Little Red Piano

30+ year old toy piano with crystalline sound

The story

I’ve had this toy piano since childhood, probably nearly 40 years by now. A lot of that time it’s been sat in my parents garage or attic. It’s seen better days: the wood is chipped, I’m sure it had legs and most keys are very loose. I decided to sample it to digitally preserve it, but also just to see if I could create a sample library myself. (I watched a few David Hilowitz videos, which are absolutely invaluable!)
The mic I used is a Tascam DR07x; and I recorded it in a tiled bathroom (mostly because it was the quietest room in the house). I used Waves’ X-Noise for noise reduction; and Sound Forge for editing.
The piano itself rings out quite nicely (it’s not really a piano, more like chimes) but I added a nice soft reverb and a control knob for it on the interface. I recorded 3 round robins for the piano and a handful of round robins for key noises upon release. I think it sounds both realistic and subtle (there’s a trend for lots of additional noises, but I didn’t want to do that). Just for fun, I pitch-shifted some notes to get a ‘grandfathers clock’ type sound; and also included a rattling sound effect for no other reason than I thought it sounded nice. All in all, there’s not a lot going on, but this is my first library and I wanted to keep it clean and simple. I will start thinking about a v2! There are quite a few similar libraries out there, including some here on PianoBook; but this one’s mine and I hope you enjoy it.

Little Red Piano (Demo 1)

Interface

Reviews for Little Red Piano

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  • A very good toy piano, with extras!

    This is a very nicely sampled toy piano, with perfect sampling, and unlike other toy pianos, this goes up to 3 full octaves with 3 round robbins! Overall, it has a nice resonance, with a clicky toy-piano sound that has this characteristic metallic attack. It comes with release triggers, some extra mechanical sounds, and there is an extra 2-octave section on the bottom that features a heavier and filtered bassy sound.

    It's a very well-made instrument for a first try, great job!

    Alex Raptakis30 April 2022