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Topic: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

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  1. #1

    Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Still looking for the right rock piano sound. I\'m not searching for a sound that will do the Chuck Berry lick or a bright pop\\dance sound. I still want something with a very clear midrange and liquid (sorry) treble without much verb.

    Part of what I don\'t hear in the midrange may stem from the mics: Small diaphrams, Bruce Richardson says in another post, and adds that no one brings pop and rock engineers in to engineer piano samples. All I want (sorry again) is the sound of Joni Mitchell\'s piano on Blue--clearly articulated bass notes, a clear but not brittle or verbed middle and liquid, not crisp, and\\or verbed highs. I love the mp3\'s of the piano libraries that I hear, but I want a different sound. The wonderful multisample demos I hear are very even in tone across the keyboard, but they seem, to my often inaccurate ears, to bring out the less than desirable qualities of Yamaha grands--the general brightness becomes a thinness when you want to play a fairly simple song with very little verb: I try to imagine how \"Yesterday\" or \"I Wish I had River\" would sound on these pianos, and I can\'t imagine it being good. The main problem, for me, is that the treble notes have little body.

    I think I have the best pianos for this music--the Vintaudio uprights, the Plugsound keyboards vsti, and the VRsounds Vienna piano (the singer\'s perspective does it for me). All of these are very, very good. I\'ll be playing them for a very, very long time and I find them inspiring and subtle. At the same time, I still want something somehow simpler and more basic that I could sit down to write music with. I don\'t want sheen, but instead less brittleness and verb in the octaves above middle C--maybe a good Hamburg Steinway that isn\'t too dark, or an upright Steinway. All three of the piano sets I mentioned come close, but somehow I miss something.

    Maybe I should be asking questions instead of saying all of this--what piano set would everyone use to play a simple \"Let It Be\" or \"I Wish I Had a River,\" or \"Blue\"?

  2. #2

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Have you listened to the demos for the upcoming \"White Grand\", still beta and the demos are not rock/pop, but it might be what your after.

  3. #3

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Hey Jake, would a demo of Yesterday help or convince you to buy our Yamaha lib ? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Also, we had one of the best pop rock engineers in our neck of the woods to come and help me make the best setup possible for the recording session.
    Being he is the owner of the large studio and has made a lot of successful recordings with the Yamaha, I trusted his judgment with mine to get the best out of that particular Yamaha, lets not forget these are difficult beasts to tame.

    The Player Perspective was in fact done with a large diaphram Condenser Stereo Mic. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    I\'ll try and cook it up for you today.
    Also, I haven\'t had time to set up for the 5.1 demo thing but I\'ll be doing that this week too.

    Kindly
    Franky
    Vintaudio
    www.vintaudio.com

  4. #4

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    I\'ve tried several libs in search of the same thing and the one that I\'ve found that\'s currently available is the Bigga Gigga Studio Grand 88. Real nice treble range, also smooth and really playable. I\'ve also got the Vintaudio Yamaha C7. This is also a really nice piano and can be made to work in a rock/pop situation but I find the Studio Grand requires less work with EQ to \"sit\" in the mix properly.

  5. #5

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Originally posted by area51recording:
    I\'ve tried several libs in search of the same thing and the one that I\'ve found that\'s currently available is the Bigga Gigga Studio Grand 88. Real nice treble range, also smooth and really playable.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">You might be pleased to hear that SampleTekk will release a updated SG88 called SG88 Plus that has more velocity layers (12 pedal up and 12 pedal down) plus releasesamples.
    And yes, there will be an upgrade pathe for SG88 users....

  6. #6

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Originally posted by Bruce A. Richardson:
    Putting Beatles tunes on the internet without securing permissions? Seriously, you think Michael Jackson ain\'t looking for a little cash right now? Call Harry Fox first.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Bahahahaha....
    Bruce, thx for the laugh I needed it.
    Who said anything about putting Beatles tunes on the internet anyway ?


    Franky
    VIntaudio

  7. #7

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Well, surely you could give us the first ten seconds of the song. (Or would that be too much for Michael?)

  8. #8

    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Jake, actually I was going to email it to you, that\'s why I found Bruce\'s comment so funny, trust me I know my copyright laws. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


    Franky
    Vintaudio

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    It has just gotten really strict, and I\'d hate to see anybody get hurt. You never know, Franky. People post all kinds of stuff here. I never know who knows the ropes and who doesn\'t.

    There was a time you could have made a fair use claim, but those are getting so sketchy we don\'t even do them on PBS stuff that sells only to schools!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Still looking for a songwriting "rock" piano

    Putting Beatles tunes on the internet without securing permissions? Seriously, you think Michael Jackson ain\'t looking for a little cash right now? Call Harry Fox first.

    Jake, I think you are misconstruing my information slightly, so I want to be sure I\'m clear in what I\'m saying. Yes, the pop piano sound is generally an array of LD mics, or a combination of mic types and techniques. However, there ARE pianos around that have this configuration and they\'re not satisfying you either.

    I think you may be chasing a holy grail.

    You can\'t hear the soloed track on any of those albums you mention (unless you\'re in possession of the session tapes), so you really don\'t know what the piano sounded like in the track. You only know what it sounded like in the mix, after EQ, after placement, after being balanced into a track and juxtaposed with the other elements.

    A LOT of mix decisions were made in arriving at the \"mixed\" sound, and the record was mastered on top of that, all before you got to hear the piano sound. All of those things weigh in. The track itself may have sounded a lot more like the very crisp and clean pianos that you hear in samples!!

    But the thing is, it would be quite harmful to the interest of final product to make a piano sound like \"Let it Be,\" for instance, straight out of the sampler. You\'d be really stuck with that sound. You can get to that sound from \"ultra clean,\" but you can\'t reverse the formula with the same success. You can sculpt out what exists easily, but you can\'t \"sculpt in\" what doesn\'t.

    So while I think it would be feasible for piano developers to consider more products engineered from a pop perspective, I don\'t think it\'s feasible for them to dull them down, apply much imaging, or essentially tamper with the \"bare track\" sound. You want the full bandwidth on the track level, so that you have the maximum flexibility in the mix. You want a track to be a track, and a mix to be a mix. They\'re two very different animals with different layers of decisionmaking applied.

    Perhaps as the sampler technology continues to bring mix/post production elements into the sampler itself, these modifications to the basic track sound can come in the form of impulses or presets which do not require printing them onto the samples themselves. I think putting a tracking piano in a \"mix place\" would be a very limiting strategy for a sample developer to consider at this juncture.

    And you might, if it really bothers you, want to consider investing in some outboard gear that will give you those kinds of sounds \"out of the box.\" You could go a long way with a Manley EQ or a really high-quality outboard reverb...but you\'re going to spend the equivalent of a nice car in $$$ to get those tools. At some point, I think you have to be satisfied with what\'s there, and know that in the final mix, you\'ll have the time and tools to get the sound from the tracks that you want. That\'s the whole art of audio engineering!!

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