Alex Raptakis’s Reviews
There is much room for improvement
It's a cute harmonium but the sampling could be much better in terms of noise. The attack might appear to be too clickly for you, and that could be fixed with an attack knob. The panning may seem a little bit weirdly placed. The key mapping should be more towards the middle of the keybed in order to match the regular piano range, but that doesn't affect the actual sound anyway. It would be welcome if the volume could change with either through velocity mapping or just the modwheel. Lastly, a GUI would be nice, even if it was just a nice wallpaper.
A nice guitar that could be much better!
This is a lovely sounding guitar patch that unfortunately suffers from a delay problem, which creates inconsistencies when it comes to performing. I also do not like the release trigger that triggers pretty much all the time, which is not how a guitar really works. It would be nice if there was a keyswitch or a knob to control that, but the GUI won't offer any options, other than just one wonderful wallpaper.
A simple and very wet synth pad, with a loop problem
Oh this pad is very, very wet, and there's nothing to do about it! IT is very well sampled though, and it has a nice warm synth sound to it. The only control that exists is the modwheel that acts as an Low Pass Filter, and to my surprise it does't affect the release. There is an inconsistent problem regarding the looping though. It seems that there is a weird noise after a while, that can be very, very annoying. I think happens mostly in low-mid velocities with the filter at the middle.
Dreamy analog feels!
Oh my god I freaking love this, especially the A patch! There are two patches included that offer a different sound. The only thing that bothers me, maybe more than it should, is that on the A patch the higher ranges are panned to the left instead of the right or center. Other than that, this is wonderful!
Wonderful sound with a big problem
The is one issue that creates small problems that hold this drum instrument back, and it's a shame because I really dig the sound. It has to do with the velocity. The velocity very low velocity layers are EXTREMELY low in volume, and that makes some samples just disappear. The biggest example is the open-hat and the ride when you try to play dynamically and moderately fast. The difference is so big that some times it's not like you are playing anything. Also, the hi-hat fails to "ring", stopping itself to let you let you hear the lower velocity which is barely audible. If this gets fixed, I'm sold! The cymbals are way louder than the other hits, but fortunately the GUI offers knobs to control the volume balance. Usually these come in the form of mixer faders but knobs are better than nothing. You won't find any other options there.
A nice simple bass is a good bass
A very nice sounding bass patch, that is very playable and nicely recorded - except for the to velocity layers that contain way too much noise for my taste. Speaking of velocity, it sounds very weak at first, but that's because it is very dynamic, so you need to keep that in mind. The more you push it, the more it provides. Even if you fully increase the volume though, it won't peak so you are good to go. The range goes from a low D to a high E. Unfortunately the GUI offers no settings at all, so it's up to your assets to shape the sound in case you want any tweaks.
Basic bass is useful bass!
It might not be the most unique sounding synth instrument out there, but it's a very nicely programmed one that is also quite versatile, so you can shape your sound quite a bit! And it doesn't only do bass anyway. The GUI is very good, but the "disabled" red is way too dark, so it's very hard to see. I also absolutely hate knobs that are controlled horizontally instead of vertically but hey, that's just me. Very nice though!
To the top!
Everything about this drum kit is fantastic. Noiseless, dynamic, properly mapped and with a perfect GUI in both terms of options and aesthetics. The only thing missing is a rim stick hit and unfortunately there are no toms. Personally I would like a more snappy snare, or at least the option to pitch it up, but I can't retract any points because that's just a personal preference. Up you go!
Good, if you forget about the organization
Seriously, the organization of this instrument might be what will drive most users away. You need to open a few folders to find the patch, then you have to select its main folder to load the samples. Once you get that out of the way, you will have some very nice bell-like sounds, very well sampled, but unfortunately they suffer from a very minor delay problem. The GUI has just a nice wallpaper of the chimes, but that's it. I'd personally like those patches to be implemented as keyswitches and settings within the GUI. Nonetheless, each patch has something unique to offer, and I do recommend them!
Not really that playable
This is a nice sounding harmonium but unfortunately you can't REALLY perform on it. There is some noise in the samples, but the main issue is that the attack is set way too slow, and there is no way to control that. In addition to that, if you sustain the notes, you may notice that the sample loop comes with a huge volume increase which is not really ideal. There is no GUI to control anything, so you are pretty much left with the default patch as it is.
Inconsistent velocities and other issues
For me the biggest issue on this instrument patch is that the velocities are very inconsistent, resulting in a very unbalanced result when it comes to volume. The different dynamic layers are spread way too much appart when it comes to volume, so they become badly obvious. I like the round robins but some of the samples are way more noisier than others and some tails are badly cropped. The GUI offers Reverb, Delay and Chorus knobs, but everything is badly designed. The sound of the guitar is fine, but could be much better in my opinion. It's not a bad instrument though - it will just be a pain to play or to program it.
Awesome cinematic sounds!
With a little bit of work, this could be an absolutely perfect one! This instrument features 2 patches, Hits and Pads. Both are fantastic and they work amazingly well with the included Low Pass Filter, that is attached to the ModWheel. I loved each sound, and at some point it I got some Hans Zimmer feels. The included reverb fits the sound very well, but you can only turn it on and off. Also the sounds are very loud, so I wish they were a little more dynamic.
A proper, simple xylophone
Similar to the Adam's Marimba, this is a very nice sampled instrument with a realistic and not too unique sounding Xylophone. The white noise is minimal but it's very playable. Same with the Marimba, the coloured notes are the ones NOT working, and the uncoloured ones is the actual range, which is quite big for a xylophone I think. There are two keyswitches that switch between single hits and rolls, but this is not indicated in the GUI, which only contains a badly designed Reverb setting. Other than those minor issues, this sounds and plays really well.
A fantastic marimba
First and most important: This is a great sounding marimba, quite ordinary, and very well sampled. At first I was very confused with the weirdly coloured keys in Kontakt. The working keys are actually NOT coloured and the non working ones are coloured orange. There are also 2 keyswitches coloured with the regular blue, yet the switch is not indicated in the GUI. Those switch between single and tremolo hits. My main problem is that in general, although the instrument it's nicely dynamic, the low velocities are very quiet. The included reverb is cool, but the design is not great.
Awesome, with some tiny problems
This is one of the biggest instruments I've seen in Pianobook, with an uncompressed filesize of 6GB. Inside you will find 10 patches named after planets and moons. Every patch has something unique to offer with many options included to tweak them so you can find unique combinations. Since they are too many, I will just try to indicate some issues that I found. Enceladus is a single pluck that doens't work properly if you don't turn off the glide time. It is also very noisy. Europa has the most white noise. Europa which is has the most noise, and Uranus comes next, and Neptune has a little, but the rest are good. The Pedal Mix knob set at more than 50% can fix the white noise a little bit. Also sometimes the Glide doesn't work, but it will if you re-select the mono setting. Overall it's a great instrument with a lot of features, but I wish the samples were not that noisy.
A thicc banjo with some problems
This is a nicely sampled instrument that suffers from some small problems, that kind of sum up and don't do it justice altogether. You will find 4 patches/articulations, and each one seems to have some kind of problem. Staring off with the Plucked patch, the samples are not that noisy, and the 3 round robins are a great addition, but unfortunately one of them is very prominent and not randomized, so every 3 strokes you will hear this specific one if you play at the mid and low registers.The Harmonics patch has a nice sound to it but unfortunately it has a lot of noise. There's also the Tremolo patch which has a nice soft and slow tremolo, and there's also the performance patch that combines Plucks and Tremolo via the modwheel, which doesn't really work because the sound signature is very different. The GUI is nice, but I wish the knobs could work vertically instead of horizontally. Note that the Amp setting doesn't seem to work on the Performance patch.
A limited airy vocal pad
Imagine this as a very limited demo of Exhale by Output. It has this airy vocal quality to it that might be good to some electronic music, but unfortunately there are no options to manipulate the sound, other than a Dry/Wet knob. This kind of instruments really need full ADSR control in order to shine, but that doesn't mean it is not usable by any means. This is also another instrument that features Kontakt support but it's not indicated in the thumbnail.
A unique and near perfect instrument!
This is a fantastic and very unique instrument that has been sampled near-perfectly. You can clearly identify the indian characer and it plays really well. It has a very big range, and fortunately the notes doesn't seem to be stretched, though the lower you go, the more the chance of you noticing some white noise. On the highs though, after A5, the rest of the notes are multi-strummed ones, so it would be much better so those were coloured differently, at least in Kontakt. I'd stay away from them though because they sound way too stretched as you go up. Another note: Like many others, this is another insturment that there is no Kontakt label on the thumbnail...
This is one instrument that shouldn't be overlooked by noone. This is exactly why pianobook exists, and it should be highlighted everywhere. Not only the idea is fantastic, but the whole execution is perfect as well. Big thanks to whoever participated in this majestic instrument! Note: There is no Kontakt label in the thubmnail, but there is proper support for it.
A teeny tiny dry glockenspiel
If you are a fan implementing toy instruments in your compositions, this will be a very nice addition for you. If you forget about the very stretched low register, this little toy is sampled perfectly. It's dynamic, it has no noises, it's panned properly, and it features two mics, Close and Room. I personally don't like the Room one, but you can judge for yourself. The instrument is very dry in general, but that's not really bad since it leaves you room to do whatever you want with it. Very nice!
Like a small warm accordion
This is a very nice sounding chord organ, similar to an accordion, which is the kind of instrument that I don't really enjoy listening to. Nevertheless, I can't say this is a bad patch. It is sampled very nicely, but even if I couldn't locate white noise in the samples, sometimes I inconsistently get a kind of fuzzy texture that I am not sure if it is there intentionally. There are some dedicated keys for the chords, which are kind of limited but that's the nature of the real instrument anyway. The motor noises are a very nice touch, but they might be loud for the average velocity volume of the instrument. The GUI offers only one open/close button, which if I'm being honest I can't listen to any changes in the sound or behavior of the instrument.
A different kind of a wet toilet lid
I really wonder how this sample ended up like this. I can really hear two parts in this sample, a more hollow at first, which then evolves into a very screechy one. I like it though! It has a little bit of white noise, but it's not too much. I enjoy more the initial, hollow-like sound, which does great justice to the lower register. I wish there was an option to control those in a way. There is only a Dry/Wet knob though, on top of the two Dry and Wet patches, which can be very, very wet.
You won't have to hit your glasses
Wesley did it for you, and it sounds lovely! The 5 patches included are very well sampled, and unique to each other. I too think that the Ping patch steals the show, but all the others shouldn't be ignored at all. The GUI won't offer any options, except for a Dry/Mix knob. It's unfortunate because the synth and pad patches could certainly use ADSR settings. The modwheel though is set to a hidden vibrato setting which you can use in those.
A super nice synth pad!
