ELECTRIC BAROQUE REVIVAL
Commonly known as the Baldwin® electric harpsichord, the Baldwin® Combo Harpsichord originated in the early 1960’s under the umbrella of a short-lived harpsichord manufacturing firm called The Cannon Guild. Founded by the harpsichord builder Eric Herz, the firm supported an inventor named Caleb Warner, whose idea eventually became the Baldwin® electric solid-body harpsichord. The design was soon sold to the Baldwin Piano Company, who manufactured it with the hope that the 1960s' surge in Baroque-influenced music would turn it into a success. However, only around 500 of these instruments were ultimately produced.
The Baldwin® Combo Harpsichord has been used in numerous pop songs, most famously on the Beatles song “Because”. An introduction to some of the sounds of the Baldwin® electric harpsichord can be heard on Youtube. It is is equally at home in classical and pop music, though it has been used more often in the latter. However, the prospect of tuning the instrument kept many bands from using it. The Beach Boys toured with one, but they also brought a piano tuner to get it ready for every gig. Now that it's in digital form, hopefully the Baldwin® harpsi sound will find its way back into more music.
HOW IT WORKS
This unique electro-mechanical instrument marries the modern pop timbre of the electric guitar with that of the classical harpsichord, creating a unique sound entirely its own. It features a solid aluminum body with a red formica soundboard, above which a 57-string array is amplified by two pairs of passive pickups. The resulting signal is balanced through a dual volume pedal system. The mellow middle pickup and the brighter bridge pickup each have a very pleasing timbre, and sound even better when mixed together. It also has a damper pedal, which allows the player to create an additional spectrum of sounds ranging from a muted guitar to a pizzicato violin.
ANTIQUITY MUSIC’S ELECTRIC HARPSICHORD
Antiquity Music has sold at least twenty Baldwin® combo harpsichords over the years. We sampled the best-sounding one for our Electric Harpsichord virtual instrument. We revoiced and regulated the jacks so that the instrument would play exactly the way it did when it left the factory in the 1960's. Then we recorded every note with three damper settings, from an open string with no damping to heavy muting without bending the pitch. Both pickup sets were recorded simultaneously through a Great River MP-2NV DI and Mytek 8X192 converter.
When making the controls for this virtual instrument, a faithful recreation of the pickup switch box was added, giving the user exacting control over blending each pickups’ output, but with volume and panning capability.
This is a Kontakt® instrument. You will need the full version of Native Instruments' Kontakt 5.5 or later in order to use it to its fullest extent. This is not a Kontakt Player® instrument. Kontakt will run as a plug-in in any VST/AU/RTAS compatible DAW environment or host application, e.g. Pro Tools®, Ableton Live®, Cubase®, Nuendo®, Reaper, etc.
*Disclaimer: Electric Harpsichord is a trademark of Antiquity Music, LLC. Baldwin® is a trademark of Baldwin Pianos, Inc. All other product names or trademarks are the property of their respective owners. These owners are in no way associated or affiliated with Antiquity Music, LLC. Product names are used solely to describe the articles used by Antiquity Music, LLC in the development of this product. No cooperation or endorsement is implied.
ELECTRIC HARPSICHORD INSTRUMENT PANEL
Electric Harpsichord's' instrument panel allows the player to select from five different articulations:
1. No Damping - No damping applied, resulting in a harmonically-rich sound with sustain lasting up to 30 seconds.
2. Light Damping - A light amount of damping applied, yielding slightly less-complex harmonics and several seconds' sustain.
3. Heavy Damping - The light amount of damping applied, producing a short sustain and pizzicato sound.
Additional features include a Pickups control box with gain and pan knobs, and an ADSR Envelope section with Filter Envelope Generator (FEG) option.
ELECTRIC HARPSICHORD EFFECTS PANEL
The Electric Harpsichord effects panel features eight effects shown in two pages: Auto-Wah, Phaser, Chorus, Tremolo/Pan, Filter, Delay, Rotator and Reverb.
The effects panel allows full access to the instrument panel's controls on the same page.
ELECTRIC HARPSICHORD SETUP PANEL
The Electric Harpsichord setup panel allows for fine adjustment of the velocity curve. It also features Key-Off volume, Noise volume, and Noise Release controls, as well as options for round-robin layers, pitch shifting, the instrument's playable range, and purging.
Electric Harpsichord Specifications
6 GB Core Sample Library - Over 800 Samples
24 bit 96 kHz Sampling
3 Round Robin Layers
3 Damper Pedal Articulations
Every Note Sampled
Customizable Velocity Response
VST AU RTAS Standalone
Compatible with Kontakt 5.5+