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Christian Jones

Best odd/unique character pianos / pianos with a twist?

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3 minutes ago, Christian Jones said:

I see that we're your second family. Gets home from the ballgame w/ the fam and gets right back on with us. 

Dead serious,  Christian. Larry made this forum great,  overflowing with deals. I definitely miss his presence here, that's no secret. But I think your threads, getting everyone sharing their insights on libraries and devs they love adds another dimension to this forum beyond deals that makes it incredibly worthwhile.  And yeah, while I was at that ballgame, I did check the forum, posted about the Wurli I used on a cover and still kept thinking about Wurlis! 

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7 hours ago, abacab said:

Is Maverick odd or unique in any way, or just another great piano? I own it as part of Komplete, but have never installed it.

It's modelled on a rare 1905 piano and has tons of character. There are also a lot of presets that sound distinctively different to all the other pianos I own.   I personally love soft pianos or felted pianos and the maverick sits somewhere between that and a Michael Nyman sound.

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8 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

I'd like to pick up some or all of these types for Labor day or some other sale. I like those piano libraries that have something cool/strange about them, often with other additional layered sounds added to the piano sound.. thanks abacab for sending me down this 🐰🕳️ w/ Shipwreck piano the other day. Then Peter mentions Death Piano and Fleer mentions Halfling and now I must own them all apparently. Below is what I know of so far. Is this pretty much all there is or are there more worthy mentions? Happy Saturday! 

Shipwreck Pianos:

https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/stshipwreckpiano/?pkey=sampletank-sounds-cinekinetik-shipwreck-piano

The Halfling:

https://www.productionvoices.com/product/the-halfling/

Death Piano:

https://www.productionvoices.com/product/death-piano/

Pain Piano (already own this):

https://silenceandothersounds.com/products/pain-piano/

I'm not especially impressed with the IK pianos. I think they're good for what they are, but they don't hold up all that well compared to dedicated piano libraries IMO.

I have a few cool/strange piano libraries, though, so here are some other options.

  • Piano in Blue by Cinesamples: It's literally the Miles Davis Kind of Blue piano, complete with grime, tape noise etc, and it's *beautiful*. But it's no longer cheap.
  • Simple Sam Signature Grand: As with Piano in Blue, it's a Steinway D, and it can be super vanilla/pretty sounding. But its presets are where it comes alive. The developers did a great job getting the recorded sound of some much loved pianists (e.g., Bill 50s/60s for Bill Evans; Tokyo for Keith Jarrett). Usually about $50.
  • Ascend by Heavyocity: Another Steinway D but much more in the vein of Noire with all kinds of creative possibilities. Plenty of options for layering sounds (e.g., e-bow) and for 'moving'/evolving stuff similar to the particle engine.
  • Woodchester by Fracture sounds: A felted upright with lots of cool swirly stuff. Really interesting sound to it.
  • Memoir by Audio Ollie: Has the definite advantage of being free! It's sampled from a nice, thick-sounding old Mason & Hamlin grand. Very distinctive .
  • The Oeser by Key instruments: A restored, old baby grand that has a whole bunch of the cool/strange stuff going on! 
  • VSL: If you're a student or educator with ID (doesn't have to be in music), VSL have their annual 40% off sale. Their German 1904 (a Bechstein) and the Bluthner are very characterful pianos, though more because the instruments they're sampled from are old rather than because they're really unusual instruments.

Happy hunting!

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There's also the Lost Piano by Westwood Instruments.

https://www.westwoodinstruments.com/instruments/lostpiano/

Quote

Created for experimentation. Created to push the limits on what you thought a piano could sound like. Made from 32 sets of piano sounds that have been time-stretched and transformed through reel-to-reel, cassette tapes, guitar pedals and some unconventional plugin chains.

It also features our new custom Memories engine which generates an intelligent pattern of rhythmic sounds. More character and complexity than an arpeggiator. More curious and unconventional than a delay.

Some demos:

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Some mighty fine ones, Piano-in-Blue in particular. Love that story behind. 