I really can't find anything really negative about this. It is a very nicely captured synth with included ADSR and filter controls. If you like such a sound, this is a must-have in your arsenal. It won't change your life, but it can definitely make it a little better!
Very close to perfection!
This is as good as it can get for a free cajon! Not only you get a very nice sounding cahon right from the get-go... It also comes with a very unique and extremely smart GUI, along with perfectly placed key mapping. The GUI will show you at which side of the Cahon you are playing, and you might realise that each side of the key map represents a hand/hitting side of the cahon. On top of that you get 8! round robbins, nice dynamics AND two mic placements along with full mix sliders. There is also a verb included. My only issue on this, is that the samples in the "left" microphone contain way too much noise for my taste. That's it! I can't find anything else to complain about.
Lo-Fi retro pad with inaudible lows
This instrument features a very warm retro synth sound, with a lovely character but also way too much noise in the samples, which builds up the more notes you stack on. In Lo-fi mixes it will sound great, but the noise is very prominent in the low register, where you can barely hear the pitch. Other than that, Jim was kind enough to include ADSR options which super nice to have on this type of instruments.
Suffers from very long release
One of the things I don't like about this kind of sampling method is that most of the time, the sustain of the sample drammatically changes between the octaves due to stretching. This is true for this instrument, especially on the higher registers, where you can also listen to the vibrato becoming very artificial. On top of that, by default the instrument has a long release, which makes it literally impossible to be used for either staccato or legato articulations. There are no settings to be seen in the GUI, so you won't be able to change that unfortunately. There is also some minor white noise in the samples, but it is mostly audible in higher velocities.
An amazing vocalizer-type instrument
This is a very well-made vocal instrument that would likely be a good fit for electronic productions. It comes with two patches, the basic and the vowel morphing one. If that doesn't give it a way, you can select a sound between different vowels, a e i o u. They can be triggered through the GUI, coloured keyswitches, or just the awesome randomizer that I loved. The GUI is designed very well, although I can see some users needing labels for some options. There are also ADSR settings which are always welcome. Be careful with the settings though because it can get VERY loud! There is also the Matrix rendition, and though I didn't find it too helpful, but you might!
A super nice metallophone!
I didn't expect this to be THAT good, honestly. But before you start: Turn the patch volume down! By default it has been set to +6.9db, but you should put it at least at 0db, otherwise you are going to peak in high velocities. And it is VERY dynamic, with many round robbins and a very nice and realistic resonance. Even in extreme cases I didn't notice any white noise, and you probably won't notice either. Sometimes you might get some metallic screeching but it's common for the instrument in reality. The GUI is very nice, but I can't help but hate the default Kontakt knobs. You will need to play around a bit in order to understand what everything does, but you don't have to tune it too much anyway. Super recommended!
Use it like a pluck!
The "clean" sound of the guitar is very, very noisy though, and the more you sustain a note, the more the noise is prolonged, so I recommend using wet, distorted, it in a kind of pluck - staccato playstyle. But even with this in mind, it still sounds very cool! The GUI design is awesome, although the cutoff filter doesn't work for me at all - tested in Kontakt.
Good for short bass lines!
This bass provides a nice and low-freq acoustic bass sound that you don't find easily. With that said, I find it to be usable only in the low registers, since the top ones have a very short duration. The bass is kind of dynamic. Kind of, because the higher you push it, the more white noise will come out of it. It's a good one nonetheless!
I just can't get to like this mapping
Very similarly with the Beefy Room Tuned High Rod, this drum kit is sampled very well, with no audible noise for me. It's pretty damn dynamic and there are quite a lot of options for snare sounds and many other. The problem is that this mapping is something that you will need to change your entire workflow for, unless you build a custom preset for it. I'd really recommend to Larry to try and follow the generic midi drum mapping though.
Very wet, resonant and kinda noisy bells
That's pretty much it. The sound is great, but unfortunately their resonance can be quite overwhelming most of the time. In higher velocities you will also hear some noise that sometimes lasts very long, and sometimes is nonexistant. The range is about 2 and a half octaves and there are no options to play around, so you are pretty much stuck with this very wet sound.
Great sound, needs better key mapping
For a Sforzando instrument this is a big one, and quality-wise, it's shows! The samples sound excellent, though it seems that they are slightly panned to the left. The worst part of it is the mapping, because it doesn't follow the general midi drum mapping, so if you are familiar with that, or if you have a percussion map on your daw, good luck. Too bad, because these sound very nice! The CC064 was confusing to me at first, but eventually I realized it has to do with how the hi-hat functions. Never saw that feature before...
Musical hits, but no controls...
These melodic percussive sounds seem fantastic to me, but unfortunately there are two problems that I can't overlook when it comes to featuring any instrument in a composition. The first and most obvious is that the wetness that comes after the hit cannot be control, which can make things very weird since the pitch generated is completely random. The second, less obvious thing is that the tails of the samples are cropped kind of suddenly. Since there are no additional controls offered, I'd love to see an Attack and Release knob, as well as a Dry/Wet knob, because the sound is really interesting to me!
Gives me nice wind+brass vibes!
This is is a very nice pad-like instrument that I personally really like. The sound quality is excellent for an ambient instrument, and the core sound signature really reminds me off brass insruments in the lows, and winds in the highs. You will only find one Wet/Dry knob that is really nice, but there are no ADSR controls. In general the instrument is really nice, but it's a shame that it is only labeled as an EXS instrument, beacuse it is also offered in both Kontakt and DecentSampler.
This isn't labeled properly!
I am not sure why this is only labeled as an EXS download only, because it actually supports DecentSampler and Kontakt, and it's unfortunate because this is a decent pad sound that I'm sure many would enjoy. The sound quality is very nice, and there are 3 patches for you to choose from. The only control you will find is through the mod-wheel which I think is a low pass filter, and a dry/wet knob. Keep in mind that if you turn the knob down, the sound is still really wet. It'd be nice to have a more dry sound with ADSR controls.
Needs a more fitting instrument name!
This is a very cool instrument, well sampled, with nice character, that doesn't match the name "Steel Glass Pads. The unique characteristic about these is that they offer a kind of retro sci-fi swarm sounds that blends very well with the included pads. Nice! For this kind of instruments I always want a GUI that features ADSR controls though, and unfortunately this doesn't provide any settings at all - other than the modwheel mixing feature in the two patches, which is a nice idea.
A confusing experience
The initial impression was good, since the samples don't seem to have any heavy white noise. I won't proceed to write about the problems - I will write about what I THINK the knobs should be labed as, because they are just plain wrong. Mic: Clean volume - Line: Noises, just turn it off because it's horrific and straight annoying - Amp: Distorted Volume, that only works on the highest velocity and audible if you turn down Mic. - V: Volume/Expression - FX1: Low Pass Filter - FX2: Reverb.
A buggy sound, initially
This is just one sample stretched across the keyboard, but that's not the problem. The problem is that the first time you press the key, there is a very distracting noise coming mainly from the channel. After that, the sample repeats itself, and then you can listen to the actual sample. It is a very wet guitar sound with some effects applied, but it is not really worth it.
Cute but unfortuntely noisy...
I kinda want a nice uke sound but I haven't found one yet. This one wont' do it for me either, since there is a very distinct white noise that comes of all the samples and builds really quickly once you use the sustain pedal for a more "arpeggiating" playstyle, which is fairly typical for such an instrument.
I want this!... but what can you even do with it?
I've honestly seen so many funny videos featuring this instrument, and I always forget its name! And now we have it in our keybeds, which is wonderful! Of course it won't be as dynamic and "real" sounding due to the nature of sampling, but I'm ok with it. At the same time, I am not really sure how such a pitchy sound can be used in actual productions. My only idea is if you overprocess it with effects so it becomes an SFX synthy machine instead. It's up to everyone's creativity I guess.
Simple and limited dry percussion
When it comes to percussive sounds, they sound very unnatural to my ear when they offer no dynamics or at least a few round robins, and this is exactly the case, but I consider such sounds closer to an SFX sample pool or something that can be used better in a more synthetic/electro environment. Also the tag doesn't show up DecentSampler availability.
Too many pitch problems
... which can be good in some odd and creepy scenarios! Nonetheless, it is fairly limited in everyaspect, and it also has some white noise which is audible despide the breathy nature of the instrument.
A great jazzy pizzicato bass!
To that very long and detailed description, I will just add that I love the sound. It is sampled really well with just a small hint of white noise, but it is also dynamic amd responsive. Though I am not physically familiar with the double bass, I am not sure about the release trigger sound. I was expecting more of a string-mute sound, which is often a little more metallic due to the nature of the strings. This one sounds more like a piano key release trigger, but I honestly might be wrong. Luckily you can reduce it via the minimal GUI, which is honestly great! I can't think of anything else that needs to be included in just a pizzicato patch. Good job!
Kind of distorted musicboxes
In general, this is a cool idea, well executed. This instrument pack features 4 musicboxes, distorted in a different way. Tape, Drive, Bitcrusher and Clean - which is also distorted a little bit. The common element in all those is that they are very wet, and unfotunately there are no options given in case you want to perform any changes. There are little to no dynamics, and there is some white noise well hidden within the fx-distortions. All in all, it is an interesting, but quite limited take on the instrument. I need to report though that in the Drive patch A5 is a C6 instead.
Fantastic guitar ambience!
This instrument pack features 3 single patches, Plucks, Pad and a combination of the two. My favourite is by far just the Plucks one, which also features a pad-like tail. Unfortunately those sounds are not customizable at all, and they have very limited dynamics. I do recommend them to you though, because I am sure you will get inspired, even just a little bit!
A fantastic classical guitar!
If this guitar didn't suffer from white noise, it would be an absolute favourite of mine, no doubt. Sadly there is noise to beard, especially when the notes are sustained. The dynamic layers are fantastic and the overall sound is very well captivated. I find the release time a little faster that I'd like, and unfortunately there are no settings to mess with it either. If you are looking for a classical nylon guitar, this is it!
Sounds like a synth-guitar...
For an instrument that sizes almost half a gigabyte, I was really expecting a more realistic guitar with some dynamics. To me though, this sounds like a semi-realistic synth guitar, which is not really that dynamic, and suffers from a bad, very fast release time that won't let it resonate. The 5 round robbins are great, but literally useless if the guitar gets completely muted as you lift your hand. Sadly there are no options to mess with it, so you are left with just the default sound. I'd also prefer if the entire keybed was shifted one octave upwards by default, to match a more natural position, since sometimes you need to switch instruments and you can't constantly change the octave settings.
Tons of character, but just one default sound
This is a wonderful idea that trully has a lot of potential and can be inspiring to many artists out there. The different timbres combined while holding the keys down creates a unique sound signature, which seems both familiar and strange at the same time. The sound quality is very good, but unfortunately it lacks playability, in both terms of dynamics and overall controls. It might be the right sound for you, but I'm afraid it's one of those instruments that you will likely use just once or twice.
