The Conservatoire Collection is a commercially distributed software library of 10 sampler instruments for digital audio workstations (DAWs), based on instruments from the Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection. This package has been adopted by composers, producers and musical artists across a wide spectrum of the music industry as a highly innovative means of incorporating historical musical instrumental sounds within a digital environment.
In 2007 Birmingham Conservatoire secured AHRC funding to develop its Historical Instrument Collection, an online catalogue which brings together measurements, photos, recordings and illustrative performances that utilise the unique collection of historical instruments (woodwind, brasswind, stringed, keyboard and percussion from the 17th to 20th centuries), all curated by Birmingham Conservatoire.
In 2009 a Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) grant was secured to advance the practical impact of the research by taking a number of instruments in the Collection to produce workable, high-quality sampler instruments. This enabled direct musical interactivity with the instruments and also the creation of a library of instruments for commercial use. Ten instruments from the Collection were meticulously recorded and sampled in Birmingham Conservatoire's studios. Performances were executed by expert performers on each instrument.
The Conservatoire Collection was relatively unknown before this project, and this research has allowed its unique instruments to be used by the music production and media industries to create 'new' sounds. International music producers, film score composers and the gaming industry, amongst others, have utilised the Collection.
The Conservatoire Collection is a commercially distributed software library of 10 sampler instruments for digital audio workstations (DAWs), based on instruments from the Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection.
"My favourite thing about this collection is quite simply the range of instruments, and the fact that the sample banks were obviously put together by people who knew the instruments well, and could anticipate how they would be used in a composition."