Generally saying, "lute" is a term that designates almost any string instrument having the strings running over a sound box. However, when referring to an actual lute, one means the European lute (or modern middle eastern Oud). Some of its characteristics include a soundboard with a single decorated sound hole called the rose, a shell of thin wooden stripes, and a headstock that is angled back from the neck at almost 90°.
The first lutes were brought to Spain by the Moors and were plucked with a pick; later, they were played with fingers alone. The lute's strings are arranged in courses, in two strings each, except for the highest pitch course, which only consists of a single string, called the chanterelle.
Our lute is a renaissance Lute with 8 courses: (highest to lowest) a' e' b g d A G E - The courses are tuned in unison. Nowadays, lutes are equipped with nylon strings, the same as classical guitars, while historically, they were made of animal guts.
The lute was used in a great variety of instrumental music from the Medieval to the late Baroque eras. It was the most important instrument for secular music in the Renaissance. But it is also used in score music, such as in Jim Jarmusch's movie "Only Lovers Left Alive".
The lute was carefully sampled in minor thirds on all the 13 strings in 3 dynamic layers and 4 round robin variations. We spent a lot of time capturing the seamless transitions between these layers and variations so that the instrument feels as natural and smooth as possible.
But this lute is not just sampled notes spread on a keyboard! It is more than this. Like real string instruments, it is now possible to play the same note in different hand positions, each with a different timbre. You can make a melody sound different and achieve a more natural feel when played by changing this position.
As if this wasn't enough, we also concentrated on the behavior of the course strings. Besides a separate volume knob, we further defined the parameters flam and detune, which lets you vary the time and the tune in relation to the original string. This can be adjusted by separate knobs and controlled randomly or via velocity. Finally, we recorded sounds of finger scratching the strings, which will be automatically added by a realistic noise trigger script - of course, you can control the volume.
Once again, with the lute, we expanded our string family with a unique and warm instrument.
With the new update 2.0, we have given the lute a new contemporary design. We have simplified the operation of the lute and added more useful tools and engines (e.g., Arp/ Recorder). A Great Update!