A very limited swarm guitar
While this sample is recorded well, it just sounds like one sample being spread across the entire register. This results in the highs becoming fast and trill-sounding, and the lows becoming very stretched and slow. On top of that, there are no options provided in the GUI, so I'm afraid that, with just some minor exceptions, this instrument is overly limited.
Amazing ambience included
While it barely sounds like a guitar, this super extra ambient pad is very nicely done. While it offers no options to mess with the sound, the one and only single patch can sound either very spacey in the lows, and as you go up in pitch you might start noticing that the stretched samples offer a bowed-like texture that can be very interesting in times. I recommend you give it a try yourself and judge if it's the right sound for your next music track!
Better check the updated AMB2 version!
Although this instrument package features a cute and almost over-processed musicbox, the AMB2 features a more polished and much higher quality sound, with more options to choose from. This is alright, but it is much more muddy and noisy to my ears.
Shimmers, glimmers, pads and more!
I personally have never thought of applying such major sound design to a cute musicbox. Inside you will find 7 fantastic patches that apply many effects on a musicbox. I couldn't manage to locate any noise, but keep in mind that the sounds are very synthetic and wet. On top of that, keep in mind that those patches come with no controls whatsoever, so you are only left with those as presets. They are pretty damn interestin though!
Two very wet harmonic patches
In this little package you will find two pluck-like instruments that sound great from the get-go. While they are just a little dynamic, they suffer from 3 major problems: 1st, they are not configurable at all, which means you are stuck with their very wet character. 2nd, the samples contain a little white noise, but in a deep mixing session it won't be easily audible. 3rd, all the samples are panned mostly to the left. I found that readjusting the insturment panning at around 25R makes it much better.
Not well defined but definitely interesting
Honestly I'd be happy even if it only feautred the Bowed patches, but you get much more than that. Before you do anything, be sure to lower your main output volume because it can get extremely loud - especially if you include the noise-adding keyswitches on the top range. You can definitely use such sounds in horror folk or even sci-fi scenarios, depending on how much you want to be involved with sound design. The heavily customized Photosynthesis GUI offers some VERY deep configurations and settings, although to be honest you won't really need all of those. I'd actually prefer something more personalized and minimal, with a more clear perspective on what the creator wants to share with the community.
A very cool synth bundle!
These sounds remind me of old keyboard instruments made for kids, and I love them. It really features sounds that represent the entire orchestra: Piano, Violins, Violas, Celli, Basses, Horns, Trumpets, Trombones, Flutes, and percussion, including two mallets in the keyswitches, that unfortunately are way too low on the keybed. My main issue is that the low velocity volume is extremely low, so sometimes that you want to play smoothly, you end up with near-zero volume. Even if there are no further controls to shape the sound at all, it is a very cool pack, if you are interested in this kind of sound.
Nice retro-synth sound with a velocity issue
This is nice synth that kind of reminds you of a cello. The sound produced is nice and noisless, and there are 8 patches in total, 4 articulations and one pad alternative for each articulation. It is a nice instrument overall, but I feel that the playability is very limited due to low velocities being extremely quiet. I'm sure it would be ok if you were to program it.
Cool sequencing but very limited
This synth instrument features a fixed arpeggiator/sequencer, that unfortunately is not tempo synced, and it also breaks once you introduce a note that is not on time. This can create a bunch of chaos if you are not precise or if you are not quantizing properly. I find it very limited since there are no options other than attack and release. The velocity-controlled volume makes it very hard to be consistent too, so you basically can only use it on this specific tempo, and only by programming it.
Intimate sound, nice lows, harsh highs
This pad instrument features a very textured, string-like sound, and it sounds really lovely. It can be very deep and subby on the low register, and it can also be very harsh and screamy in the high. Be careful though, it can get REALLY loud, so I'd recommend you reduce the default volume at least -15db. I'd also recommend to set the panning at 20-24% on the Right, because it mostly favors the left channel. It's also nice to see controls for the attack and release!
Interesting sounds, with some minor issues
This pack contains some interesting percussive sounds, that they unfortunately suffer from some white noise, but most importantly they are panned mostly to the left. There are noises in the stereo field that - if you try to adjust the panning of the entire instrument, they will make it sound very vague. The sounds are also not that dynamic, and the harder you hit, the noisier they get. Maybe with tons of processing you might do some cool SFX but as it is, I can't find it very usable.
A decent and kind of wet e-guitar
This is a lovely guitar instrument patch that it's worth your attention. The sampling job is great. I can hear no noise, but the two velocity layers are obvious, since they greatly differ in terms timbre but most importantly, the volume is inconsistent. Even though you will find Dry and Room volume settings, the guitar sounds very wet at even 0% room volume. This can be fixed -up to a point0- if you lower the attack at around 15%. My main issue though is that the key mapping is so damn low! It should be 2, if not 3 octaves higher!
Suffers from extremely poor release...
This simple upright piano instrument suffers from a horrific release setting that renders it unusable. The moment you lift your finger from a key, it is the same as if you were pressing the mute button, and pianos don't work like that due to their majestic resonances. The only workaround is to use the sustain pedal, but then you will start introducing various noises that are included in the samples. You might also realize that the sound signature is a little inconsistent between various group of keys. It really needs some work to be done here.
Way too wet but cool nonetheless
This is a very deep sounding drum kit with a lot of character to it. The "room" sound makes them sound huge, but unfortunately there are no controls to get a more dry sound, which may be kind of a dealbreaker for some specific mixes. I also wish there was a more snappy snare, because the one included sounds more like a tom. The noise in general is minimal and all the drum sounds are VERY dynamic, which is very important to percissive sounds. I also dislike the fact that there are not layed down like most drum libraries. It's similar but not so you can play blindly out of the box. I'd recommend to set the volume to -12db because it can get really loud.
An interesting low bell-like sound
There are two patches here, the simple and the pro one. Not sure why the simple exists, since you can achieve the same results with the pro one - I guess it's more like a preset? Anyway. The bell is sampled well with little to no big noise issues. It has a deep bell-like sound that also features a bowed noise that I can't say I am a fan of. Fortunately you can control it or just turn it off through the settings in the control tab. It's nice that you are also able to mix the harsh with the smooth sounds too.
Interesting folk sounds inside!
There are 6 different instruments inside this pack, and every one of them is unique. First, the Bowed Lyre is basically one stroke that gets resampled based on the pitch. The sample has a little noise, and it gets time-stretched across the small playable range that is offered. At the same time, I really like how it sounds in the lows. It can create some really nice, kind of folk-horror sfx. Then there's the Elastic Mute which sounds like it has double strings, and it plays in single hits. It's nice but I very much prefer the next one, Firelyre, which sounds something between a harp and a dulcimer. This is by far my favorite one. Next there's the flicked lyre which mostly sounds like a dulcimer, and then there are two paper patches that I am not a fan of, but you might enjoy. All of the instruments sound dynamic enough, but the more you strike, the more white noise you are going to get. There are not any settings to play with though, so you are just left with the stock sounds.
Dreamy retro swarms!
Although kind of limited in terms of playability, this little one has an amazing sound quality to it and it may inspire you by a lot! The instrument produces this kind of swarm that reminds me of old arcade games. The range is quite good, and each key addition makes it even more interesting. There are enough controls to shape the sound a little bit like ADSR, but don't expect to do any major sound design overhaul.
A mallet-like lamp? Yes, please!
I really did not expect to listen to such a beautiful sound coming off of a lamp. To me it sounds something between a celeste and a glockenspiel. The sampling is phenomenal, I can't find any noise happening at all, but it's not very dynamic, and the very low keys sound kind of stretched and unnatural. The rest seems really nice to me! It also comes in a Kontakt patch which is not labeled in the thumbnail.
A more jazzy piano maybe?
Being used to mostly modern or just classical influences, this piano sounds more like something a Jazz player would like. It doesn't have this sweet magical tone to it - it's more rough, but also quite versatile too. Not that I don't like it! Actually, the sampling job is stunning, as this is one of the very few pianos I've seen that have absolutely no signs of white noise. On top of that, it's one of the most dynamic ones as well! It plays really well, and I'm pretty sure you will like it. In terms of customization, there's only one knob that lets you turn down the Release Triggers, but they are kind of soft anyway, so they don't really get in your way at all. I noticed though that the sustain pedal holds all the release samples and unleash them all at once, resulting in a big clunky noise - so if you want to play with the sustain pedal, I recommend turning off the triggers!
Not too wintery-cold!
As its title might suggest, it's not a very cold-sounding piano. While it sounds decent, to me it doesn't give me the vibes of hot cocoa during a rainy night. Not that it doesn't sound good! It does, except it's not really dynamic, and that there are some minor sampling inconsistencies that you might observe every now and then. To my surprise, there was a full ADSR settings interface which Christian is not used to include in his instruments. My biggest turnoff though is that its panning is leans mostly to the left side. I set it at around 35R and it got a little better, but still.
Only one sampled note? I'd never guess!
I can't really believe this is an instrument that has only one sampled note, because it feels amazing to play and to listen to. I immediately came up with some tunes and I was very impressed by it. Highly recommended! I am not sure why there was no Kontakt label in the thumbnail though - almost ignored it!
Unexpectedly good for a coffee can!
This is lovely bundle that features an almost retro-sounding pluck-like synth sound, which is nice, though I can listen some weird wavy noises after the initial attack of some notes. The percussion patches are very cool though, and I find them really playable. Though there are no dynamics or round robins, they have a drum-machine kind of sound to them, which can match really well with electronic productions. The GUI has not much to offer other than a Reverb knob that won't do much but add a little bit of room ambience. It's also weird that there is a Kontakt patch available though it is not labeled at the thumbnail while browsing, just saying.
Nice sound but uncanny sustain
This instrument is nice, a kalimba is always nice! I am not sure how I feel about having such a harsh sustain sound, since I am sure a lot of users will be turned off by it. For me the sound gets better the more wet it becomes, controlled by the one and only option that is offered in the minimal GUI. There is also the modwheel. which is attached to a vibrato setting, though it's not mentioned anywhere. I also have to note that there is no Kontakt compatibility label in the browsing thumbnail, but once you click on it you'll see there is an available kontakt version.
A lovely piano sound, with some extras!
I think this one is Heikki's best sampled instrument so far! The piano sounds absolutely lovely with minimal noise and nice dynamics overall. The swarm patch is a very nice addition. It's small, but it's pretty much each pitch shifting through its octaves. Nice! I continue not to like the GUI aesthetics though, especially this black Reverb label on such a background.
