Invented over 125 years ago, the celesta remains a nicely obscure yet fascinating instrument: It sports a vibrant, mellow and charming sound remeniscent of a vibraphone, glockenspiel, marimba and a piano – yet a sound of its own.
At that time, it was inspiring to those looking for a new sound – Pjotr Tschaikowsky wrote some parts of his Nutcracker for a celesta. Its predecessor, the Dulcitone was rather quiet and unappropriate for orchestral use, whereas the Celesta offers rich harmonics and bell-like tone that chimes with force.
Back then, no one had ever dreamt that a celesta would be as relevant today as ever – being the acoustic ancestor of the most popular vintage electric pianos, which share the same basic sound principles. Providing a warm and full bass, it carries more weight than a toy piano and is great for any track demanding an unconsumed yet familiar sound.
The instrument out of the Beurmann collection was built by Schiedmayer™ in Stuttgart around 1960. It cost a fortune, and it still does, so there’s only few concert halls and opera houses which keep one around. The celesta is rather tough to play, offering a very tight and limited dynamic response. This is due to the hammers not touching moving strings but steel plates. However, the dynamics are more pronounced than with a Dulcitone, for example, since the hammers’ lever stroke is considerably higher with the celesta. The steel plates are oppositely placed in the housing instead of juxtaposed placement. The result: Neighbouring keys find their tones evolved from throughout the panorama that way which makes for a nice overall stereo experience.
Capturing the dynamic shades of the instrument, we recorded every note with 16 different samples. We recorded the release sounds as well, providing 8 varitions of each key release sound to complete the virtual celesta.
To start right away, presets are available for all common sample formats including HAlion®, Kontakt2® and higher, EXS24® and GigaStudio3®.
For the critical task of recording the celesta, we employed custom-made Wagner™ U47w® tube microphones in conjunction with Crane Song™ Flamingo® preamps and Universal Audio™ 2192® digital converters to do the instrument justice. For maximum sound quality, we recorded in 192 kHz/24 bits resolution, downsampled to 44.1 kHz/24 bits.
In addition to the samples, the library contains an essay in English from Professor Andreas E. Beurmann himself, explaining both the historical and musical background of the instrument.
The sample library contains nearly 1200 single samples.
This Multi Format Library (included formats listed on top) does not include any playback software for your computer. A compatible software is required to load and play the sounds of this product.
For your own protection this library is provided as individual personalized files including a
Digital Water Mark - DWM!