone sort of sound.
The latest version of Kontakt 5 is required to use this library. I have no way of setting it up for older versions of Kontakt at this time.
Here are some examples of what this library sounds like without any effects. While these samples were recorded dry, I have made effects such as reverb and delay available in the patches.
Price – $15.00 (A download link will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours)