The Birdcage

An intimate upright piano dampened with a birdcage mechanism....

The story

This is my Wade Upright piano, this piano is and example of a “Birdcage” piano so called because its over damped and the dampening mechanism looks a bit like like a birdcage.

I acquired this piano about four months ago when me and a flatmate where looking for a small piano to teach on. We found this one on eBay for £5 so I borrowed my dads van and set of for Rochester. After lugging it into the front room of our tiny East London flat we set about tuning and refurbishing her a bit. We know that it was made between the 1930’s and 1950’s but beyond that we don’t know much about this particular piano. Theres no serial number or other obvious way of identifying it, and we can find very little about Wade Pianos on the web so If anyone knows anything about these pianos please get in touch, we know its

It has a lovely intimate sound, very characterful and the birdcage dampening creates a lot of mechanical noise which I personally think adds to its charm.

Due to our lack of any decent noise reduction software we haven’t been able to noise reduce these samples, I’m looking into this but I was really hoping someone from this community might be able to help me out with this?

Reviews for The Birdcage

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Nice vintage sounding piano but a bit muffled

    I was a bit surprised about my reaction to this one. I really love felt pianos so i usually love soft mid rangy muffled pianos. For whatever reason I acctually kind of dont like the muffled quality of this one and wish it was brighter. I cant really put my finger on why. I think the recording isn't as close and clear as many pianos im used to on pianbook. It has a more roomy sound, maybe this is part of the reason i dont like the sound as much. Its pretty dynamic but the release of the samples i think could be a bit smoother and longer. This piano still has alot of character, there are just many others i prefer on pianobook

    septemberwalk15 November 2021
  • Lovely if you have a sustain pedal!

    This is a nice little piano that has great character, sounds very sweet, but it has one issue that might hold some users back. That's the very fast and unnatural release that makes it very hard to play legato and slightly artificial if you play staccato or similar playstyles.

    This problem can be solved by playing with the sustain pedal of course, or if you just go straight to programming with adjusting the length. In this way you will definitely get the most out of it, but you might start introducing some slight white noise, barely noticeable and only if you like to hold many notes for long amounts of time. In lo-fi mixes it will be even better!

    Alex Raptakis22 December 2021
  • Great sound if you're willing to work on it.

    This instrument is missing an envelope generator to control the amplitude over time, and the samples are clipped off the moment you release the keys. The result is unnatural, and it really hurts this instrument's playability. After adding an envelope generator and dialing in the appropriate amount of release, things really opened up and this instrument became far more playable. The dynamic response on this instrument is really interesting. I can't decide if I love it or if I hate it. I'm learning more toward loving it. There's pretty good dynamic response, but yet it feels like the instrument holds back from the loudest louds. It's wide and appealing, but it also sounds a little out of phase -- I checked and several different meters confirmed what I was hearing. So, what do we think about this library? The bones are good. The instrument sampled had character and it was generally well recorded. The Kontakt editing has problems, but then again, that's true of at least half of the instruments on the PB site. If you're someone who is willing to dig in and finish the programming within Kontakt by adding an envelope generator and repositioning the start marker for some of the samples, you'll come out of the process with a really lovely and playable piano. If you're looking for instant gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.

    Sam Ecoff16 November 2021