Taut. Melodic. Funky.
Few instruments get funk fans drooling like the Hohner D6 clavinet. Although originally intended to simulate a classical harpsichord, the clavinet is sonically closer to an electric guitar than to a piano, and its twangy, spanking timbres add a melodic tension to a groove like nothing else. For achieving that iconic funk sound it is often paired with a wah-wah pedal.
Inside the D6
The D6 contained 60 strings that are amplified by two active pickups, one near the bridge above the strings (Upper Pickup), and one below the strings (Lower Pickup). The instrument is played from a keyboard, which launches little hammers that strike and hold the strings in place. When the key (and hammer) is released, the dampers at the end of the string stop the sound.
Specially Modified for Sampling
Hohner D6s are getting quite rare because their delicate, mechanical nature requires a high degree of maintenance. Over a 12 month period Soniccouture extensively restored and then modified their D6, which was a nice example in decent working order before they even started. But to get these instruments functioning absolutely perfectly is a real labour of love. As well as wanting to get it sounding perfect, Soniccouture also needed to make a few custom modifications. To model the internal setup of the instrument, they added a direct XLR output to record each pickup separately, meaning that the authentic pickup switching and phase reversing on the original Unit can be replicated in Ableton Live just by turning a macro knob.