Indian style harmonium


#1

Hey all, I’m looking to attempt recording my harmonium. Basically, it’s a bellows-style instrument where I control the envelope with the bellows and the instrument itself is a free reed, like a harmonica, but bigger.

Here’s a picture from a few years back where you can see the bellows

I’m wondering how to record it. This instrument has drone notes, different registers, etc, as well as the fact that the dynamics can vary a lot depending on bellows control. Does anyone have an idea on what I’d need record to recreate that sound in a sampler like Kontakt?


#2

You could sample it like this:

Record whatever # of notes you feel represents the instrument well at however many velocities you choose. In this case I would say you want a minimum of 3 or 4 velocity layers.

Import these samples into kontakt and map them. Make sure to loop them all (with crossfades so each loop doesn’t sound jagged when it repeats) so that the sound may sustain until you release a key. Then map either something like the modwheel or keyboard aftertouch to control which of the velocity layers is selected.

Kontakt has something called AET filters that lets you blend each velocity layer together with only a few samples so that the morphing won’t be abrupt and quantized sounding. iirc, you select the group of samples you all want morphed, right click, and there’s an option that lets you have kontakt automatically create this filter for you.

Perhaps there’s a more efficient way to do this, but while being away from the computer this is what comes to mind procedurally.

And are the drone notes included in the key set? Or are they separate buttons or something on the instrument? I’m not quite familiar with that mechanism but if they are separate keys you could just have one group for all the normal notes, then place the drones an octave lower or something


#3

A more fancy pic that better shows off how stunning this instrument is:


#4

Thanks for the reply!

That sounds like it could do the trick. I think 3 or 4 dynamic layers might work. I’ll try making a super barebones version tomorrow.


#5

A more fancy pic that better shows off how stunning this instrument is:

Makes me want an instrument of it all the more lol


#6

Part of the problem I’m having is that the bellows are loud. It’s hard to get a recording of the instrument, without a bunch of bellow sounds. What I’ll try to do also is provide a sample of me playing the instrument, so we can get an idea of what it needs to sound like.


#7

Perhaps Christian or someone from SF can chime in on how they went about doing the VRAL grid in there Albion V Tundra library ? I believe they stated it was a hard instrument to sample and making it a grid instrument was a happy accident ?