Mickleburgh Piano

An upright piano made in Bristol, best played softly...

The story

This is our living room piano, made by Mickleburgh Limited in Stokes Croft, Bristol. It’s pretty clunky, but I’ve learnt to love that about it, and I think it’s most beautiful when played softly, with all the mechanics exposed.

To get a consistent, quiet velocity, I dropped my fingers slowly on to the keys from a few inches above. Not how you might play in the real world, but I noticed there was quite a lot of “good noise” happening before the hammer hit the strings; sort of a “putt-twang”, and I wanted to capture that. This makes it pretty laggy to play, a bit like playing with a huge buffer size; I almost called it the Latency Piano. I appreciate that this may not be to everyones taste, so I added a sample start offset dial (setting at 120 is a good fix). I also pulled the mechanism away from the strings and captured the hammer release so there’s quite a bit of control over the “clunk”. There’s a “tuned” and staccato patch also.

AND THEN!!!…. there’s the Impulse page! On inserts there’s some Road Bridges, A New Star that seems to go on forever and his brother bip4 which is instant Dura-swell batteries Ad’s from the 80’s….and of course a Spanglewangler. And on sends there’s the Splisherizer, the Splasher, and Sploshington on Sea ( my favourite resort in my shoegazey past ). Mix and match, or shove ‘em all on…and make a right cacophonous mess!!! Keep one hand on the master volume though.

I have included an EXS 24 patch as that is where the sampling started out, however, with time on my hands in these strange (A.K.A.annoying!) times, I decided it was time to get under the hood of Kontakt; so this is my first attempt at scripting. It’s a bit clunky, in keeping with the real thing I suppose. Much of the fine tuning was done in the Kontakt 5 version, so the EXS is a little more basic ( + the bug where release key round robins don’t cycle, + couldn’t figure a Scripter to do the pedal noise…it is there though, mapped to c-2 ). Play on!, Ashley
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P.S. I found a script for Scripter in Logic that plays note 0 with the sustain pedal. I’ve included the .pst setting but unfortunately it kills the sustain. However, you can open the piano on one instance of EXS and the pedal only patch on another with the Scripter attached then record enable both you get the pedal noise and sustain.

Stick the .pst in ~/Users//Music/Audio Music Apps/Plug-In Settings/Scripter

I’m sure there’s an easy script tweak to maintain the sustain, but my minds still spinning from trying to get to grips with KSP this last month. My “scripting” prior to this ended when our Apple II Europlus got crushed by our chimney in that freak storm of ’87; …..so I’ve still got a bit of catching up to do ;^)

Peace and love!

Ash

Reviews

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Be sure to tune the sample offset first!

    This is honestly a very nice sounding piano and the sampling job is magnificent, except for the fact that the samples have a small gap in front of them, resulting in a delayed response time. Fortunately there is a "Sample Start Offset" knob that if you raise quite a bit you will get rid of that. I personally am happy with it being around 100ms. There are also settings about every sound that comes from the piano, so you can really tune it to your own liking - and it's worth it because it has a very nice character to it.

    Alex Raptakis22 October 2021
  • Warm and unperfect sound

    This may be the most "Pianobook" piano for me: A lot of character, a bit of noise, a pleasure to play. The noise layers are great to improve realism. Tip: you can even keep only these layers and play them with another piano to add some mechanical noises to a clean piano!

    Fred Poirier16 October 2021
  • Awesome Lofi Vibe

    I really love the sound of this piano and all the Mechanical stuff going on, Theres a unique kind of brushy sound to the mechanics that i haven't heard in other libraries and the sample start delay along with the mechanics makes it feel really real. Its really warm, clunky and has a smokey jazz bar room vibe. I haven't actually used it yet because i think there are better pianos for cinematic stuff but i still think it sounds great

    septemberwalk15 October 2021
  • Wrong But So Right

    Playing this feels like driving an old sports car, you can really feel all the bumps and corners.. that's why I love it

    Leon Price14 October 2021
  • A solid upright

    The only real complaint I have about this library is that I wish it had a bit more brightness to it, but that might just come down to my taste -someone might come along and think it's perfect as is. It has a very warm, mellow tone, and a lot of attention was paid to the other sounds a piano makes as you play it. It's obviously recorded with care. There honestly isn't much more I can say. It's not a library that has me gushing praise, but I certainly don't have any complaints, and there is plenty to like

    Hidde Pieters12 October 2021
  • Standard upright sound

    The piano is a good choice for a standard upright with less fidelity, and a warmer sound with a natural ambiance. It's well recorded, and it can suits you well if you're looking for this typology of sound.

    Julian Doe12 October 2021