Rolling Piano

A beautiful and reversible piano texture created from a Yamaha U1 Upright....

The story

After wanting to sample my home piano for a while I got around to recording it at the end of last year. Hearing the many well recorded and sampled piano’s there already were on pianobook I decided not to traditionally sample mine.

Here lies my first experiment…

I sampled repeated notes played at varying time intervals to create a kind of “swarm” or rolling effect. It’s best played as sparse chords- I especially enjoy the lower octaves. The samples are all looped at different points so you can hold a chord and the same pattern will never repeat twice.

I was surprised by how well it came out- I shared the early instrument with friend and fellow composer Steve Francis here in Sydney. It was put to use in his latest composition for Bangarra Dance Theatre- unfortunately their production has been postponed like many due to COVID-19 so it has not yet been heard in public (it was due to open in the Sydney Opera House in June).

I’ve finally got around to finishing it (now that I have more time on my hands) and scripting my first GUI in Kontakt. I’ve added controls for cutoff, reverb and volume for both forward and (my favourite) the reverse samples.

There’s also a noisy pad as an easter egg if you find the hidden control!

Please enjoy my first of hopefully many!

Sampling info:
Yamaha U1 Upright with celeste (felt) pedal on.
Close stereo XY mic pair of AKG CK1’s into UAD Apollo Neve preamp emulation.
Rolling Piano textures, both forward and reverse.
12x looped notes over 2x dynamic layers.
Attack time is responsive to velocity I.e the harder you hit the quicker the note comes in

Hint: The volume for the hidden pads is a dark spot when turned off….



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

  • Nice but too repeating evolutions

    This is more like a swarm piano that offers some nice chilling sounds, but unfortunately I find them to be very repetitve in small amounts of playtime. There are also some "tappy" noises that also evolve which I can't say are pleasant. I love the addition of the reverse sample volume control. The GUI is beautiful, though I would have gone more with minimal and thinner lines.

    Alex Raptakis19 October 2021