I love making sampled instruments. It’s an obsession. It’s like creating a masterpiece. Everything has to be just right and have its place. I do consider myself an artist and my canvas is sampled pianos.
But sometimes artists need a different challenge or they need to stretch in a different direction.
The last few years I have been working on massive piano sample libraries, Production Grand and a few upcoming libraries. Some of these libraries are so big that potential customers scoff at how ridiculous the size of the libraries are. But for me, size is not the issue; it’s what is necessary to get an incredible sonic picture of the piano that I am sampling. The hours, days, weeks and months of editing and perfecting the samples have taken their toll. Getting a fresh perspective by taking a break is what I needed!
For me, it was getting back to my roots, programming and synthesis. As a teenager, I spent hours programming my synths. I had a Yamaha SY55, a DX7 II and Kawai PH50, which was essentially a mini K1 with speakers. I had made more patches for these synths than I knew what to do with and at the time, the internet wasn’t around to share them.
So, the much needed break has resulted in a fusion of my roots and current work. Synth programming combined with my obsession with piano samples turns into DEATH PIANO.
DEATH PIANO is just released and I’d like to share with you a demo and the description:
Tortured, Demented & Beautifully Flawed
Death Piano is a alternative take on Piano Sample Libraries that celebrates the obscure. Full of reverse samples, lo-fi gritty goodness, synthesis shaped tones, morphed massacred sounds and more. Designed for Kontakt 5, Death Piano is an inspiring collection of piano oddities that is sure to inspire film composers, pianists, songwriters, producers and more.
Now students and faculty can receive educational pricing on all of Production Voices’ piano sample libraries including piano samples for Kontakt and the free sforzando player.
Most piano sample libraries are up to 50% off. This is a major savings for students looking to get into premium multi-microphone piano sample libraries such as Production Grand that has 96k sample options.
For more info on educational discounts and student pricing on our piano sample libraries, please check out the details HERE.
Adam, a native of Belfast, studied Sound Technology in Liverpool before working for Native Instruments for about 2 and a half years. His work with Native Instruments included:
– Scripting the Kontakt factory library
– Scripting and sample editing for the Abbey Road drum series
– Sound Design work for Reaktor and Reaktor Player instruments
– Producing audio demos
– Writing User Manuals
Since leaving Native Instruments, he works for his own company, Icebreaker Audio, and also freelances scripting for Heavyocity, audio editing for Abbey Road Studios and the occasional project for Native Instruments. He also mixes and masters audio including recently the band The Moscow Times.
As part of the Production Grand development team, Adam provided all the scripting, the programming behind the instrument. His work helped develop the unique Authentic Pedalling and Pre-Attack features of Production Grand.
Production Grand has the ability to send each of the individual microphone perspectives to individual tracks within a DAW such as Cubase, Logic Pro or Pro Tools. This takes a little initial work to get set up, but will allow the user to process any of the 8 microphone perspectives from the piano sample library with EQ, reverb, compression etc. This essentially turns Production Grand a virtual piano recording!
Pre-Attack is the mechanical noise that a piano makes before the hammer strikes a string. Not all midi controllers (if any) can properly playback pre-attack because on a midi controller the pre-attack sample is triggered at the bottom of a key press instead of at the onset of a key strike like on a real piano. This video explains more:
Production Grand includes Pre-Attack to give the user an authentic piano experience. Pre-Attack is not without its issues. The main issue is that the pre-attack sample length differs by velocity and by position on the keyboard (higher or lower). A low velocity note would naturally have a longer pre-attack time as it takes longer to play the key. This makes playing with pre-attack enabled rather challenging from a latency stand point.
Joris is a a multi-talented musician, composer, pianist, audio engineer and more who resides in Holland. He is fluent in music technology and the use of software instruments and sample libraries as demonstrated in his numerous Indaba Music competition wins.
The demos for Production Grand listed above were all created with the 16 bit Modern Silver edition of the piano sample library for Kontakt that is included as a courtesy download for users. We can’t wait to hear what Joris can do with the full version of Production Grand and the additional vintage/character microphone perspectives!
You can check out more about Joris and his work at his website: www.sonoploy.net.
1. Studio Grand Piano LE – 4 microphone control that sounds great while taking up very little space and computer resources!
2. Estate Grand Piano LE – Detailed piano sample library with pedal up and down samples and 2 microphone perspectives.
The rules are simple:
2. Contact us using our online CONTACT US page.
3. Give us verification of your completion: photo plus an email or letter of confirmation from someone of authority at the place volunteered at.
4. Once we receive all your information we will send you the download codes for your FREE piano samples.
5. We ask that you send us a picture of yourself using the piano samples or send us an mp3 of something you have created with our piano library.
Alternatively, any first-time blood donor may have Studio Grand Piano LE for free. Just send us confirmation of your donation (photo in the chair etc.).
Users of the Production Voices Pianos for Volunteering Program agree to allow Production Voices to post your photos, email confirmations and mp3s on our website.
Must be new charity work, not previous work.
Answer #1: The Perfect Piano Practical Answer
The one that works for your situation: fits your song/production, inspires you to create, sounds great live, is in the format you need (Logic EXS, Native Instruments Kontakt 5 or stand alone) etc.
Every situation is different. Some want the perfect piano sample to load fast and to be flexible so that they can work right away. Others want intimate detail and don’t mind if they have to render the performance offline because the piano sample is too big to run in realtime.
Answer #2: The Perfect Piano Sample Technical Answer
Every note would be sampled with 127 velocities for pedal up, down, soft pedal and half-pedalling.
There would be plenty of microphone perspectives including player, hammer, inside (with variations), just outside, room, under and so on.
The recording would be as high a bit rate and sample rate as possible. Let’s dream it to be 32 bit 192 kHz.
Such a piano would be several terabytes in size and there currently is no system that would be able to play it back!
The one that you know. Being familiar with how your piano samples sound is the best way to make them work for you.