HY Blog: Hold your breath, Cremona, Stradivarius recording in progress.

Heavyocity Blog: Stradivarius Sound Bank

The entire city of Cremona, Italy is unusually quiet these days. Streets have been sealed off, traffic rerouted, and a “no unnecessary noise” request has been issued by the mayor — all in an effort to digitally preserve the sounds of the world-renowned Stradivarius instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries. This is sampling at its finest. Cremona is home to some of the most sought-after instruments in the world — Stradivarius violins, violas, and cellos whose pristine quality of tone have simply not been replicated in the hundreds of years since their inception. This project, the “Stradivarius Sound Bank,” is taking shape with help from four prestigious musicians, three superior sound engineers with thirty-two ultra-sensitive microphones, and a city holding its breath. They will sample thousands of notes and transitions, hundreds of scales and arpeggios using a variety of bowing and plucking techniques. Hundreds of hours will be spent over the next month sampling these beauties, before age brings change and fragility and ultimately decays their historic signature sounds. Thankfully though, Cremona is dedicated to producing the Stradivarius Sound Bank while there is still some life left in these instruments, leaving a taste of the finest instruments ever crafted for the future generations of musicians to come.

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