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Just curious, I haven't even looked around...

 

 

but back in the 1960s just after Pretty Ballerina and Walk Away Renee, Baldwin put out a clunker of a 'portable' 'rock and roll' harpsichord. Do any still exist and are they affordable?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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'portable' 'rock and roll' harpsichord. Do any still exist and are they affordable?

 

I thought that's what a Clavinet was supposed to be.

 

I thought the clavinet was an electrified clavicord?

 

I heard about those portable harpsichords and I might have played one years ago at a piano/organ store. Harpsichord is one of the easier instruments to model I'd think- no velocity variations, so unless it as for nostalgia or some kind of "wow" factor, my bet is a rompler would get it done if you needed that sound.

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Yes, there are a few Baldwin harpsichords still around. I see them for sale from time to time.

 

http://squeezyboy.blogs.com/squeezytunes/images/baldwin1.jpg

 

Clavinet is an electric clavichord - simple striker mechanism like the clavichord, although it is upside down.

 

Harpsichord has a more elaborate jack mechanism which actually plucks the string with a plectrum.

Moe

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"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

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I've wondered if the harpischord sound will ever make a comeback.

 

Yet, I think for most KB players, while different, a clavinet, real or facsimile, is the closest we'll get to that sound. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I dunno, most Rolands I've run across have harpsichord sounds onboard. I'm pretty certain the Kurzweils do too. You can't do the Addams Family theme without it! ;) Roland was also selling a digital harpsichord for the Early Music crowd at NAMM a couple of years back IIRC. Yep, here it is!
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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I traded my DX7 (for a 1960s Vox bass amp), which was the only 'modern' keyboard that I owned. I've come across a Steinway parlor grand ($1500!!!) and I have an 1880s 'portable' pump organ, and the only other keys that I have are a couple older, small key format Casios. I could use them to trigger harpsichord sounds, but I thought that if I could get one cheap enough, what a cool addition to our new home...

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Harpsichord is either one of the harder sounds to model, or isn't popular enough to warrant the attention of most modeling-based vendors.

 

But then, I'm a harpsichord connoisseur, just as I am a huge fan of early instruments in general (why, oh why, won't someone release a Viola da Gamba sample library?). And I have visited harpsichord maufacturing plants.

 

I owned the Roland for quite a long time, and only sold it due to living in cramped quarters for a couple of years. The main reason I am going to NAMM this year is that it may be my last chance to try the new one before Roland gets bored of bringing it to the show. :-)

 

Roland has done a pretty good job of modeling the keybed action and the keystrike mechanism of a harpsichord. The sounds are probably sampled, which is fine, as they include three basic harpsichords (Flemish and French) at 4' and 8' as well as a Lute-Harpsichord (favoured by J.S. Bach) and Reed organ, but no Virginal AFAICR.

 

The Baldwin was another matter entirely, but was used by The Beatles on a couple of tunes. It really wasn't authentic, and was quite cheesy, but could be used effectively just as the Farfisa can be if not thought of as a B3 stand-in.

 

Hohner's Clavinet was based on the Clavichord, which has a different sound from the Haprsichord and is actually more historically related to the Hammered Dulcimer (just as is the Piano). Not that they sound alike -- especially the Clavinet with its funky groove. It sounds NOTHING like a Harpsichord!

 

The last I heard, Baldwin still makes the Electric Harpsichord as a custom order (in fact, that may have always been the way it was), but this is from quite a few years back by now, so who knows. Baldwin was the piano of choice when I was growing up, in terms of rehearsal pianos and schools. Then Yamaha came in, then Kawai. Baldwin still exists, but isn't what they were.

 

You can buy an acoustic harpsichord kit for under $1000, but it's a lot of maintenance work, and I personally decided it was all or nothing so will stick to sample libraries for now, and maybe a Roland C30(?) later on. There are some major improvements from the model I had, and this is now the third generation. The first generation was Japan-only. If I was going acoustic, I wouldn't settle for anything but a hand-crafted harpsichord, but I don't have that kind of money.

 

 

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Mark,

 

For modelled harpsichords, like modelled pianos, the most interesting work being done right now is by Modartt (Pianoteq).

 

They are modelling specific historic instruments, and the clips sound pretty great to me.

 

http://www.pianoteq.com/free_addons

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I own Pianoteq and love it, but not for harpsichords. I am not easily fooled when it comes to harpsichords -- I have a LOT of experience with them. I do hope they continue to work on that model though. After all, they did a brilliant job with the Vibraphone, but that's a different sort of sound. I think we're more likely to eventually see a good harpsichord model from AAS, as they are focusing on plucked strings at the moment.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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Voce included the Baldwin Electric Harpsichord in their doomed half-rack Electric Keys module a decade or so ago. That was a fully modeled synth, and not generally well received. It had unusably low gain, for one thing. I tried it a few times in the store and couldn't judge its merits due to the low gain.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I've done quite a bit of work with classical and more symphonic instruments, and a harpsichord kit, while interesting and probably fun, doesn't get me where I want to go. A 'real' harpsichord is not what I'm looking for. And having dealt with them in halls, I'd prefer not to have that aggravation on a daily basis. That would be like owning a Melotron... lots of grief for small reward. What I thought was smart about the Baldwin was the body construction. May not sound like the best harpsichord in the world, but a lot less work, too. I'm also interested int he sound of the spinet harpsichord... being plucked more towards the center of the string length makes for a different, warmer, richer sound.

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill - if you're looking for the sound check out the Rolands. On my RD there's a sound called Natural Harpsi that does a good job of emulation. I'm sure you could tweak it to get what you're after.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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Bill - if you're looking for the sound check out the Rolands. On my RD there's a sound called Natural Harpsi that does a good job of emulation. I'm sure you could tweak it to get what you're after.

 

I'll check it out, thanks.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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