Not sure how this can be used
I really don't think I'm getting it - and the absolute unorganized chaos inside the main folder doesn't make it better at all. Once you find the folder with the patches, you will find 11 of them. Some of them like Full Organ and the High Full Section are playable like a normal organ instrument. Most of the others have something chaotic going on, like random noises or pitches. I am personally not sure how I can turn these into something creative, since I usually prefer more control over this kind of chaos.
The best house-sfx library?
The best part about this library is also the worst part of it: This bundle contains way too damn many instruments and I don't even know what's the best way to organize them! Perhaps the absolute best way to go around it is to have a fully fledged GUI with keyswitches and extra effects. BUt leaving that aside, these are sampled perfectly and it is guaranteed you will find some amazing sounds to play with. Warning: Some nostalgia may hit you hard. Gotta say I loved the Mouth Sirens and the Sidewhistles!
Lovely mallet sounds
This small patch contains three mallet sounds that can be switched through the three keyswitches. If I had to put a label on them, I'd say that the first one sounds like a muted celeste, the second like a very muted marimba, and the third kinda sounds like a glockenspiel. They are sampled very well with no audible noise, though you might hear some clicks if you decide to hold the notes for too long. There are some dynamics for sure, and I also have to mention that samples are shifted up an octave. There is no GUI to help you gain control over anything, so you are pretty much left with only those default sounds.
A lovely guitar sound with nice effects!
This is a very well sampled guitar with some very nice effects to play with and to find your own sound. It sounds lovely, there is no noise to be heard, and everything seems neatly designed. I like the addition of the "extra" guitar noise sounds in the lower registed - they are coloured too! I still think that the second tab of the GUI shouldn't hide any more knobs. Everything setting should presented at the first tab, leaving the second just for the sake of having some extra information. Also, since some keyboards don't have a mod-wheel, it would be more proper to have a visible knob that is bound to it, just for the extra convenience.
The perfect ghost patch!
This is a very well designed Kontakt patch that can stand for itself even without the organ sound. From the entire idea to the actual execution of it, everything seems to be working amazingly well - except one thing. If you turn up the electrical noise, the noise resets itself once you change a note. That's why I recommend activating it only if a note is sustained. Other than that, Brendan has you covered, because you use the lower section as an ongoing noise, which is in my opinion the right way to do it! There are 5 keys in the highest register of Kontakt's keybed, visible at the +3 octave setting. I'd actually prefer those to be at the bottom of the +2, since there is enough space. If you go down to +1, you will also find some more samples, more percussive ones. On a last note, I really think that the two knobs on the secondary atb, should just be in the main tab, leaving the second tab just for the sake of information.
Terrific execution, but sounds kind of muddy
A very cool ambient pad instrument that wants to resemble itself with the nature of dinosaurs. And it works, kind of. While the sound design is interesting, I find the "nature" of the two first dinosaurs to be a little muddy in general, as it is not clear to me what exactly is going on, Think of it as a very abstract pad. The other two dinosaurs on the right represent more sudden, almost percussive sounds. The coloured keys that represent each dinosaur is very thoughtful, and while the GUI design is amazing, I'd love to have labels on the knobs, just for the sake of it.
A very sweet piano with uncropped tails
The worst part of this little piano patch is that if you hold a note for around 12 seconds or more, you will hear an extra note right after it. Realistically though I don't expect that to happen in a realistic composing or performing scenario, unless you like to hold the notes for too long, like with the sustain pedal. Other than that the piano sounds lovely and there is no audible noise. I noticed that mid-high range is not panned properly, favoring the left channel more. When it comes to playability, the top dynamic layer is kind of up there with a big difference in volume, but I take that as an extra, maybe for the surprise factor, and not something that you will use all the time. Don't expect to find any GUI because there isn't one.
A staccato-only piano
It's a very well made, and very dynamic piano instrument that only plays in a staccato fashion. I noticed that the higher range has a much longer resonance than the lower one that sounds very sudden. Not sure how these two will make you feel if you play them at the same time. There is no GUI at all, so you are pretty much left with only that sound signature.
The sci-fi kalimba!
This is not your ordinary kalimba, at all, but kind of twisted one. The sampling quality is sublime, and the sound design is also amazing. Although it is not that dynamic, you will find a lot of options in the awesomely designed GUI, though you need to pay extra attention to where you need to click in order to access the extra Reverb menu. I also have to add that even though it shows as the range covers the entire keyboard, it really is 3 octaves long, and the lower octave sounds really out of tune.
Super slow attack might be a dealbreaker
The main problem is that there is a very... veeeeeery slow attack on every instrument, and there is no optin to configure that. On top of that, everything is way too damn low on volume! Like even with the kontakt volume all the way up, it won't even reach 50% - and that would be if you go really hard on the keys. They sound decent but they will be really hard to work with. Also I have to note that the file organization could be better. You have one instrument patch per folder, whereas it could easily be all 10 patches in one folder.
Horrifyingly good SFX!
Everything is trully good about this patch. It is made extremely well, it has a great GUI, great settings and 6 patches for you to play with, with very well sampled and processed metallic noises. The only thing I would like to see for the sake of convenience is that some patches could have been combined, since the range is very limited, but that doesn't take away anything really.
Beep boop. This is perfectly crafted instrument and I recommend it to everyone! I liked every piece of it, and it has incredible potential. I managed to find the extra presets hidden in the snapshot folder, and I loved them all! Everything plays really nicely, and if you don't like the infinite repetition of the sequencer, you can turn it off and design your own patterns. I am sad though because my previous review got removed because it was in binary... Beep boop.
It comes with 5 different patches!
This piano sounds phenomenal. The sampling is amazing, since there is little to no audible white noise even under extreme playing. There is a problem with the tails of the samples, because there is a heavy trigger noise that plays even with the release trigger volume all the way down. You will notice that if you hold pretty much any note over around seconds. All of the patches though are simply wonderful, but I especially like the "warmer" patch. Super recommended!
Very interesting resonances
This piano has quite a character, since it resonates in a way that I haven't heard before. It might be pleasing to some, but others might find it a little bit disorienting. It has a felt sound to it, but it also manages to be dynamic. The white noise in the samples is minimal, but you will likely never notice. The sustain knob doesn't really hold the notes. It actually introduces an extra kind of resonance that sounds like a deep verb with a pad-like sound. The GUI in general offers good options, but as a design tip, the it needs to be a little darker because right now the knobs just blend too much with the bronze-coloured wallpaper, and the font seems very pixelated.
Cute but noisy
There are not many things going on with this instrument. I can say that the samples are a little noisy, and the instrument is kind of flat in terms of dynamics, but it comes with a few round robins, so it's not too awkward to use. Even though it plays through the entire keyboard, I'd say that the actual usable range is around 2 octaves, up from the middle C, since the rest of the samples are way too stretched. Also keep in mind that the lower you go, the more volume you get, which may result in a very unbalanced result.
Way too many feels...
A cold winter night, a cup of chocolate, and the sound of rain blended with a mellow piano to top it all. This is a very nicely done idea, that is also very well made too. The sampling job is amazing, the GUI is also amazing, and of course the sound of the piano itself is very pleasing to my ears. There is no white noise at all in any of the samples, and the dynamics are alright. There is only one major playability problem that comes with the rain sound - if you play without the sustain pedal, the rain suddenly stops if you raise one note, even if you play 9 more. The problem gets "fixed" if you play with the sustain pedal, but the rain stops after you lift it. The only solution is to just let the rain play by itself without any notes happening. Do this and it will be PERFECT.
This is one of the sweetest pianos I've tested. It has a very shy character that hosts many wholesome feelings, even though it is very minimal and not that dynamic. You won't find any settings to mess with, so just load it up and go for the feels. I have to note though that I noticed the weirdest thing so far: The highest velocity samples tend to move way to the left, even if all the others are panned properly. Other than that, this is sweet and it shouldn't be overlooked.
Be sure to tune the sample offset first!
This is honestly a very nice sounding piano and the sampling job is magnificent, except for the fact that the samples have a small gap in front of them, resulting in a delayed response time. Fortunately there is a "Sample Start Offset" knob that if you raise quite a bit you will get rid of that. I personally am happy with it being around 100ms. There are also settings about every sound that comes from the piano, so you can really tune it to your own liking - and it's worth it because it has a very nice character to it.
The download file is quite big, and the uncompressed folder reaches the amount of almost 5.5GB which is kind of unusual for a free instrument. Suprisingly though it comes with 28 patches, which is fortunate since there are no GUI controls for any. It also lacks something else, and that is white noise - because the sampling of this instrument is perfected! The dynamics are also amazing and the range is really more than enough. I really recommend it with no second thoughts! A small note on the Bananana patches: The zither is panned mostly to the right for no reason. Gotta say that I LOVE the Backtalk patches, but I wish there was a Dry/Wet mix knob... In fact I really wish this had a proper GUI with keyswitches and effect knobs instead of so many patches. This would literally make it a 5/5 instrument, but perhaps it would make it premium as wel... It should be noted that there is EXS support, because right now it only shows the Kontakt tag, so players with no access to the full version of Kontakt might skip it...
Very nice playability
This is another toy piano for your library that sounds pretty good. The sampling job is good with just a little noise if your playing involves more notes at the same time. The three round robins along with the two velocity layers make it nice to play. To reach the top velocity layer though you need to push really hard, but the sound that comes from it is real good. Nothing beats the fantastic illustration for the background! It would be nice though to have some more options inside it.
A little unnatural way for note releases
This is one of those cases that one simple setting may not let an instrument like this shine. There is literally no release sample, which makes every note disappear without a trace as soon as you raise your finger - even with the reverb to the max! If you manage to control it some way, like with the sustain pedal, you will really like the sound it has to offer. If you do that you might notice just a little white noise inside the samples, but it's really not something you will notice in a full mix. The GUI looks nice, but I'd really appreciate a release knob.
A real fine instrument!
This little baby grand is sampled PERFECTLY, with extremely good sampling quality and fantastic attention to detail. The dynamics are far beyond anything I've tested in Pianobook, though I noticed that some notes differ in volume at the lowest velocity, meaning that if you try to play very quietly, you might get some inconsistent dynamics. The GUI doesn't look good, but it's ok enough. I'd like to see more options, and mainly the addition of release triggers. That could easily make it into a premium instrument though...
A toy-like harp
...that doesn't really sound like a harp. It has a kind of detuned and childish, but that's really what it has to offer for you. The lower range sounds very artificial and stretched, so the actual usual range is limited. The sampling is good enough to play a simple tune and not hear any noise. Other than that, don't have super high expectations.
