Glissando Harps by Chocolate Audio Review

Glissando Harps by Chocolate Audio stars Camac and Salvi 47-string concert harps. The harps have been sampled with excellent detail. 

Glissando Orchestral Harp Piano Mode

Chocolate Audio is well known to produce exceedingly playable instruments. You can see their love for the instruments, preparation, setup, tuning, time, ear, knowledge, dedication and experience. Chocolate Audio did send a review copy with no strings attached.

Installation

It is a library requiring the full Version of KONTAKT 5.5.2 or higher. The Instrument download size is ca. 20 Gigabytes (54 GB uncompressed). Glissando Concert includes 8244 samples and Glissando Orchestra delivers with 19312 samples overall summing up to  27556 samples.

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Sound

Each Harp was sampled in a different location and with different setups in order to augment flexibility and usage scenarios. Glissando Concert Harp For Kontakt was replaced by this library and is now part of thus harp bundle. The instrument shines at subtlety and affection and can be performed to cut through in your score if needed.

Glissando Concert Harp Mixer
Microphones:

Glissando Concert includes 2 microphone sets: Stereo AB with Schoeps CMC6 mics and MidSide Stereo with Neumann and Royer mics.

Glissando Orchestra increased the available 8 microphone recordings by eight.  Available Mics include ribbons, tube and Decca tree sampled in full detail: up to 6016 samples per articulation and up to 4 round robin.

Adjust the tone with the mics to shape the performance to the mood and vibe you need in your composition.

 You can play the harps in soft way, use the included mics to mix up the tone you need. Beside performing soft you can also play the harp in an agressive mood to build some tension.

The sound of these special harps is made possible by using the Glissando technique. When performing Glissando the harpist runs her/his fingers across the strings creating a dreamy and catchy sound unique to the instrument.

You can select seven Glissando Modes to adjust the Glissando as required and fitting the score.

  • Soften will raise the attack time to emulate a Glissando played with lightly on the tips of the fingers
  • Accell accelerates or decelerates the glissando along its duration
  • Accent tells the engine how much accent to give to the Start/End notes when one of the Accent modes is selected
  • Randomize Time and Velo introduce a randomization in the timing and velocity between notes giving the Glissando a more human-like response

User interface & Usability

The user interface is kind of easy and quick to learn and use and allows you to dive deeper and adjust more powerful settings if needed. I am not happy with the colors used, that is a personal comment. The reddish colors make it hard to read the UI quickly. A different color would be less warm and makes the Instrument easier to use.

Glissando Concert Harp Mixer

Glissando Harps offers two main performance styles: Harp and Piano. As the name suggests in the Piano mode you to play the instrument across all 88 keys like a piano. In the more complex and natural Harp style you can play harp as a harpist. To include an easy play mode (Piano) into this package was an excellent idea for a nonexperienced harp player.

Glissando Orchestral Harp Harp Mode

In either Piano or Harp mode, use the Sustain pedal to sustain notes indefinitely. Alternative releases the pedal and the library plays every note in a Staccato.

Glissando Concert Harp Articulations

There are really a lot of Articulations included:

  • Pizzicato: this is the most common playing technique. Range is C1 to G7 on both Harps
  • Sons Harmonique: harmonics. Range is A2 to C6 on both Harps
  • Sons Sifflés: sound produced by rubbing the fingers along the length of the strings. Mostly on bass strings. Here they are mapped on C1-D1. Not a tuned sound
  • Sons De TamTam – Rubber: sound produced by hitting the strings with a rubber stick. Range is C1 to C7 – Glissando Concert Harp GCH ONLY
  • Sons De TamTam – Wood: sound produced by hitting the strings with a light wooden stick. Range is C1 to C7 – Glissando Concert Harp GCH ONLY
  • Sons Guitariques: also called Prés De La Table – is the sound produced by playing the string right next to the lower part of the body. Sound is guitar-like and more brilliant. Range is GCH: A2 to F5, GOH: A2 to C6
  • Mechanics Efx: sound produced by playing the strings between their mechanics. Range is C1 to E6. A randomly tuned sound
  • Pizzicato Nails: sound produced by playing the strings with the nails rather than with the fingertips. Range is GCH: A2 to G7, GOH: C1 to G7
  • Sons Xylharmonique: sound produced by playing the harmonics muffled right after the attack. Range is A2 to C5 on both Harps
  • Sons Xylophonique: sound produced by muting the string at its end and plucking it with the other hand. The sound is muffled and warmer. Range is A2 to G7 on both Harps
  • Hits On Strings: sound produced by hitting and releasing the strings immediately with both hands. Range is A1 to G2. Not a tuned sound
  • Sons Ésoteriques: a special technique involving the use of pedals as an effect. Range is A1 to G2. Not a tuned sound
  • Paper Sordino: sound produced by interweaving the strings with paper ribbons. Range is C1 to C5 on both Harps
  • Velvet Sordino: sound produce by interweaving the strings with velvet ribbons. Range is GCH: C1 to C4, GOH: C1 to C7
  • Tinfoil Sordino: sound produced by interweaving the strings with tinfoil ribbons: Range is GCH: C1 to E5, GOH: C1 to C5
  • Sons Alcoholique: sound produced by rubbing the strings with a piece of cotton imbued with alcohol. Range is C1 to G6. A randomly tuned sound – Glissando Concert Harp GCH ONLY
  • Hits On Body: sound produced by hitting the body of the Harp in different positions with fingers, open and closed hand. The other arm stops all strings from resonating. Range is GCH: C1 to B2, GOH: C1 to D3
  • Hits On Body – Reso: sound produced by hitting the body of the Harp in different positions with fingers, open and closed hand. The strings are left free to resonate. Range is GCH: C1 to B2, GOH: C1 to D3
  • Rattling: sound produced by playing pizzicato with the harpist wearing a noisy jewel at her wrists. Range is C1 to G7 – Glissando Concert Harp GCH ONLY
  • Appoggiato: sound produced by playing pizzicato and resting the finger on the next string rather than floating it. Range is C1 to G7
  • Bartok: sound produced by playing pizzicato near the lower part of the body and letting the finger hit the body itself, producing a very percussion-like and aggressive sound. Range is A2 to C7 – Glissando Orchestral Harp GOH ONLY
  • Sons Guitariques Nails: also called Prés De La Table Nails – is the sound produced by playing the string right next to the lower part of the body with the nails rather than the finger tips. Sound is guitar-like and more brilliant. Range is A2 to C6 – Glissando Orchestral Harp GOH ONLY
  • Sons Xylophonique Open: sound produced by muting the string at its end and plucking it with the other hand, then releasing the muting finger right after the note has been plucked. Sound is slightly muffled and warm. Range is A2 to G7 – Glissando Orchestral Harp GOH ONLY

Rating:  Four out of five stars

Glissando Harps by Chocolate Audio is an excellent and leading harp library in this small market of virtual instruments. Glissando Harps grants a vast range of playability and flexibility.

 

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