Cinematique Instruments - Hammered Dulcimer

The 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. Cinematique Instruments Hammered 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..

The Content
We recorded the hammered dulcimer in two microphone positions. At the top of the instrument we placed - in a ms stereo set-up - a pair of Neumann U87s and at the bottom we put a single condenser. These two positions are covering a wide range of sound and you are free to mix them at your own requirements. We played the hammered dulcimer in minor thirds and concentrated mainly on three different articulations. Firstly we recorded the „normal“ notes which means that we hit the strings with the typical small wooden mallets, we called this articulation „Mallet“. Furthermore we struck the strings with a drum stick which we called „Sticks“ and finally we recorded an articulation where we struck the strings with a timpani mallet and damped the strings with the palm of the hand which we named „Muted“. All these articulation were recorded in 4 round robin variation and up to 4 velocity layer.

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