The Felted Baldwin

An Untuned, Tortured, Forgotten piano gets a new life in sample form

The story

Untuned, Tortured, Forgotten, for over two decades this piano laid dormant in my basement. With it’s age, it has gained a warmth that would make any winter night feel cozy. I wanted my first sample instrument to be important to me, so I chose the piano i grew up with. Id have to say its about 40 years old. Last week I decided to give felting a go with an old dog blanket, I think it make the sound much less harsh then before.

Reviews for The Felted Baldwin

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Perfectly detuned!

    This charismatically detuned piano is one of the best sampled instruments I've heard on Pianobook, since there is no white noise anywhere at all. The character is immediately audible, and it plays well, even though there are no dynamics at all. Inside you will find two patches. The original is -5 semitones below the original piano tuning, but you will also find a tweaked one which is ALMOST tuned. But that's the thing that makes it stand out, because we don't always need a perfect piano.

    The only thing I don't like is that the sustain pedal holds every notes' release triggers, so when you release it you get a heavy combo that doesn't sound good. There is also no GUI to offer any settings so you are left with just the two stock patches.

    Alex Raptakis01 December 2021
  • Sharp attacks

    This piano has very sharp attacks. It's actually a little shocking that this recording was made with the instrument felted. It's hard to imagine what it must be like without the dog blankets between the hammers and the strings. Still, it's good when you need parts with a lot of definition. The "tweaked" preset takes down the volume of the damper pedal a bit, which is good. This is a valid first attempt at sampling a piano. It sounds to me that the microphone which was used during recording might favor certain frequencies while generally ignoring or filtering others. In particular, I notice the absence of frequencies lower than about 80Hz. I wonder if perhaps a highpass filter was accidentally engaged somewhere in the recording chain. It's also worth noting that this library averages twenty to thirty cents flat. I'm sure many lessons were learned in the creation of this library, and I hope we get to hear the next state of this sampling's journey soon!

    Sam Ecoff08 November 2021
  • Character Piano

    This piano has a very characteristic and untuned piano. I've found it difficult to play due maybe to a different sample start between samples. The instrument has a lot of small issues but on the other side, there's to consider that it can be part of the charm so, "fixing" those imperfections could be a disservice to the character of the piano. Maybe a more detailed recording and adding a non-felted one would have enhanced the lack of tuning, providing the user the ability to blend the two signals and customize the sound.

    Julian Doe12 October 2021
  • I can feel this pianos pain

    Tortured and forgotten is right, it almost hurts to play it, but it has a really interesting sound. The sound is very thin, centered, and treble, but if you add a bit of reverb it smooths it out a little. I don't mind a piano being out of tune at all, but I agree with another review that there isn't much felt sound and a lot of low end is cut. If I didn't know, I would expect that this was a little miniature toy piano.

    Ada Maskil11 November 2021
  • Authentic, abandoned, characterful upright.

    Does what it says on the time really. Only one dynamic layer, but I doubt that makes too much difference with this piano. Great if you need a slightly out of tune, abandoned old upright sound. I don't suggest using the sustain pedal as all the "key off" damper noises happen at the same time when releasing the pedal resulting in a loud "clonk". Other than that - if this is the sound you're after it's got character in spades.

    Mark Lord30 October 2021
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