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9 hours ago, Philip G Hunt said:

It's modelled on a rare 1905 piano and has tons of character. There are also a lot of presets that sound distinctively different to all the other pianos I own.   I personally love soft pianos or felted pianos and the maverick sits somewhere between that and a Michael Nyman sound.

Thanks for that info on Maverick. I need to check that one out. So far, NI Noire seems to cover that ground well from prepared soft felt to pure Yamaha CFX 9' concert grand. It sounds very natural and real in the pure mode, but that character also holds up in the darker and softer presets.

Edited by abacab

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I am a big weird piano fanboi. I got ST Shipwrecked last year at the IKM GB  sale. I really like it. Very cool.

I also use NI's the Giant a lot. Its my most used K piano. I will go in there and screw around the reverb and fx to make it weirder.  I crank up that Taj Mahal reverb to 110% baby!!!

 

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/keys/the-giant/

Edited by telecode 101
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I need to start looking up for a second shift to save for all these pianos here now 🦄🌈💩

Edited by chris.r

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never mind

Edited by User 905133
post removed because the thread is not about DIY alterations - only piano software already sampled by someone else

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1 hour ago, chris.r said:

I need to start looking up for a second shift to save for all these pianos here now 🦄🌈💩

I have so many sampled pianos that I think I can probably make a triple album of all piano music and still have some left over. 

Edited by telecode 101

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16 hours ago, Philip G Hunt said:

It's modelled on a rare 1905 piano and has tons of character. There are also a lot of presets that sound distinctively different to all the other pianos I own.   I personally love soft pianos or felted pianos and the maverick sits somewhere between that and a Michael Nyman sound.

Philip, no doubt it's because of your mixing abilities,  but you have a fairly recent original instrumental song that you posted on SoundCloud where you told me you used that piano and it sounded great, better than I previously thought that piano sounded. Have you created your own presets? I think later I'll post a link to your song so others know what I'm talking about,  because I have that piano, but you made it sound better than any of the presets. I thought you used a physical piano.  I'd love to know what you did (e.g. a custom preset, reverb, etc), beyond wrote a really lovely song! 

Edited by Peter Woods
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Dang there's way more pianos of this type than I thought there'd be.. there's like 30 pianos here already I gotta buy. Good work guys, I'll seek to collect them all plus anything else that gets added. Then maybe I can climb out this rabbit hole and go down the next. 

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On 9/4/2022 at 1:39 PM, pseudopop said:

There's also the Lost Piano by Westwood Instruments.

https://www.westwoodinstruments.com/instruments/lostpiano/

Some demos:

I've got two Westwood pianos.

I was initially very enthusiastic about them, they have a similar sound to the Spitfire Firewood, but I then noticed the settings had a tendency to reset by themselves , often without warning. This is especially frustrating if you get a nice sounds but didn't save the settings. Also the touch is very erratic. If you are looking for consistency, they are not yet there. 

I would definitely suggest trying out their free Felted piano first to see if you like it. You will need full Kontakt.

 

Edited by Philip G Hunt
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1 hour ago, Philip G Hunt said:

but I then noticed the settings had a tendency to reset by themselves , often without warning. This is especially frustrating if you get a nice sounds but didn't save the settings. Also the touch is very erratic. If you are looking for consistency, they are not yet there. 

They should be there for $139! 

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3 hours ago, Philip G Hunt said:

I've got two Westwood pianos.

I was initially very enthusiastic about them, they have a similar sound to the Spitfire Firewood, but I then noticed the settings had a tendency to reset by themselves , often without warning. This is especially frustrating if you get a nice sounds but didn't save the settings. Also the touch is very erratic. If you are looking for consistency, they are not yet there.

I honestly can't say I have noticed anything like that when playing with the Lost Piano. I'm not a pianist and my keyboard is not the best there is, but I haven't noticed anything erratic about the touch either. It is possible that someone who is more sensitive is able to perceive something off there.

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Soundiron's Struck Piano is pretty unusual prepared piano. $69, although it was recently on sale for $49.  

Ever seen Blue Man Group's cover of The Who's Baba O'Riley, where they smack a piano with a large mallet? It's like that.

 

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