St. Helen’s Steinway Pad

A beautiful evolving pad created from a Steinway.

The story

Popping in one day last week to my deserted, locked-down school to pick up a few things from my office, I put my head around the door to our main school hall, and there, in the middle of the stage, in near darkness, stood our beautiful Steinway concert grand, unloved, and unplayed for months. I thought it might be fitting to try to create a thing of beauty from such a sad sight.

St. Helen’s Steinway Pad was made by recording middle c and the octaves above and below it in a random sequence with the only recorder I had on hand – an Olympus LS-5 digital dictaphone. I then fed the whole 72 second recording through Valhalla’s Supermassive plugin and Arturia’s tape delay and captured the 100% wet output.

The resulting instrument, with a super-slow attack and release, undulates and evolves due to the octaves in the original recording, and provides a dreamy, airy texture, a promise of when the hall will once again soon be filled with music and joy.

Reviews for St. Helen’s Steinway Pad

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Beautifully warm, dream like sound pad

    So beautiful, so inspiring. I would play this for a long time. Nicely evolving warm textured pad is my favorite kind of library. It would have been better to have some GUI.

    Asuka Amane17 October 2021
  • All it needs is a GUI...

    I really like the flowing and almost choir type sounds that this instrument makes. I will say that these types of sounds have been done a lot, so it often comes down to the GUI and usability of a instrument to make it stand out from the rest. Unfortunately, this one doesn't have much in the way of a GUI or customizability. Adding those things would really help take it to the next level.

    Christopher14 October 2021
  • Beautiful choir like pad

    This is a super beautiful choir like pad. The attack and release are both really really long, and the attack of the low notes is even longer than those of the high notes. This last problem is solved very easily by changing the source from DFD to Time Machine Pro within Kontakt. This corrects the problem other users have run into where the high notes evolve really quickly and the low ones are much slower. The super long attack is something you're going to have to live with. You either love it or you hate it. In this case, I really love it. It's one of the most beautiful pads I've heard on PB. Excellent work!

    Sam Ecoff30 October 2021
  • Amazing sound with playability problems

    This is a fantastic sounding pad, sampled and processed perfectly - but! The low end is incredibely slow to rise up, and that makes it to not sync properly with everything else. Same thing goes with the highs, they rise up too fast, so their volume steps over everything else. There is also no GUI for controlling the attack, but honestly if it's programmed this way, it wouldn't work anyway.

    Alex Raptakis22 October 2021
  • Beautiful but some attack issues

    Like every other pad type instrument in this St Helens series this one is also beautiful, ethereal and enveloping. Its not my favorite of the St. Helens Pads. Having just reviewed the clarinet pad that i was absolutely blown away by, this one isn't as interesting. Its more mellow though and more of a "by the books" pad. Its still very beautiful but doesn't have those breathy tones if thats not what you're going for. I do find that the different frequency ranges seem to have different attack times which is kind of annoying because if you hold down a chord the low notes will take way longer to come in that the high notes. Again not my favorite in the St. Helens series but still very beautiful.

    septemberwalk30 October 2021