Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Petit Italian Harpsichord

Looking for a better harpsichord?  We’ll here’s a free one that sounds great and will load into your Kronos with only a little coaxing.  Here's an audio demo: Scarlatti

The nice people at Soni Musicae have done a complete sampling of a smaller Italian harpsichord.  Each note was sampled in stereo, for full duration, two stops plus lute.  The library is free, but because it is not public domain I can't create a KSC file that contains the samples.  But it is in SF2 format, so getting it into the Kronos is pretty straightforward.  

  • First go to Small Italian page at Soni Musicae.
  • Download the SF2 file near the bottom.
  • Once you've unzipped the file you will need a special decompression software called SfArk. If you don't have it, for OSX users, you can find a copy here: SfArkXT OSX.  Windows here: Windows AFArkXT.
  • After you've decompressed the .sfArk file, copy the Petit Italien.sf2 to the SSD on your Kronos.
  • On the Kronos, go to DISK==>FILE==>LOAD to load the soundfont.  It will ask you for a destination and select an area in a program bank where you have free space (or programs you don’t care about overwriting).  Note, the conversion is going to create four programs so make sure you have at least four consecutive program slots available to be overwritten.

Once loaded, go to the program slots you specified in the above step.  You will likely find that the programs don’t play.  You’ve run into a glitch that sometimes happens with SF2 conversions.  You will need to save the samples that are currently in RAM and reload them.  You would have to do this step eventually anyhow, so it’s no big deal.

Do the following:
  • Go to DISK==>FILE==>SAVE
  • Click on the drop down arrow in the top-right corner and select SAVE SAMPLING DATA.
  • In the Text box at the top give it a file name.  Make sure SAMPLING MODE DATA is selected and ALL (under Sampling mode options).
  • Click on SAVE.
  • Now find the _UserBank.KSC version of this file and click on LOAD.  Under KSC Allocation make sure CLEAR SAMPLING DATA is selected and click OK.

Now the programs should play.

I created four programs that are a little more fine tuned to the Kronos and you can download them here: Petit Italian PCG.  They include, among other things, the harpsichord keyoff samples from the Kronos library.  You will need to reassign the OSC1 multisamples to point to the KSC you just created.  To do so go to OSC/PITCH==>OSC1 BASIC and change the multisample(s) as follows:

Petit Italien-Jeux 1: stops 1 and 2
Petit Italien-Luth: lute
Petit Italien-Jeu 2: stop 2
Petit Italien-Jeu 1:stop 1

Save the programs after your edits.  Also, you can adjust the keyoff level in AMP2/DRIVE2.

Also, the people at Soni Musicae accept donations!


  1. I am new to the world of Kronos. Its important for me to get a better harpsichord. I have tried to follow your instructions but it stopped when I got the file to a flash drive. I will be very thankful if you could help me to succeed with this.
    Gunnar.Tungland at gmail.com

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