It all started when Christian took a hideous sample of a bunch of bagpipes. I thought to myself, “now there is no way that is going to make a usable instrument” and then I went right down the rabbit hole trying to prove myself wrong. Along the way I designed and coded a pretty sweet little instrument I called Oblivion
I ran with the interface and added 100 of my favorite samples that I’ve collected over the years. It turned out pretty sweet I must say. Monolith is now my first commercial library release. While trying to figure out how in the world I was going to put together enough sample material for volume 2 during a pandemic I had an idea. What if I used all of this amazing sample content on Pianobook and gave it back to the community? I spent a couple of months prepping samples and editing my code and what I ended up with was far better than I imagined.
Pianolith includes sample content for almost every Pianobook instrument currently available as well as over 300 presets. There are no round robins or the original scripting but that’s not what Pianolith is all about. A full walkthrough of the Monolith interface can be found at
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A new spin on old sounds
So, this is a really big download at just over 8GB, but what it gives you is definitely worth the time and hard drive space. If you can only download one sample pack from PB, this would be the one. It allows you to load up five different libraries from a large selection of PB sounds, and then you can apply LFO driven panning, filter, and pitch modulation. Rate is tempo syncable, and the LFO waveform is selectable. You also get ADSR envelope controls for the volume of each of the five sounds you load. So, while it might seem like this instrument doesn't really offer anything new, it gives you an outstanding way to try a lot of libraries without digging through your PB sample folder, and it encourages you to layer sounds something I admittedly would almost never do otherwise. I think this library is really interesting because rather than bringing new sounds to the table, it encourages you to tweak your workflow ever so slightly to appreciate a bunch of sounds in a whole new way. I think that's not only cool because of the uniqueness of the approach, but also because it's something which could only happen in this community where there's an ethos of sharing what we've created and allowing others to use it as they see fit.
The Endless Possibilities of Pianobook
Pianolith was by far the biggest in size instrument I've downloaded from Pianobook. I was very curious to listen to what it had to offer and once I realised what it was about, I was stunned. This massive project brings out some of the best instruments you will get to see in Pianobook. Some others are not the best ones, but you are free to try them yourself and create combinations that no one else will. The engine has A LOT to offer, seriously. Since this was done more than a year ago though, it would be lovely to see an update for 2021. Pianobook has grown so much in both quantity and quality and I'm sure it will be worth it!
Great Snapshot Of The Pianobook Ethos
This pianolith is an incredible snapshot of what Pianobook is and represents. While it would now be almost impossible to create a pianolith of EVERY pianobook instrument, when "Pianolith" came out, it was the perfect idea: blend up to 4 different or the same Pianobook instruments and also have envelop and effects per sound. I would highly recommend Pianolith actually as the first Pianobook instrument for someone looking to get their Pianobook "feet" wet.