The story

I received this Yamaha upright piano as a high school graduation present in 1997.

I wrote the music for several of the songs on our first Maroon 5 album on this piano.

Then years later I had a strip of felt with tacks on it installed so I could pull a lever and lower the tacks in between the hammers and the strings across a certain range of the piano.

My friend Christopher Harrison and I sampled it in 2018 and here it is.

My first Kontakt instrument for Pianobook. More to come.

PS Sorry I didn’t know about recording release triggers at the time 🙂

-Jesse Carmichael, Laurel Canyon home studio (AKA The Helm) 2022


Reviews for The Helm Yamaha Tack Piano

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

  • Unique Piano Library

    This piano has a very unique sound that is pretty cool I think. It's well sampled and also very playable due to the 3 velocity layers. What's interesting here is that you can keyswitch between Staccato and Legato articulations with the Legatos having longer release times. I would recommend to try it out and see if you enjoy the tone.

    AndromedaX822 September 2022
  • Confusing but different

    When you download a piano, you don't really expect to see keyswitches and articulations, since these are up to the player. In this case, you get two keyswitches, one for staccato and one for a regular, which is labeled as "legato". The sound of the instrument is based on the sounds of the actual strings from a piano, and it really sounds like a e-piano to some extend. It is available in 4 full octaves and it has 3 velocity layers, making it very dynamic.

    The legato mode has set a slightly longer release than usual, though you can edit that via the Edit Mode in the top left corner of the patch window. In that way you won't need to really switch to a staccato articulation, since you can simply achieve it by releasing faster. For me, a release on around 170ms is good enough to get that result! I also liked the attack at +2.5ms.

    The sampling is alright, though the panning leans heavily to the left by default. I set it around 35R for a more balanced sound.

    Alex Raptakis30 August 2022