The old family piano. It comes to me now after the passing of my mother on March 16th 2020. She was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease (ALS) 6 months earlier. On that night she is in her bed, unable to speak, struggling for air. A ventilator, pressing oxygen to her failing lungs, hisses and puffs. Its soft timely heaving, devastatingly peaceful. The Piano is right next to her and I want to play something for her but somehow I just can’t.
Later I wish I had given myself to that.
This 1913 piano is also showing its age. It has a cracked frame but still holds it’s tuning. In the months after her passing the idea of sampling this piano begins to obsess in me. I want to remember its sound long after it is gone. It is only later that I realise, this is my catharsis.
This version is the MVP (4.4gb of samples). Samples for every 3rd note in five velocity layers, pedal up and pedal down and all of it again with the damper pedal engaged. There are two mic positions utilising three mics each. A full deep sampled version with samples for every note (13gb of samples) is available at www.store.phonographic.co.za
Outside (far left on the mic dial) was recorded with two PDA 4001’s for wide stereo and an SE3300 for mono fill placed just above the keyboard almost inside the hammers with the keyboard lid removed. This is an attempt to try capture the sound of the piano as I remember it.
Inside (far right on the mic dial) was receded with two AKG C414’s in XY with a The TUL F47 is modelled on the Neumann U47 FET built by Tully McCullagh in Cape Town as mono fill. The inside mics have a much closer stereo field but a beautiful clear attack which compliments the outside array.
I have given myself completely to this project from recording, to scripting, to graphic design. I came into this with zero KSP scripting knowledge and with the help of various forums, an online course and the vibrant community of Pianobook I have created something that I am very fond of.
This is also a very different project as it comes with some audio that is very painful for me to hear and might be a bit triggering for many of you especially after Covid 19. If this resonates with you, make a recording and send it to me, I’d love to hear it.
Go to www.phonographic.co.za/bluthner to submit your track. I may publish them to my site if there if enough response.
I would love this to be a digital memorial not only to my mother, but also to that person in your life. I hope it helps.
Note that this library has two instruments, for reasons that will become clear. The instrument labelled “Memorial” is what this whole project has been about and I hope you can resonate with it.
Special thanks must go to the following people:
– My wife Tania and my kids Eli and Noa for bearing with me for the last seven months.
– Murray Anderson at Milestone Studios for recording advice.
– Matt Gair for loaning me his TUL F47.
– Aki from Eastern Acoustics for a good price on mic rentals.
– Dave Hilowitz for some advice early on.
– My father for buying the piano when we were kids.
– And finally to my mother Lali Vossgatter who gave us everything, this is for you.
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
Love it-A favorite
This is one of my favorites on pianobook. There is a lot of character in each note, it is really deeply sampled, large amount of dynamic layers. However, personally, I particularly am fond of the bottom ~3 layers. If you can do some basic kontakt finagling, I would suggest adjusting the velocity to make those bottom layers very playable.
bu muhteşem bir ses... hayranlık ötesi güzellikte...
bu duyguyu bulana kadar o kadar çok piyano denedim ki... gerçekten muhteşem bir ses ve bunu yaşamak, tarif edilemez bir güzellik... muhteşem... ve bunu sürekli çalmaktan kendimi alamıyorum... gecem ve gündüzüm bu oldu... ama bunlardan çok daha muhteşem olan sensin... bu duygularını bizlere açtın... kalbini bizlere açtın... bizim kalplerimize bir ışık oldun... seni seviyorum canım kardeşim... Allah seni korusun... ve cennetlerine alsın... sonsuz teşekkürler...
Wow, what a piano.
First word that came into my head upon first playing this pack: "Wow". Favourite chord to play with this pack: G Minor 7. This is simply an excellent piano, thank you so much for sharing this as well as your story. Playing this piano, I felt like I was in the room. Plenty of dynamic layers and the piano sounds fabulous up and down the keyboard. The GUI is simple but effective, however the contrast of colours with the dials could be clearer. I will keep coming back to this piano I can imagine, thanks once again for sharing.
It's not just another piano
This is a beautifully sampled piano has character right inside its guts, and I put it that way because you can feel it no matter how you set it up. Don't get me wrong, you can tweak it a lot, yes, there are the options to do so. two different reverbs - IRs, two different mics that you can blend, and an extra-noise knob. I love to turn the noise all the way up, blend the mics, and I just let it sing for me. There is something to it, but you will have to try it yourself. I'm not much of a fan of the included reverbs, but its character makes you not to care anyway. I'd love a darker UI though, because the current doesn't do any justice and doesn't prepare you for the feels. Don't even get me started with the feels on the story...
My Favourite Piano - Ever!
OK, so I've just had this for a day, but everything about it - its simplicity, the story behind it, the love, intimacy and emotions that drip from every key ... wonderful! The review before mine see below says it all.
The greatest upright library I have ever had the pleasure of playing.
I am a long time Pianobook user and only recently created an account with the intent of leaving a review for this piano in particular. I have tried many, many upright piano libraries during my time as a musician. I produce out of my small New England bedroom, which has no room for a piano of any size. I've spent time, money and prayers on finding a good upright libary, and I looked everywhere. Keyscape, AddictiveKeys, EZkeys, Pianoteq, many other Pianobook librarues. All solid software, but their uprights just lacked something, and to this day I couldn't quite place my finger on it. I think I downloaded this set sometime in July, and from the first note I fell in love. This scratches the itch - you get a perfect amount of customization, warmth, detune-ity, high end, low end, and recorded in high quality and packed with such an incredible and beautiful story. What an amazing job Richard has done and I will continue to follow his work on other projects.
Beautiful story, beautiful piano
Delicate, intimate reflective piano, you can hear the history and soul in it and all the years it has been played. Fabulous, thanks for sharing.
Probably the one of most intimate instrument on pianobook
First off, I have to say thank you for sharing this with us, and for giving us that intimate connection with you and your family. Hearing the recording on the MVP patch brought me to tears, much like I'm sure it has done for anyone else who has played it. The sampled piano is a little too clicky for me personally, but the inspiration that the story behind it gave was phenomenal, and technically speaking its close to a perfect sample instrument, if not completely a perfect one. This is a beautiful memorial, thank you again for sharing this and trusting us with this.
I Cried When I First Played This Piano
This is a simply stunning piano and story. I remember first opening this in Kontakt and crying after playing it and reading the story to go along with this piano. I lost my mom when I was young and I wished we'd recorded her piano & organ. The 'memorial' patch and the accompanying sound is so real and beautiful and what an incredible moment to have captured and be able and willing to share. So grateful for this piano. I pull it up more often than Keyscape now. Only technical thing I wish for is a couple more velocity layers in the samples. but now just reading apparently there is a full version with this, so I will hunt it down : Huge thanks for creating and sharing this beautiful sound and story.