A wonderful last breath
Right before its destruction, it left us a small bit of its character, something that will be with us forever. This little package contains 3 single patches, featuring a different microphone each, just like The Gimp piano. In a similar fashion, I have mixed feelings about the 4006 because it is too noisy for my taste. The other two mics though are fantastic, and this time I prefer the U67 more. The GUI is very similar to what Christian instruments usually offer and I love it - except the fact that it should be a little darker with less contrast because the white knobs blend too much with it.
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.
I am getting some random annoying clicks
Those damn clicks i'm getting are super annoying and render the instrument unusable for me. I am not sure if it's a problem on my end, but I kind of doubt it. I really loved what I heard though, I believe it has some amazing potential. The GUI is nice, but I should add that the modwheel setting needs to be added on the GUI as well, because not many people have it, so they need the ability to remap it. Not a fan of plain white wallpapers though, makes my eyes hurt at night-time! Show some mercy damn it!
Limited intentional imperfections
This is a bundle of 6 patches that you can explore some synthy and surely imperfect sounds. You will hear things such as random clicks popping, random distortions and pitch shifting. In my opinion this can create a very retro-cinematic feel, but at the same time it is kind of limited, especially if you consider that you have no control over anything.
Lots of things are going on
All in all there are interesting things going on, but it suffers from some issues. First, the EsaBells batch sounds great, but it has a weird click in the attack, so I suggest setting the attack at at least 0.82ms. The evolutions patch sounds really good, but there are some weird clicks that pop every now and then, and unfortunately the sequencer is broken once more, meaning that adding one note kind of creates chaos if you are not precise enough. As for the drum machine patch, some very interesting things are going on, but I really believe there should be the option of having singular, non-repeated sounds in some way. Same fashion as the sequencer, the "loops" don't syncup together, therefore you need to be very precise with your playing, or just quantize everything. Luckily though, the beats are tempo-synced, although they sound really bad below 120bpm for me. In general the GUI has a lot to offer, but the playground wallpaper is way too busy to host so many controls, so it needs less contrast and preferably a darker tone.
After you unpack all the files, you will find 3 patches that each one represents a different microphone - and all three of those sound very different from each other! While personally I am not a fan of the DPA 4006, I absolutely love the R88, and the U67 comes really close. One mic has more noise than the other, the accents are different, the space feels different. I suggest you give this a try, play around for a while with each mic and decide for yourself. As aside note, you get a nice GUI with some options for you to play around, very similar to other patches by Christian.
The title of "study piano" won't prepare you for how good this is. I absolutely love the sound and the character of this forgotten little child. It has, in my opinion, the attack that most other "felt-like" pianos fail to capture, ending up becoming too harsh. But not this one. This is mellow, kind, and a little shy. The release triggers sound great, even though you have no option to controll them. I personally can't find any white noise in the samples, not even in the tails - except for some minor clicks in rare occassions that you will probably never hear in a real scenario. Very nice work, absolutely recommended!
Hold some random keys for 15 seconds for a surprise.
Perform this test: Open this patch, push some random keys and hold them down with either your hands or with the sustain pedal. If you do that for 15 seconds you will get some random melodies lol. Other than the badly cropped samples, this piano has a very nice vintage aesthetic, but not too much. There is some noise to be heard, but it's very minimal. Keep in mind that at the default volume setting in Kontakt you might get clipped if you go hard on it - I mean, REAL HARD on it. If you bring it down another -1 you will be good to go.
While these patches offer no customizations, this piano sounds amazing right from the start. I absolutely love the sound of it, even though the quality isn't perfect and I can't say it's dynamic either. But just because of the sound it worths your attention. As a a side note, I need to mention that the Shure mic patches are not panned properly, since they mostly favor the right channel more.
A well done simple E-piano
That's it, a very, very simple and kind of dynamic E-piano sound, sampled really well. There are no further customization options, but this sounds pretty damn good from the get-go.
A smooth-sounding harpsichord
If you don't particulariy enjoy the original, more harsh sounding attack of a harpsichord, you will love this - if you are ok with a few notes having an annoying "tick" sound that you can't get rid off, while others sound very smooth. You also need to know that it's not really dynamic and the more hard you go on the keys, the more white noise you will get. Other than a questionable "old western street" photo theme, you won't find any settings either, except for a wonky tremolo effect controlled by the mod-wheel.
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.
I love the sound that this patch can produce. At first I pressed a very low key, like a G2, and it sounded like the original PS1 intro. If you add a lot of spacial FX it becomes even better! The addition of modwheel acting as a filter is great too. That is the only way you can somehow manipulate the sound though, because there is no GUI to host any customization settings.
Very noisy right from the beginning
The samples on this one need a lot of work because with just one press of a key you will immediately hear a lot of noise, and please don't call this a lo-fi instrument because of that. There are also no dynamics at all, so keep that in mind as well. The GUI is alright, and the included reverb sounds good.
Needs some work!
This is piano has a nice sound, but it really needs some work to be done. The dynamic layers don't work well together because the volume just steps up instantly instead of smoothly for the inbetween velocities. The mic knobs along with the release trigger knob do not seem to work for me, and I also have to add that the background needs to be darkened since the knobs being white makes them sit very weirdly on it. I like the extra tuning options though, and the reverb is cool.
A fast-release Rhodes
This is a very nicely done Rhodes instrument for you. You won't find any settings to tweak the sound - which I wanted because I'm not a fan of such a fast release time. Also, the difference of volume between the different velocity layers is very distinct to me, but it's not that big of a deal. That's just about it!
So close to perfection!
I just retracted one star from Playability only because the release is waaaay to short and it restricts you from playing so many other stuff other than fast jazz lines. If it had a release knob it would literally be one of the best Pianobook instruments I've tested. I personally try adding one through Kontakt's Edit Mode, but it didn't do anything. I figured that just a little bit of reverb makes it a lot better though. I also recommend turning the mechanical noises down since they contain a bunch of white noise, unless you want to go for that Lo-Fi feel of course... Other than that, perfect sound, perfect GUI, awesome character and very inspiring. Please add a release knob and tag me on Twitter!
Another cute little toy piano
This is another toy piano that you will probably like. Everything happens between two octaves, and there are no dynamics, but it sounds good. There is a nice GUI which will over you a few options along with Verb and Delay. QUESTION THOUGH: Why is the name of the instrument Little RED Toy Piano, but the wallpaper is black and white? smh.
A trully nice felt piano
It really is. Despite the fact that the high register is not panned properly to the right, the sampling is incredible so there is no audible noise - unless you go absolutely extreme frenzy mode with the sustain, but that's not what the keyboard wants to offer you. It has the kind type of character, a romantic if you'd like. It also offers you two different mic mixes, and a release trigger volume option, but I suggest leaving that off since it will introduce a lot of white noise.
A nice muted piano, with a few things to consider
In general this a very nice instrument that gives a pizzicato feel to the piano instrument. There are a few things to consider though. In the "sustains" patch, some keys in the lower register are missaligned with the wrong pitch, and in general, the dynamics and sound signature doesn't seem too consistent, though it's not a big problem. In the "clunky" patch, the range is in high register is very limited. The GUI is good, though I am not a fan of the default Kontakt buttons, and the wallpaper is really big for no reason. I can really find reasons to complain, can't I? :P
It's all about character!
This piano breathes character, inspiration, history, and magic. It's the result of creativity at its finest, honestly. It's not about velocity layers or design, and it's definitely not the piano to play your classic concerto. It's the piano that sits there to inspire you, and to inspire others as. The sounds that it can create are able to you teleport to a different place, to a different time, to remind you to be there for the moment, for the people, and of course for you. This is more than a free virtual instrument. It's an experience.
Flea market's hidden treasures!
Everything is wonderful about this little flea market toy piano! The sampling job is perfect, and the GUI is also very well done! I have only two comments: First, there are little to no dynamics, and the GUI labels are not clear enough for me, so I guess it would be good to have indications upon mouseovering each one of them.
Harmonics! ...with a bit of a delay
In the description it is being infered that this could sound like a normal piano, but it is actually not - in a good way though! This patch is not a generic piano instrument. Its envelope is shaped in a way that each key press really feels the sound signature of a harmonic, but at the same time it doesn't take away the defined piano character that you expect to hear. If you intend to perform on it, you might want to spend a little time to get used to the tiny extra timing needed to trigger a sound, but it probably shines through programming. It is very dynamic, but if you go hard on it, you might start listening to some white noise in the samples. If you go soft, you won't even notice it! You might also need to know that the range is limited, but that's kind of expected for a harmonics patch.
A Pizzicato Piano???
This is really a pizzicato style piano! The recording is awesome, and it plays really well, with good dynamics too! My only problem lies in the panning, as I can hear that the note fundamentals are not really well spread like a normal piano would be.
Another piano that is kinda noisy
This piano hosts some very noticable noise right from the start, and it's also kind of inconsistent which makes it even more noticable. In addition to that, it has that characteristic poppy attack which I personally don't like at all. Also, the fact that you need to press the gear icon to access 2 bonus knobs is a completely unnecessary step, but I have to admit the GUI has a really nice overall.
A pristine-sounding piano, with a delay problem
While this piano is absolutely lovely and sampled perfectly with no audible noise and awesome dynamics, there is a teeny-tiny delay when playing it. I had to double-checked it with other similar pianos, including premium libraries and it is in fact a problem of this specific library.
I HAVE to give this a perfect score.
This is a perfect instrument. Don't expect it to be a plain piano that can get a little distorted through some options and effects though. The sampling is amazing and it's very dynamic as well. Its character is amazing and overall the instrument is extremely inspiring to my ears. In addition to that, the illustrated wallpaper is fantastic and matches the feeling perfectly. The knob is assinged to the modwheel and works perfectly in both ways. This is simply amazing.
Another lovely character, but too noisy
The character of this instrument is very playful, and the GUI is awesome. The Pedalboard knob in the middle wins the show, but unfortunately, the noise inside the samples don't let this instrument shine at all, since it's just too much.
So quiet that noise takes over...
It is very... VERY noisy, to the point that I can't really call it Lo-Fi. And ok, I understand it is supposed to be quiet, but the sampled dynamic is doesn't represent what I would have thoft as THE QUIETEST piano out there.
The dynamics need a little more work
Even though you don't usually see more than 2 dynamic layers on a free piano, this one has 4. The problem is that the transition between them is not smooth at all, resulting in 4 flat levels that turn to be very sudden in between. It's a shame because the sound of the piano is crystal clear and the options provided in the GUI are very nice too. This could easily be a 5/5 piano, but it needs a little more work.
Suffers from low dynamics and heavy noise
There is not much to say, other than it has a nice sound but the sampling job and lack of detail doesn't do it justice, since there is a hella lot of noise that builds up extremely quickly even without using the sustain pedal. The dynamics are not that great either, and there is no control over anything since there is no GUI.
