When it came to our attention that an aging Baldwin piano was destined to be turned into a coffee table after being found unrestorable, we took it upon ourselves to grit our teeth and sample the hideously out of tune instrument in full detail.
The entire 88-key range of the instrument was sampled chromatically with two dynamic layers, one suitable for subtle suspense and one for jumpscares. The quieter dynamic features two round robins. In addition, a massive set of aleatoric effects and hits have been recorded.
|Versilian Studios LLC.
|Kontakt FULL 5.6.8+ Required
|.nki (Kontakt instrument)
|595 Samples; 1,785 Files (?)Samples are individual performances, not including duplicates from multiple mixes or mic positions. The File count is the total number of sample audio files in a product.
|1 GB of HDD space (+950 MB for installation files)
|HDD of 7200+ RPM or SSD recommended
Pianists, Avert Your Eyes (and ears!)
The “instrument”, if you will call it that, was recorded in Virtuosity Boston, a musical instrument shop located right across the street from the famed Symphony Hall. Virtuosity had taken on the instrument to be used by customers and performers, however, it proved that the instrument was completely unrestorable.
Instead, it was decided to convert it into a much-needed bookcase and a new coffee table for the showroom floor. A gristly dismantling proceeded, but not before we were able to smuggle in a few microphones and capture it in all its detuned glory.
You can still find the coffee table and bookshelf in use today if you visit Virtuosity!
Under the Cover of Darkness
Late in the evening, to minimize traffic noise, a secret recording session began near the quiet rear of the shop.
A spaced pair of Rode NT1-A’s (ultra low-noise LDC’s) were used as the main mics in a pseudo player position, while a centrally-placed ribbon mic provided body and a classic Shure Hercules dictation mic from the 1950’s provided a vintage option.
Recordings were handled by an Antelope Orion Studio Rev. 2017 interface.
Two dynamics were recorded in full chromatic sampling with complete tails and releases, with the bottom receiving two round robins.
In addition, a large number of various tones created by bowing, pulling ropes along the strings, strikes, and even the judicious use of a rubber hammer were created.
Simon insisted upon the (probably futile) task of attempting to tune the piano, and his patch of this is available as an articulation for those looking for a slightly more tolerable sounding instrument (don’t expect to play Chopin though!).
You will also find some curious (and creepy) snapshots included as well for extra fun.
- Broken Piano – Soft & Hard Original
- Broken Piano – Soft Original
- Broken Piano – Hard Original
- Broken Piano – Soft + Hard Semi-tuned
- Broken Piano – Soft Semi-tuned
- Broken Piano – Hard Semi-tuned
- Broken Piano – FX
- Snapshots – Backstabber
- Snapshots – Broken Space Clavier
- Snapshots – Cowell’s Scrapbook
- Snapshots – No, it’s not your buffer
- Snapshots – Synthetic Dawn
- Snapshots – We made it worse!