Musicmakers Volume 1 – Developed in collaboration with Musicmakers, designers of popular DIY musical instrument kits and music therapy instruments.
Recorded with four mic arrays representing both the finest in modern mic design and vintage tone, Musicmakers Volume 1 is designed to be highly flexible to fit into nearly any context yet be entirely consistent with each other when used together.
Please note: FULL retail version of Kontakt 6.5.2 or later is required. NOT for Kontakt Player.
While modern machining and a variety of socio-economic conditions have largely moved production of affordable folk instruments out of the hands of hobbyists and craftsmen and into factory settings, several companies have risen to provide a third option: build your own instrument!
With well-designed kits and detailed instructions, even an apartment-bound hobbyist can assemble a beautiful instrument.
The 10 instruments sampled include seven designed and made by the folks at Musicmakers, namely the Cheyenne Harp, Lynda Lyre, Dakota Mandola, two Monochords, Mountain Dulcimer, and the
Three additional instruments sold on their website, two handpans and a shruti box, are also included.
In addition to the natural, typical plucked or strummed sounds of instruments, we also recorded a variety of unique articulations such as striking strings with hammered dulcimer mallets, harmonics, and more, in the style of our Artist and Nouveau Series libraries.
Combined with four diverse mic arrays, the total range of tones and colors available in Musicmakers Volume 1 is significant, from those suitable for popular music to more spacious, cinematic tones.
Sampling for Musicmakers Volume 1 was done over the course of a week in a quiet rural home just a few miles from the Musicmakers showroom.
The main/room mic array is a spaced pair of Warm Audio WA14 large diaphragm condensers, with a pair of Blue Hummingbirds (medium diaphragm condensers) and a Samar Audio VL-373A stereo ribbon mic as two close mic options, providing brighter and darker colors.
A mono Royer R-121 or Shure 545SD is also used to capture the resonant body of the instrument.
Fretted instruments in Musicmakers Volume 1, such as mandola, mountain dulcimer, and strumbly include a special feature where the particular string ‘emphasized’ in playing can be selected via modwheel, like was done with our strumstick library.
In this way, up to four timbres can be accessed on the same keys.
The harp includes two different mute techniques: ‘hard’ (all strings are muted at once, i.e. ‘sans viber’) and ‘soft’ (only the single string is muted, not all strings).
The ‘soft’ option provides a lighter muted sound which is more that used when rearticulating a string rather than a ‘sans viber’ direction in the music.
This lets sympathetic strings continue to resonate, giving a more realistic sound.
Musicmaker’s core mission is to help people experience satisfaction in building performance quality musical instruments and learning to play them.
They first opened in the Spring of 1978 as an unusual hobby store, called St. Croix Kits, offering a variety of do-it-yourself projects for making practical household items such as clothing, clocks, outdoor furniture, kitchen cutlery, and musical instruments.
By 1993 they were manufacturing their own instrument kits in their current small factory in Stillwater.
They now ship their products to enthusiasts around the world, and have become widely known as one of the friendliest sources of creative musical assistance for a wide variety of acoustic instruments.
Cheyenne Harp (36-string lever harp)
Hapi Handpan (“Big Hapi”)
Hapi Mini Drum (“Medium Hapi”)
Monochord – Mid C
Monochord – Open C