My father passed away early this year. We were lucky enough to have a funeral before the COVID19 lockdown, but because all of us are sheltered at home we cannot go to his house and sort through the family belongings.
In his house there’s an AB Chase baby grand piano that I learned to play on. It’s out of tune and needs a total overhall, and we fear that it will end up in the junk heap as not many pianos from the Golden Age are being restored unless they have Steinway written on them.
I didn’t realize that I had a connection to that instrument until last year after I bought a restored 1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A. Last year visiting my dad, my kids were playing his piano and told me that it sounds similar to our M&H. I guess I gravitated toward this sound character as many pianos of this era (made in America) have the “American” sound.
So, to practice sampling and mastering the Kontakt workflow, I decided to sample my Mason & Hamlin Model A. When the lockdown opens, I’ll sample my Dad’s AB Chase for posterity.
Stereo recording was done using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and two Audio Technica AT2035’s. A brighter sounding Samson GoMic was used a bit further from the piano – it’s what I had. Add some reverb to the SFZ files.
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It's hard to ask for more
This instrument has a lot to offer - with the only negative that the samples have a little white noise that becomes very apparent when you use the sustain pedal with some chords or arpeggios. Nevetheless, it has so many options. The sequencers included are not worth it though, as it won't sync up to your actual playing, therefore it will create a huge mess. It also manages to capture some release noises and they won't stop until you turn it completely off.
One of my Pianobook Favourites
Pianos are such personal instruments but I have a couple in my favourite folder and this is one of them.
A gold standard for a simple, clean, piano
Really lovely sound. Very well recorded, and with a lovely versatile sound. Can suit all sorts of different pieces of music, and is just a great all-rounder.