Soundiron has released Waterharp 2.0 for Kontakt – a deeply multi-sampled percussion and effects waterphone library.
The Waterphone was originally developed by Richard Waters in the late 1960s. Waterphones — also commonly known as Water Harps — are found in all shapes and sizes, but they generally follow the same basic design: a brass vessel with a hollow brass water chamber and a long neck. The top side of the chamber is adorned with vertical brass tines or bars.
It is played by strumming, striking and bowing these tines, which resonate together creating darkly harmonic or dissonant tones and textures. The tines are cut to specific lengths and arranged to create scales as they wind around the body of the waterphone.
Adding water to the chamber and changing the position of the waterphone drastically changes the pitch and harmonics that are produced when the instrument is played. The water chamber itself can also be played as a percussion instrument.
Overall, the waterphone can be considered as both a tuned and un-tuned percussion instrument, but is most often used in suspense and horror soundtracks and sound design as a dramatic sound effect tool.
Here’s a video preview of Soundiron’s Waterharp 2.0:
Here’s what Soundiron has to say about creating the virtual instrument:
We played it with lots of different mallets, sticks, metal rods, fingers and palms, bows and even voices to explore every nuance and hidden musical potential of this instrument. We recorded it both empty and full of water. We even recorded it from the inside out using hydrophones (underwater microphones), while being cooked over open flame and while filled with machine screws.
And finally, we created a wide selection of ambient soundscapes, pads, drones, ambiences and atmospheres using the recordings and all manner of creative sound design techniques to take this library to the next level.
Here are the official audio demos:
Waterharp v2.0 is available now for US $41.30, normally $59. See the Soundiron site for more info.