This piano patch sounds amazing, dynamic and crystal clear! I personally didn't get any clipping, unless I hit 2 full chords with two hands in full velocity, but that is not a problem if you reduce the Kontakt volume to -7 instead of the default -6. My biggest problem is that in general sounds very soft and I need to press very hard to get a more normal sound, but that might be my keyboard being too stiff in general. The picture is not that nice though, and I'd love to see some kind of extras, such as release triggers or a verb.
Basically reverb presets in the form of an instrument
Listening to those fx patches themselves won't really excite you too much, since they are meant to be complimentary to another piano patch. For sure you can use them as a pad-like ambient instrument if that's your thing. They sound great anyway, and I really like the idea of the Verb 2 with the descending character. You can't really tweak them though since there is no GUI, but they are indeed a good addition as reverb presets.
One of the best toy pianos!
The sampling is trully well done, the GUI is one of the best I've seen in the entire Pianobook, and the sound is actually pretty cute, and not too creepy. There are only 2,5 octaves though, and the lower one is not that well defined, since you hear a lot of the higher resonances. In the amazing GUI though you can find some awesome options that can turn this thing into an SFX machine. You really need to test it by yourself in order to understand it. Highly recommended!
A well-sampled toy piano
It's just an alright toy piano, with the good attribute that it has a little to no audible white noise in the samples. Some notes are off pitch, some low velocities don't register so you only get a click sound, but what you need to know is that other than the mid register, the others are unusuable since they sound way too stretched, especially the low one. Honestly I've found some much better made toy piano libraries here, but honestly you might like the sound if this one more than the others.
Lo-Fi with some
While it is indeed Lo-Fi due to the bunch of noise that comes with it, I'd personally like a more clean sound by default, with the added option to have noise on top - or just have noise running through the entire patch so you don't have empty spots if you stop playing. I'm also not sure why this is called "Practice Room" piano - since I thought it would be a very plain piano sound that you can quickly load up and practice. That's not true though because the main characteristic is that it comes with a nice Reverb and Delay effects, which you can't control too much but they can create an interesting sound. I'm not sure if this next thing was intentional, but I noticed that once you play staccato, the other build up noises just stop immediately, while if you play smoothly, they go on with you. This makes it very interesting as the staccato creates a very sudden feeling which can be used very creatively. The felt patch seems very low-heavy for my tastes, but it's always welcome to have more options for the user.
Kind of magical!
A wonderful and very unique take of a piano sound, which is also very well done and nicely presented. The three different "generators" mix beautifully together, and having the freedom to control the individual levels is simply awesome. My only issue that it's very low-end heavy, and sometimes you can hear some white noise, but that's all. If those weren't a thing, it would be a 5/5!
A good idea nicely executed!
The Synth sounds add great character the sound, but it's not like they are going to overhaul it, so you can pretty much always listen to the piano no matter how hard you go on the settings. There are many settings to play with, so I recommed you download it and have a look! Tip: You can get the default piano sound by turning off both Synth level knobs, and the EQ knobs at the middle. The range is not the full range of a 88key piano, but the dynamics are nice and the sound itself is almost felt-like. Also beware, the release trigger sounds can become VERY loud.
A trully unique idea!
I have reviewed so many pianos in Pianobook, but I haven't seen anything close to this one. The idea is that you can bind the modwheel to a head-tracking software, so the panning changes in order to have a more real-life experience. This is meant to be more of a performance piano, created for the players themselves, since the additional unique idea will be pointless in programming - not that you can't really use it without it! If you leave the modwheel at the middle you get a default panning position, although it's not that dramaticly panned as other pianos. The execution, the sound, and pretty much everything else are simply amazing. There is little to no audible white noise, and the dynamics are very nice. Kudos for the idea!
Has both good and bad points
This piano has some very good elements, and some problems that you mind find a little annoying. The good part is that honestly the character of the piano is very romantic and almost cinematic sounding. It is simply lovely and it can work well in many scenarios. It sounds dynamic at first but the two velocity layers can be obvious in the lower registers. You might also notice a small clicky noise right on the attack. With the sustain pedal on, you might start listening to noises as if it had a rain texture on. I also feel that this piano is best at slower and more romantic themes instead of fast and big sounding. The Roomy Hall slider sometimes adds up some fundamental frequencies that might need some attention when mixing, so I'd recommend adding some EQ to balance things out and get the best out of it!
Weird panning choices, but great character
As you open the instrument you will see a very unique and aesthetically pleasiing GUI. There are will help you tweak the sound a little bit, but beware, the knob labels are in French and I have no idea what they say. Also, I find that the hitbox - the way of controlling the stereo field - on the lower right is not very clear, especially if the mics are open wide - you need to grab it from the middle and pull down or up. The piano is very dynamic though and it has great character. The important problem is that the samples are noisy and you can really hear birds chirping as you play. The worst thing is though that in the Stereo setting, you will hear that the higher range is wrongly balanced to the left instead of the right, which is kind of a dealbreaker in many cases.
The proof that size doesn't matter!
Despite being only 80 MEGABYTES, this piano has one of the best sampling jobs I've noticed in Pianobook. The noise is unnoticable, except the fact that in some very rare occassions you might get a badly cropped tail. I saw that happening with C5 C#5 and D5, and the highest octave from D# to the last C. This is not a dealbreaker though since it will only happen only if you hold that note for more than 7 seconds like with the sustain pedal. If you really like it, you might as well just find and crop the samples because if we ignore that problem, the piano sounds fantastic, and it's very dynamic as well. There are also two knobs for blending the Close and Far channels, although I noticed that the Far adds too much low end. There is also a Reverb knob that it's always welcome. I recommend to check it out!
Kind of problematic for an E-piano
As the description says, this is not your perfect piano. It's weird in its own ways. Despite some having some pitch problems though, I find the range very limited and on top of that there is no dynamic at all, so in general the playability is not that great. I also need to note that no matter what I did, I couldn't make the GUI work for me.
A nice sound with extended options!
This piano instrument is quite nice, very well recorded with a little to no white noise in the samples. If you intend to use the sustain pedal, I highly recommend to completely turn the Release all the way off, since it builds up all the release trigger noises and releases them at the same time as a bundle of horrific white noise - which in fact scared the sht out of me at first. The different microphone arrangement is fantastic to play with, especially if you combine it with the included EQ. That way you can tune it up and fix some spots you might find over -or- underwhelming. One though though. Why the hell is the Reverb Level a horizontal slider whereas it works with vertical mouse control? Just make it a knob instead...
A quality surprise!
Despite not liking that much Pete's previous sampled piano, this one is a big surprise to me! This piano plays very well, with a nice mellow but distinct sound and no audible noise at all, which is very rare occasion as far as I've observed. The only thing I can comment on is that there is a very terrible white noise appearing after you release the sustain pedal - but only if you have held many notes when it was pressed. It has no GUI settings to offer, but I'm fine with that as long as there are no other noise issues. Other than that, this is a fantastic patch.
A very balanced piano sound
This is a very well made piano patch with a lot of settings to configure in order to find the right sound for you. All four mics sound very nice to me, and each one has to offer a much different sound. I found that the "Player" and "Board" ones have the least amount of noise, and the Vintage has the most, as expected. Some samples in the higher registers might add more noise in general, but it's definitely not a dealbreaker at all. You will find 2 Reverb knobs - plate and room, one to reduce pedal noises and one that handles the release triggers, though they are very subtle featuring just notes, not the hammer sounds that most other instruments feature. In general it's a very nice patch and I recommend it for sure.
Perfect! ...and loud so reduce the default volume
This a perfected sampled piano, hands down. It has everything - character, dynamics and pristine sound quality, as it literally has absolutely 0 noise. With that said, the default patch runs at 0 Kontakt volume, and I really recommend putting it below -15db, because as soon as you hit higher velocities you will get heavy distortion. I need to add that the GUI offers no settings at all, but the sound is so crystal clear that I can't give it anything other than a perfect score. Very well done!
One of the best and unique pianos here
While the extracted filesize of this entire instrument is 6GB, it's very well worth it, because this piano is very well made, but most importantly it has a very distinct sound that you need to check out yourself. The sampling job is excellent, the piano is noiseless, dynamic, with a very distinct sound signature. And even if that's not enough, it comes with some nice options in the GUI. And even if that's not enough either, it comes with an extra Felt patch. I have literally nothing to complain about. Good job!
A wonderfull sound with some problems
While the sampling job on this little guy is magnificent, I found that there are some keys that don't really respond well at all. These are the A#6, B6 and C7. Then on the lower range you start getting a heavier click on the attack, which to me it sounds like it starts at D#3, and goes through E2. Midway the timbre of the keys changes a lot, like if the samples belong to a different piano... Some trigger sounds are weird as well, but fortunately you are able to control that via the very nice implemented UI. In general thoug the piano sounds lovely, but those small problems may be important to some.
A BUNCH OF PADS
65 MULTIES, and 76 SINGLE PATCHES. And it's not only quantity. They are very good in terms of quality and variety. They are not dynamic though, and you shouldn't expect any GUI settings on such a large libary. If you find yourself wanting to tweak things out, better try to switch to another patch.
This has a weird issue on the last octave
If you are looking for a full-range piano, or if you just like playing on the higher register, this might not be the choice for you. It came very weird to me that starting from B6, the sound immediately transforms to something completely different, as if those samples were from a different instrument. No really, the attack is different, the sound signature is different, and there are some added resonances that the other keys don't feature at all. Other than that, the piano sounds lovely.
In typical Joshua fashion, the sound quality is amazing, but this time, the character of the instrument is something else! It really sounds like that retro-stereotypical ghost sound, and I think it's lovely! I find very interesting to play single notes and messing with the pitch-bend a little bit, but that's definitely not the only way to use it. Unfortunately you won't find any dynamics or settings.
Say no to instrument violence!... But maybe not this time?
Because Joshua has managed to pull some great percussive sounds out of this poor upright! I love most of the sounds, especially the more "snare" sounding ones. The sampling is great, though sometimes the tail cuts off very quickly, resulting in an unpleasant click sound. I wish there were one or two more dynamics for each one, because if you are about to repeat them, they might start sounding kind of artificial. I would also like to have coloured keys and better organization overall so I don't have to blindly guide myself to find a sample I like.
Incredible sampling job
This is one of the fewest piano libraries I've checked here that have absolutely no noise whatsoever inside the samples. Absolutely incredible job done there. The character of the piano is magnificent, more on the romantic, soothing side of things. If you use the Filter knob a little bit, you might get a true felt-piano like sound, which I personally love. There is also a reverb knob that is always good to have. This would be a 5-star if it had more dynamics, but right now it sits very flat at a medium level. Nevertheless, fantastic work by both Christian and Angus!
