Review: Chris Hein Chromatic Harmonica

There are not many libraries out there for harmonica. But, before you do a google search, check out this review for the expertly crafted Chris Hein Chromatic Harmonica Kontakt instrument.  

Back in the '60s when I was playing in rock bands and totally obsessed with British Invasion bands, I wanted to play a little blues harmonica, like my heroes, Mick Jagger and John Lennon. Learning to do some simple stuff on a blues harmonica was easy after a few days practice. However, years later when I picked up a chromatic harmonica that I wanted to play like Stevie Wonder, I quickly realized that it is a very different beast and that it would require many hours of practice to get to a level of ability where I could play it and get a decent result, so I bailed. I have never found a sample library that even scratched the surface of what a chromatic harmonica is capable of in the hands of a great player, like LA's treasured musician, Tommy Morgan. Until now!


The Chris Hein Chromatic Harmonica is a Kontakt instrument and requires a full version of Kontakt 5.2 or newer. It will not work in the free Kontakt player. This perhaps accounts for why it is priced at such a bargain, only $146 US (€129), as it has over 3.5 GB of content with 7,000 samples, it uses a fair amount of RAM and for a Kontakt instrument, takes a while to load. The bottom line is that if you have a really old, slow computer with very little RAM, you may struggle with this. That said, any reasonably new computer with a decent amount of RAM, will handle it just fine. Chris has, however, provided buttons that allow you to unload or load all the demanding memory controls so that if you only want a single articulation, e.g., the sustains, you can do so and save it as a separate instrument.

What You Get

When you purchase the Chris Hein Chromatic Harmonica, you get a single instrument with a four-octave range, up to eight dynamic layers that blend really seamlessly. It features fourteen articulations that you can keyswitch between, with four '

Jay is a Los Angeles-based composer, songwriter, arranger and orchestrator, conductor, keyboardist, as well as vocalist. As a composer, he is best known for scoring the New World Television series Zorro. Among the films and TV movies he has arranged, orchestrated and/or conducted are Paramount Pictures' Blame It On Rio Read More


As a Kontact fan, this is great news. Saving my pennies and looking forward to adding this to my arsenal. Thanks for posting!

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