Cinematique Instruments Hammered Dulcimer is a stringed instrument with 31 string pairs stretched over a trapezoidal shaped sound box. Usually, the hammered dulcimer is set on a stand in front of the musician, who holds small wooden mallet hammers to strike the strings.
The dulcimer has two bridges, a bass bridge near the right and a treble bridge on the left side. The bass bridge holds up bass strings, which are played to the left of the bridge.
The treble strings can be played on either side of the treble bridge, playing them on the left side gives a note a fifth higher than playing them on the right of the bridge.
The strings of a hammered dulcimer are found in pairs, two strings for each note. Each set of strings is tuned in unison and is called a course. As with a piano, the purpose of using multiple strings per course is to make the instrument louder, although as the courses are rarely in perfect unison, a chorus effect usually results like a mandolin.
Cinematique Instruments recorded the hammered dulcimer with two different microphone positions. At the top of the instrument they placed - in an ms stereo set-up - a pair of Neumann U87s, and at the bottom, they put a single condenser microphone. These two positions cover a wide range of sound, and you are free to mix them to meet your own requirements.
Cinematique Instruments played the hammered dulcimer in minor thirds and concentrated mainly on three different articulations. Firstly they recorded the 'normal' notes which means that they hit the strings with the typical small wooden mallets, they called this articulation 'Mallet'.
Furthermore they struck the strings with a drumstick which they called 'Sticks', and finally, they recorded an articulation where they struck the strings with a timpani mallet and damped the strings with the palm which they named 'Muted'. All of these articulations were recorded in 4 round robin variations and have up to 4 velocity layers.
Besides this, Cinematique Instruments cared most about producing the typical hammered dulcimer tremolo. Thus they equipped the instrument with two different ways to create this roll-like tremolo. The first option to generate the tremolo is by duplicating each already played note when releasing the key. This lets you control the velocity and tempo of the tremolo.
The other much more natural way to produce the tremolo uses the modwheel. By turning the wheel, you control the tremolo tempo from slow to fast. To avoid making it too artificial Cinematique Instruments included a random factor which automatically affects the tempo and the velocity which results in a very organic tremolo which lets you easily switch between single notes and tremolo rolls. Furthermore, they added several functions and effects such as the control of reverb, delay, decay, distortion or octave which expands the entire sound of the hammered dulcimer and gives you a lot of options.
All in all, Cinematique Instruments came out with an instrument which enriches your music with a nice and organic feel whether you use it for solos or just as a background instrument.
- One in-depth patch.
- Three articulations with advanced scripting.
- Approximately 2.5 GB of data (1.4 GB compressed).