A perfect sampling example
This insturment might be about toy pianos, but let me tell you the quality is top-tier. There is absolutely ZERO noise in the samples, it has proper dynamics, it has good range - especially considering the fact these are small piano toys, AND it has an amazing character that can fit in both cute and terrifying situations. Absolutely perfect job. I wish I could give it 5 stars but the complete lack of GUI can't let me do that.
If you are familiar with the Thrumming series, then this is one of the best versions of it, featuring the clean sound of an electric guitar. If you are not familiar, these are instruments that produce wonderful semi-random notes that I like to call "glimmers". This one is excellent because it really has perfect sampling quality with absolutely no noise, and the sound itself is very soft across the keyboard. The range is nice as well, same as the acoustic version, but still we get to have no dynamics at all, which is not a problem in this case. Sadly there is a lack of GUI so you are not able to customize the sound any further than the default.
Another addition to the thrumming Textures is always welcome. This time it's all about that characteristic acoustic guitar sound. The textures generated are very nice and the range is quite good, although I am a bit turned off by the noise in the samples, which you can hear as soon as you press the key, since there is a small delay before the "thrumming" actually happens. Not a dealbreaker though by any means.
Fun but very limited
This is a very nice idea that is basically a piano that features a kind of wonky staccato playstyle no matter what you do. Some notes are off, some are muted, some are dead, some are misplaced. I was expecting to have a lower velocity feature which you can really create a piano to forte feeling, but unfortunately you are stuck with one somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind that the samples have quite a white noise in them. I got to say, I loved the reverb control idea in the GUI. It really got me some seconds to figure it out!
My wish got granted!
The Guitar is still my favourite Pianobook instrument, and I really wished for something like it but on a higher range, and this is it! Pristine sound, amazing character, very dynamic, and with an excellent GUI that now supports two mic placements, along with a Stereo image knob and a nice little Verb to top it all. Fantastic instrument by Ronny, thank you!
Not that quiet, but worth checking out
I am not sure why it is called the Quiet Piano, since the actual sound of even the lowest sample doesn't sound very quiet. It is quiet in volume, but it doesn't represent the gentle piano sound where the hammers barely touch the strings. The actual character of the piano is interesting though. The low-mid end sounds like if it was blend with a guitar or an e-piano. The mid-high ones sound a little less artifical, but still not the sound I am expecting when the title is the word "Quiet" inside it. The sampling is good though, with no white noise as far as I can dell, but there are some unwanted clicks every now and then. The worst part is that the actual release time is set very early, resulting in a very unnatural cut when you play more staccato-like. The GUI is very interesting. It offers different tuning modes but I honestly can't tell the difference no matter how long I test it. The dynamics setting is kind of a joke to me, because it doesn't seem to provide more layers, just a sensitivity of volume, which it matters only if you use it between 70-90%. The small mixing console for the main mics, hammers and pedal is very cool though. All in all, for a 3,4GB instrument size, this is kind of disappointing, but definitely someting worth checking out.
A weird piano sound not meant for everyone
I am personally not a fan, but I can tell you it has some character into it. I don't really like the attack of it, since I find it very distracting and not that piano-like sound I am looking for. You might disagree, and please do so! It is very quiet though, so if you try to play a little louder you might start building up some white nose that I noticed when testing it.
Very bad sample cropping
These samples are very badly cropped, to the point you can hear annoying clickly sounds right before the note fades out, which is a dealbreaker if you are improvising over an ambient theme with the sustain pedal on. The noise builds up quickly and everything starts to sound mechanical. It has a nice character though and it's very playable for shorter and quicker phrases.
I can barely hear it...
This piano has quite a few problems. The lower range - before the middle C - is louder, and after begines to be VERY quiet, and the two dynamic layers don't help at all. On top of that, there are some clicks to be heard every now and then if you try to play with the sustain pedal, and then noise gets built up relatively quickly. It definitely need some work to be done and unfortunately I can't recommend it.
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 noticable and only if you like to hold many notes for long amounts of time. In lo-fi mixes it will be even better!
A peaceful piano from afar
The only thing that bothers me is the flippin release trigger on the sustain pedal, which becomes very apparent if you hit the notes you want to hold very hard. Speaking of high velocities, in general you will have one dynamic layer which happens to be very quiet - and one VERY LOUD that can only be used by itself, because the volume difference is huge - so you can't really play very dynamic phrasings with this one.
This harmonium can get really creepy
Like, it is seriously gritty and heavy. The higher registers seem that came out straight from a horror film right before, after, or during a screamer scene. Damn! The lows can be a little more atmospheric, without losing the gritty character though. The very first notes though though are very interesting. Sadly there are no dynamics, filters or any settings to control the sound at all, so you will need to figure that out on your own.
Creepy little piano!
It's really a small, broken beaten toy piano, that is also really dynamic as well! There is also a weird thing about the range of the instrument. I don't know what lead to that decision, but its range is set far low, to the point that you need to go an octave down in the settings of an 88 key, and it's not because it goes too deep in pitch. This obstructs the playability by a lot in my opinion. The samples contain a little white noise but that shouldn't be the problem considering the broken nature of the instrument in general.
Unfortunate lack of dynamics
This is a kind of big piano library, with a hefty size of 1.2GB. I was expecting it to be a little more dynamic but it seems like it's just one layer despite the big filesize. In the lower registers you will surely notice the attack of the keys being more prominent. You can still hear it as you go higher but to me it doesn't seem that distinct, probably due to the frequencies of the sample. The noise cannot be controled since there are no options in the GUI at all. Overall it's a good sound, but be prepared for no dynamics.
Nice hammery felt sound
If you are looking for a kind of percussive yet still felt sounding piano, this might be a good choice for you. It's not dynamic at all, but it might have the sound you are looking for - though I have to say that I've found many other similar sounding ones with a more controlled noise. This one is a little bit noisy for sure, but it's not like you can easily spot it.
Anime-like tone maybe?
Not to be confused with the DAW from Presonus, this wonderfully sounding piano feels very intimate, and it kind of gave me anime-piano vibes - not really sure why. It is a bit on the noisy side, but you will notice it only if you use the sustain pedal. If you do that you might also hear a terrible sample for when you press the pedal. You can't switch it off, but if you really like the instrument I suggest finding the sample and just deleting it. The piano also has kind of good dynamics, definitely doesn't fall flat there. I also really like the chosen photo, but this font is horrendous lol.
Wonderful sound overall!
This seems that it has been sampled really well, with a nice intimate sound and just a little bit of noise that can be mostly turned of if you turn the volume of the release samples. There are 3 mics offered and the GUI does a good job telling you about them. The worst part about this instrument is that low velocity sounds like turned down normal velocity, which doesn't seem proper for more quiet, smoother playstyles. Other than that, it's a fantastic instrument!
Sinewaves and delays!
It's really in the title of the instrument. It's a sinewave generator that is being processed with delays and other effects, that in the end produce glimmers or little swarms. Inside you will find 20 single patches and and 20 multis, and each one offers a slightly different take. If you are not happy with those, you can still mess around with the settings provided in the GUI. In my opinion, I find it most useful when the Low Pass Filter is set at least at 60%, so it cuts most of the harshness. In this wave you might feel some goold old 8bit nostalgia.
Not too shabby, could be better
It does sound old, but it doesn't sing well to me. Its very low dynamic range doesn't make it better either. There is some noise in the samples, but you won't easily notice, unless you go heavy with the sustain pedal. The low range suffers from a weird click on right on the attack of the sample, which can make it very unpleasant. If you let some notes die with the sustain on, you might also notice some clicks in the end of the samples.
Suffers from poor velocity settings
The main problem on this one is that there are two dynamic layers that don't work well together, since the volume difference is way too high. Besides that, there is some white noise that can be built up if you are playing many notes with the sustain on, but other than that you should be fine if you are ok with the velocity problem. Though I don't like the green colors, the GUI is nice enough.
Wonky for sure
This is a piano with no dynamics and little to no sustain. Some sample tails have weirld clicks on them, and in general it is noisy. It is indeed wonky though since some pitches are off, so it might be good for your project.
Kinda noisy, has potential!
It's a very cute piano that has great potential. There are two mic positions included, Close and Ambient. I'd recommend you stick more to the close one, because while the ambient mic offers a great open sound, it introduces a lot of white noise. The tail of the samples are quite long but there are also some unwanted noises there too.
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.
The harsh attack takes away the softness...
It has a very distinct attack that doesn't make it that soft to me. The tail of the sample is quite soft though, can't deny that. The long lasting samples have some slight background noises but it's not a big deal. The GUI provides ADSR, Hold and Reverb controls which are always welcome.
The perfect soft piano!
The sampling is amazing, there is absolutely no noise at all. It is shy, but it is also very dynamic. If this had a GUI with some settings, it would be a 5/5 no doubt. It really is, a perfect soft piano. The title should give it away, for more people to discover it!
A cool noisy organ
This organ feels quite unique with a lot of character, and that character is noisy and airy. So if you are looking for something similar, then you should definitely check this out! The GUI provides four different knobs, one of them being Dynamics which I feel is a LPF instead. I'd like to have the option to turn the noise down, and the ability to control the ADSR evelope would be great.
Limited strumming guitar chords
This is a rather simple patch with just a few strummed chords in a typical pop rhythm. You might notice that the strummed parts are tempo-synced, but unfortunately the very first strummed chord - the one who goes a little harder - goes out of sync, so it pretty much beats the purpose. The pads included are a bonus, but they don't offer much. The newer CAGED instrument from the same artist is more sophisticated although considerably harder to perform with.
A kindly percussive piano
This is a very warm and wholesome piano sound, very fun to play with. It features a somehow percussive attack, and release triggers that unfortunately are kind of loud, which can produce the following problem: If you try to play one note after the other, the sound of the next becomes slightly boomy - not suggested for playing with headphones, as it can be physically irritating to the ear.
Amazingly sampled, very well-thought execution!
This instrument has a premium quality to it, with with near perfect GUI, tons of options, and my favourite - an awesome high velocity kickass sample! This should be an instant-download to anyone who does not own a guitar or simply are not consistent or confident enough with their playing. Excellent! My only small complain is that it could use another octave for sure, for those shred moments you know, and that the buttons were customized instead of the mediocre Kontakt defaults. Oh and please, don't put compressed folders into compressed folders...
Very bad performance design
Rant time: I am very familiar with the CAGED system and I get how this can be very interesting for many people who either do not own a guitar or can't play that well. Putting it in a sampled instrument like this one is a very cool idea, but the actual implementetion of this one is questionable. First and foremost, why is there absolutely no clue that you need a sustain pedal to access the open chords, which is the main purpose anyway? What if the user has a simple midi keyboard with no sustain pedal? How are they supposed to perform? You are expecting them to sit down and program everything? Here's the solution: USE KEYSWITCHES in the form of triggers, and make the open chords requiring no triggering. Also, why is the Reverb so well hidden in the GUI? It would be better if it was set at 10% so the user can actually see quickly that this is a user-configurable option. The good thing is that this is very well sampled, there is no audible noise and it simply works. A great additional option would be a way to switch between major and minor harmonies.
