Viola da Gamba

Viola da Gamba

—   Versatile 6-stringed Renaissance Instrument

The Viola da Gamba is a 6-stringed bowed and fretted instrument that first appeared in Spain in the mid to late 15th century and was most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. A great combination of articulations and textures perfect for melodies and beds, Cinesamples' Viola da Gamba was recorded at the legendary MGM Scoring Scoring Stage at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.

Requires Kontakt FULL 5.5.0 or higher
$149 Add to cart

About the Product

This instrument is strung with 6 gut strings that are tuned to (relative to Kontakt): 
D1, G1, C2, E2, A2, and D3.

Viols are fretted in a manner similar to early guitars or lutes, by means of movable wrapped-around and tied-on gut frets.  The movable nature of the tied-on frets permits the viol player to make adjustments to the tempering of the instrument.  On this particular instrument, the frets only extend 7 semi-tones on each string.  


The main articulations patch contains sustains, True Legato, staccato, chug, sforzando, pizzicato (via the red keyswitch), with an optional accent overlay. 


What is True Legato? We sampled all of the intervallic leaps throughout the ranges, upwards and downwards, for each instrument. When you play a True Legato patch, it instantly analyzes the intervals you play, and then plays the appropriate transitional leap between the notes. The result is a smooth and realistic legato performance. 


CC02 will crossfade into vibrato on notes D3 thru D4. Vibrato is stable only on non-fretted notes on the Viola da Gamba. 

The Drones patch contains Measured Sustains, Trills, Tremolos, Sul Ponticello Drones, and Open Strings. By default these articulations are chosen using keyswitches. 

The Split Keyboard patch is essentially a combination of the Drones patch and the main Articulations patch. The lower octaves keyswitch between Measured Sustains, Tremolos, and Sul Ponticello Drones, while the upper octaves play sustains and legato with the pedal down and Staccato with the pedal up. The two halves of the keyboard can be played together or independently. 

Most patches contain a green, non-latching Keyswitch. Hold it down before transitioning to a note you want played with an infinite sustain. This is understandably an unnatural occurrence, but it provides the necessary bow length needed in slower tempi. 

Click EDIT on the main page to reach the ARTICULATION MAPPINGS page. This allows you to access any of the instrument’s articulations and play them however you choose. In this example (01 Viola da Gamba Articulations) the legato samples are triggered when the pedal is down. When the pedal is up, short articulations are triggered depending on note velocity. 


The Articulation Mappings page also contains an optional Accent Overlay, which layers an additional Staccato, Chug, or Sforzando sample when a note is played above a user defined velocity threshold. 

In the Drones patch, the keyswitches select the type of drone. The drones can be switched, or cross-faded mid-note and can even be layered. Enable this feature in the EDIT tab. The crossfade time can be adjusted using the FADE TIME knob.


The Measured Sustains were recorded as whole notes at 60 BPM. Therefore their bow changes will occur every 4 seconds. As an added bonus, after playing a note, the bow changes of additionally layered subsequent notes will play in sync with the first. 

  • FULL version of Kontakt v5.5.0 and above
  • ​Native 64-bit support for stand-alone and plug-in versions on both Mac & PC
  • ​Compatible with all major DAWs and with music notation software, using the Kontakt Engine

Minimum System Requirements

  • PC: Vista® / Windows 7® (32/64 Bit), Intel®Core Duo 2GHZ or AMD Athlon 64, 4 GB RAM
  • Mac: OS X 10.8 or higher, Intel® Core Duo 2 GHz, 4 GB RAM
  • To load all main articulations patches with the full mix position it is recommended to have at least 1.5 GB of FREE RAM available
  • Minimum of 5 GB of free Hard drive Space (11 GB required during installation)
  • Any Compliant ASIO™ or Core Audio™ compliant device

Produced by: Michael Barry and Michael Patti
Project Director: Tim Starnes
Scripted by: Will Bedford
Recording Engineer: Adam Michalak 
Mix Engineer: Tim Starnes
Editors: Jonathan Kranz, Casey Merhige, Elan Hickler, Ben Chrisman
Quality Assurance: Ben Chrisman, Jonathan Kranz, Casey Merhige, Elisa Rice