Lever harp soundfont, first version

A first try: sampling a lever harp

I started to play around lately with sampling and creating virtual instruments, recorded some notes on the harp with my H4N Pro, postprocessed them in Cubase, and created a sound font in sf2 format, mainly using Polyphone. I am quite sure that I should have postprocessed the samples much more (level, tune, noise reduction, …), but for the first try, this does not sound too bad.

This beautiful piece is written by Tamsin Dearnley and used here with her permission. You can listen to her playing this piece on her Youtube channel.

This very simple virtual harp sound is much more beautiful than the harp sounds which come out of the box by MuseScore’s default sound font and even with the harp sound shipped with Cubase (HALion SE) – which are both synthetic sounds without real samples. I even prefer it over the professional sampled concert harp shipped with the “factory library” of Native Instruments’ Kontakt, which is quite “boomy” in the low frequencies and less brilliant than this one.

Of course, a harp is relatively simple to sample and model: the notes just ring out (manual damping not considered), there is no real legato and the sound difference between piano and forte is not too big (compared to other instruments).