Delightful variances in timbre with each piano key.
Requires Kontakt FULL 5.3.1 or higher
Cinesamples were provided a unique opportunity to preserve an important piece of musical history in its final days. Word had come to them that the historic Clinton Recording Studios in midtown Manhattan was forever closing its doors, destined to be transformed into a modern condominium complex.
One of the many treasures contained therein was this particular Steinway Model D Concert Grand which used to live in the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios. The CBS 30th Street Studio, “The Church” was perhaps the most influential recording studio of the 50’s and 60’s producing dozens of legendary albums in various genres.
Of those recordings this piano played a critical role in two albums which are still considered among the finest recordings of all time. First being the original Glenn Gould “Goldberg Variations,” the most critically received classical album of all time. Four years later came Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” which forever altered music.
John Davis, did a scoring session at Clinton and let Cinesamples know about the closing as this day was to be the final date. As the conversation drifted from the saddening state of affairs for large stages they came to talk about why this particular stage was a special place.
It turned out that the grand in the corner was the “one piano” used in so many of my favorite recordings.
ABOUT THE RECORDING
With a mind to the handful of historic pictures from the recording Kind of Blue the Cinesamples engineer Tim Starnes (Drums of War, HollywoodWinds, Cinesnares, Cinetoms 2, CineCrash) set up three sets of microphones. The first pair – the U49’s from old Columbia set up in historical position (note that the original was in mono), the two other pairs each set back a touch further from the other.
They recorded two signal chains for each mic, a clean signal going through the Neve board and one going through a historic tape machine and finally into pro tools. Cinesamples highly suggest exploring the charming colorization of the tape signal but both are provided for your convenience. For some of the youngsters out there note that tape will alter the sound of medium to high gain velocity layers and that often engineers go through great lengths to achieve this distortion.
Due to the delightful variances in timbre with each key the piano was sampled chromatically; this was the only way to get a true representation of the instrument. Barry was the pianist for the sampling and he employed a unique strategy.
“Perhaps this library benefits from having someone so intimate with sampling striking the keys. The way this particular piano was voiced was very unusual and charming. Certain notes when struck with matching velocities would sound rather different in tone from one another. One would scarcely notice this in a session but it would be greatly amplified via sampling. We decided the most faithful way to capture the samples was to do it by ear, rather then by touch. Instead of concentrating on a perfect velocity match across the keyboard we listened for sweet-spots/landmarks, identifiable, pleasing string to hammer ratios. This is a method employed by pianists to layer notes upon one another with clarity. I think the end result is better for recording in this manner rather then a straight key-weight dependent system.”
1949 Steinway D via Neve 8078 Console
8 Velocity Layers Sampled Chromatically
3 Microphone Positions
Close/Vintage – 2x Neumann M49 near the lid
Mid – 2x B&K 4007 at the tail of the piano
Far – 2x Sennheiser MKH20′s in the hall
2 Processing Paths (Tape; Direct in)
Studer A800MKIII 24 Track Analog Tape Machine
Programmed by Sam Estes; scripted by Greg Schlaepfer; recorded by Tim Starnes
NEW PIANO IN BLUE V2 COMPLETE UPDATE
Cinesamples added a “Sample Start” knob, located next to the Direct/Tape switch, which will cut into the samples of the sustains by 20ms — this adjustment will remove all of the hammer/finger noise from the instrument. While is is not recommended using this feature, for those with lag issues, this addition can be useful to make the piano more “pop-like” — however, it will remove the “weighted” feel of the piano.
Tape Sample Replace Cinesamples have re-recorded all the sample sets back through a physical (not a plugin) Studer tape machine with better leveling to remove the “crunch” on the top velocities. ALL samples have been replaced for the tape setting. They also painstakingly re-denoised all of the samples, so there is very little tape noise buildup in the background. It is highly recommended to add a bit of tape noise back in to blend the samples together. You will notice some tape artifacts in some of the samples, but this is part of the natural sound of using tape.
Individual De-noising of V1 Direct Samples There were a few samples in the Direct patch that were too noisy or had lowfrequency bumps — these samples have been addressed and fixed.
Sample Fix — F4, Velocity 101-110, Direct-Room There was a modulated distortion noise on this note — this noise has been removed.
91-110 quick release velocities There were issues with the shorter release samples being too quiet in this region — this issue has been fixed.
Various minor adjustments to ADSR curves and some minor volume tweaks on individual samples.
Added CC11 (Expression) control
"Piano In Blue is an absolute pleasure to play and use and, unlike some brighter piano libraries, fitted well within the mix of various tracks across a range of genres." - Future Music (4.5 / 5)
Kontakt Files for fully purchased Kontakt 5.3.1 or higher. Will not work in the free Kontakt Player