Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt
Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt
Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt
Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt
Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt
Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt

Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt

Open Format
$ 39


Alt Alt is a creation from the mind of musical inventor Bart Hopkin: A board zither with 16 strings, 12 of them tuned to the same pitch and 4 tuned to the octave above. The idea is to sound all 16 strings at once to produce a single grand resonance. The tone is chorusy and lush, with a full, swelling presence.

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Alt Alt is a board zither with 16 strings, 12 of them tuned to the same pitch and 4 tuned to the octave above. The strings are positioned very close together so they aren’t picked separately; the idea is to sound all 16 strings at once to produce a single grand composite tone. The played note is chosen by a row of steel bars just above the strings. To change the effective string lengths, the player presses down on one of the bars, holding it against the strings. There are 36 spring-mounted bars positioned to produce a chromatic scale. The strings sound by strumming with the right hand while pressing the bars with the left, or simply by hammering the bars down.

Predecessors for Alt Alt’s keying mechanism can be found in a variety of instruments around the world, including akkordia, bulbul tarang, and taishogoto, as well as nyckelharpa and hurdy-gurdy. The technique of sounding the strings by hammering down with the bars is reminiscent of the way the strings are activated in clavichords, except that in clavichords only one or two strings are activated. For these samples, the strings were played in three ways: slow strums, fast strums, and hammer down. Alt Alt sounds best when the tuning is slightly imperfect, because that creates the richest chorusing effect. The tone is very distinctive; not really strange or far-out, just unusually organic and full.

We've faithfully sampled every interesting sound we could get out of this zither, with two stereo mic positions: Close mics, and Pickups. Hammer down, fast strums, and slow strums are available in all four layers to easily mix and match. With up to 8x round robin and 6 velocity layers per note, you’ll be swimming in lush timbres in no time. We've also included a wide selection of custom FX presets and plenty of our signature sound-designed ambient content, crafted from the raw acoustic source to give you complete creative freedom.

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Bart Hopkin [website] [music] [amazon]

Bart Hopkin has been active in many facets of music-making, including instrument building, performing and recording, composition, arrangement, education, and ethnomusicological research. Bart is also an established author, with ten books published on the subjects of instrument design and optimization.

Since 1974, Bart has been designing and constructing all the far-flung musical instruments he could dream up, with an emphasis on unusual and inventive acoustic art. The Hopkin Instrumentarium now has over 110 original creations and continues to grow every year. Soundiron is proud to bring you this inspiring and distinctive series of bespoke instruments not found anywhere else on earth.


The Kontakt interface includes a suite of automation-ready sound-shaping controls to give you total creative flexibility. You have control over swell, attack, release, offset, vibrato, filter, pitch (coarse & fine), articulation switching, cross-fading and layering, and so much more.

This library comes with an adaptable LFO system, with selectable LFO shape, modulation target parameter, speed, intensity, tempo-syncing and fade-in time. You can also apply your choice of 12 lowpass, high-pass and FX filters, with assignable modulation targets such as velocity, modwheel, expression, after-touch, key position and step-sequencer table control. Our customizable arpeggiator offers a velocity table and control over arp direction, timing, swing, randomization and duration. We’ve included a key and scale lock system to constrain your notes to common scales and keys for easy melodic composition and live performance.

The interface is rounded-out by our modular FX rack panel, with 27 different DSP effect modules that you can assign in any of 8 available slots, in any order that you wish. You’ll find classic phaser, flanger, delay, distortion, amp and cab simulators, compressors, EQ, rotator and so much more. The Reverb effect includes our favorite convolution reverb impulse responses, including 99 different rooms, halls, chambers and outdoor environments, plus another 40 custom FX impulses to radically transform the sound and open up whole new worlds of musical possibility. We’ve added a great bank of FX rack chain factory presets to get you started!

Kontakt Format

This library is designed for the full retail version of Native Instruments Kontakt 6.2.2 or later. Kontakt is an industry-standard advanced virtual instrument software platform. You can view screenshots of this library's custom graphical user interface in the image gallery above. This library is packed with features to provide you a wide range of sound shaping parameter controls, each one totally automation-ready in your host environment or Kontakt's stand-alone mode. Learn more about Kontakt by Clicking Here.

This is a standard Kontakt open-format library, so the free Kontakt Player does not fully support it and can only run it in a limited "demo mode". However, the sample directories are unlocked so you can use them in other wav-compatible software, sampler and synth formats. The special Libraries tab doesn't support this open-format Kontakt library, but you can use the standard File browser tab and import this library into the Kontakt Quickload window for easy loading and navigation.

Product Specs

  • Zither Hammer down, slow strum, fast strum articulations in two mic positions: Close, Pickups
  • 20 ambient pads and evolving drones created from the source content
  • 21 Powerful Kontakt .nki instrument presets
  • 4,380 stereo samples in unlocked .WAV format
  • 13.9 GB Installed
  • Made for the full retail version of Kontakt (version 6.2.2+)


System Requirements

The full retail version of Native Instruments Kontakt version 6.2.2+ is required to use .nki instrument presets included in this library. The free Kontakt "Player" and "Add Library" import process do not support this standard open-format Kontakt library. Windows 7 or higher. Mac OSX 10.12 or higher. Dual Core CPU, 2 GB System Ram, SATA or SSD hard drive recommended for this library.

Note: This digital product is delivered as a download via the Amazon S3 cloud network. A broadband internet connection is required. Please see our Help Page for licensing information, download and installation instructions, tutorials and to read our End User Licensing Agreement before ordering. All sales are final.


Walkthrough: Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt

Composing With Hopkin Instrumentarium: Alt Alt

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