Cool character doomed by unwanted noises...
While this has a very interesting character, the samples leave a tail of some textured noises if you hold them for long. You will more likely find some weird cracky clicks on the mid-low register, especially if you go harder there. The Palm-Muted-Upright.png image is missing from the folder. It can be found in the DecentSampler pack but it's an oversized .jpg instead. Unfortunately there are too many issues to really bother with this one...
Beautiful but with a VERY big release
This instrument offers very lovely and nicely coloured sounds that you might really be interested in. My problem is that the release in some is so damn high even with the two effects included are completely off. This can result in the high notes producing some very harsh frequencies that will definitely need to be tuned in the mix. The setup process was annoying, since you have to assing every patch with the n3.nkr file. If you try to sing the .nki, you will get a broken GUI. This problem might be because of the special "3" character in the filename. Try not to use those in your files please!
Another interesting lovechild
Super nicely recorded as always, this awesome patch combines the sounds of a piano and a guitar in a very successful way. I especially enjoy soloing the Reversed patch that can be found inside the MultiVerse multi, because I loved how the reversed tail ends up in the piano's defined attack. Lovely!
Tons of percussive sounds, badly organized
There are A TON of percussive sounds in this patch - way too many in fact. They are placed in a way that you constantly need to search for them. In order not to spend 10 minutes for finding one sound, this clearly needs coloured keys and labels on the GUI. They also need to be grouped better, becauses some very similar sounds are way further appart. More dynamics and round robbins would make this simply amazing, because with just one sample per hit, if you want to repeat it it will sound artificial.
The sound matches the name very well
Another great and quality sounding patch by Joshua. This Sometimes the high notes produce some harsh frequencies, so be sure to monitor that while mixing.
By default the sound is very wonky, but you can fix that by lowering the FX knob, which is like if the piano was playing through an old radio. Not sure why this even exists, and really unsure why this is the default. The sound is not bad, but it's not great either. If you increase the volume, you will definitely hear some white noise too. I personally dislike the attack, which is too clicky for my taste, but you might like it. There is also a knob where you can set the volume of release triggers, always nice addition. Graphics tip: the logo should be inversed.
Good upgrade, but still noisy
The non-deluxe version had some problems. Some are fixed, but some others are still here. The main one is the white noise that surrounds every sample, especially on the high velocity layer where you can really hear a very harsh attack. There are still badly cropped samples with background noises such as bird chirping in very rare cases. You won't easily notice them though, unless you like holding notes for way too long. The GUI has nothing to offer. I also need to add that while this is a 500MB instrument, the dowload is nearly 2GB because of the inclusion of the original samples. Is this really needed?
There is a Deluxe version out
This is a very simple piano library that has been updated by another "Deluxe" version from the same creator. The sound is slightly different there though. This one is smoother and a little darker, but it suffers from white noise, and if you hold the keys for too long you might listen some birds chirping in the background. Sometimes the sharp attack is just too loud, overhauling the pitch in some cases. I recommend checking it out the updated version anyway.
Interesting sounds that suffere from clicks
There sound provided is nice though slightly right-pan favoured. I noticed though that I was gettng a few random unpleasant "clicks" even though my computer was sitting at 1% usage. I figured to test a few things out and I realised it might be part of the sample, because if you set the "Group Sample Start" knob after the middle, you will get it all the time. The GUI wallpaper is horrifying, but I have to say that the controls are all over the place and the aesthetic between the assets is completely different. It is nice that it offers many fx options, but be careful because they can increase the overall volume a lot.
Masterfully sampled, but suffers from a too fast release
I feel it's a shame that such an amazing sampling job almost goes to waste because of a small setting. This is a beautiful sounding piano that suffers from a terribly fast release envelope setting. This basically means that as soon as you leave the note, the piano just mutes in a very unnatural way. I really wish this was not a problem. I tested the V4 by the way, which I assume is the best one so far.
Nice lows and mids!
Though not so dynamic, the sampling on this one is great and I was unable to locate any noticable white noise! I find the attack being a little sharp, and in general I don't enjoy this specific sound that characterizes the high range. I also don't like the way too sudden release if you play staccato-style. The difference between the simple and the lead patch is that in the lead there is a Delay added, which sadly is not even tempo synced. The pad is nice, but it's more like the instrument itself with a high attack setting. The GUI has nothing to offer, just an image of this beautiful guitar that I once wanted to get but never did!
Beautful ambiences as always
My only complain is that some patches can get very loud and while the release is short and the attack long, there might be a "gap" when changing chords. The sub is the least interesting to me, because it the duration after the stretching is way too different between the keys. Since it's restricted in the low range only, i'd also wanted it to be spread equally in the stero field, because right now it favours the left channel. The beats patch is quite a bonus, very fun to play!
One of the best sampled Pianos in Pianobook
This is a must-download for anyone who is looking to up their piano librariy. The quality of the sampling is top-notch and the piano is dynamic too - though the high velocity layers are very loud, so I suggest turning the patch volume down a bit to avoid any possible distortion. The lower velocity samples are very quiet too, but the actual dynamic layers are just two as mentioned in the description. The bonus fx patch lets you do some things such as adding fx or turning the release noises down, which is always welcome.
Marimba AND Ripples!
This is both a normal marimba with the EXTRA options of turning it into a small swarm. The sampling is done nicely, although you might feel the low-end kindof boosted. The noise is not that bad, as you will only be able to hear it if you mash a bunch of notes together with the sustain pedal. It's not that dynamic but it gets the job done. The GUI in my opinion needs some work. The wallpaper is a terrble choice because the black gaps of the instrument mess with the contrast of the actual interfece, which is the important part. Also, when it comes to puting text notes and labels, try not to cramp them together. The Low Cut button is right next to the Volume CC label as if the button affects both...
A cute little toy piano
If you are looking for a harsh toy piano, this is it! Though it has a very low range of just 3 octaves, this cute little guy has a lot to say. The sampling job is very good and it's quite dynamic as well! With that said, make sure to reduce the noise to at leat -6db because it can get pretty damn loud. Nice one!
Noise doesn't automatically mean Lo-Fi
Sorry in advance, but I am going to be very harsh on this one. This piano is way too noisy, and the noise is inconsistent. If the creator wanted indeed to create a lo-fi piano, this is not the proper way to do it. The lo-fi noise is supposed to consistent by being on top of all the samples. Right now it is integrated inside the samples, and this make it very inconsistent when playing it, since the volume of the noise goes up and down depending on what is being played. My assumption is that the smaples turned out to be very noisy and the creator just called it lo-fi. I could be wrong, but that's my take.
Heavy noise and balance issues
Unfotunately there is too much noise going on here, and the panning is very left-sided. The dynamics are low and the attack is really weird in my opinion. There is not anything else to comment on, other that I suggest you look for something else.
Optional magic included!
Although there are some noise problems from the sampling, this piano has trully incredible potential. The piano sound itself is very nice, with extra trigger sounds included that you can volume-adjust to your liking. The magic starts when you introduce the Octave and Reverse effects! You just have to witness them yourself in order to appreciate them. I'd personally like a smoother attack on the Reverse though, and smoother releases in general, but there are no options for those. I'd personally like a different kind of GUI design, because the default Kontakt buttons are not that great and they certainly don't match the character and potential of this wonderful idea.
A very soft grand
If you are looking for a soft and sweet grand piano, with good dynamics, this might be agood choice for you. Unfortunately the samples are a little noisy especially on higher velocities, and that noise builds up relatively quickly if you use the sustain pedal. There is a knob to reduce the trigger samples though, which is always nice to have, and there is also a dry switch in case you want to just have the triggers as a separate instrument in order to treat them differently in the mix.
A gentle piano with low dynamics
This piano has a very sweet and romantic character, but unfortuantely it is very noisy, both in terms of the trigger sounds and in white noise as well. The sustain pedal to be is very loud too, especially in contrast with the piano being very quiet with low dynamics. Sadly there is no way to reduce the trigger sounds, since there is no GUI at all.
A bright and distorted piano
Everything is very distorted with a kind of retro feeling - even the sustain pedal triggers are distorted, especially the attack one. Its release trigger though contains a lot of white noise, so I recommend turning that off through the knobs provided. There included reverb is also nice. If that all sounds like it's your thing, be sure to try it! Personally I am not a fan of it, but you might be, as it has a very distinct character that might be just right for you.
Not sure if the pitch problems were intentional
The main distinct characteristic about this piano library is that most notes will seem very off, because they feature glimpses of their neighbour notes. Not sure if that was intentional, but it's not mentioned anywhere in the description. The white noise is minimal, but there is a release trigger that you can't control, since the GUI offers no options at all. That release also stacks up if you use the sustain pedal. If you try to play with a staccato playstyle, you will notice that the notes don't hold at all, which can be unnatural for some. All in all, nice character, but needs some work for me.
Low dynamics are not good for a guitar
This pack contains 3 instruments. A guitar, a doubled guitar and a pad. The "single" guitar is alright, but it has too much noise for my taste, and there are literally no dynamics at all, except for a very distinct round-robin of 3 samples. I'd stay away from the "Doubled" patch, since it just doubles up the noise as well and becomes just too much to be used anywhere. The pad is very nice though, which features a nice ping-pong effect between the left and right channels. Unfortunately there is no GUI to do any touchups, other than a plain guitar image.
A very mellow yet dynamic piano!
This is a fine piano instrument, and very well done in most aspects. The samples contain little to no noise, and it very dynamic. Beware though, you will need to reduce the default Kontakt patch volume to at least -7db, because the high velocities get clipped and distorted. Unfortunately there is a problem that I can't overlook. The release trigger repeates the note in a very small spiccato fashion on low volume, which can be fine in most cases but unfortunately this gets stacked when you are using the sustain pedal. This results in "saving up" all the release triggers and unleashing them all together once you release the pedal. I also have to say that the font choice for the text inside is horrible :P
The uncontrollable Piano-Haprsichord child
I could be wrong but, to me this sounds like something inbetween a harpsichord and a piano. The samples themselves have a release trigger that you are unable to remove, and they are also are surrounded by a little white noise that can build up with chords or by using the sustain pedal. If you release the sustain pedal you also get the full feedback of all the notes' release triggers, and that's very unfortunate. The strongest problem though is that there are 2 velocity layers which greatly differ in terms of volume, and that kind of destroys the playability of it.
Very well sampled guitars and pads!
This instrument is VERY well crafted. The samples have no audible white noise at all, and the clean guitars are very dynamic with a nice mellow sound of a guitar that kind of sounds like an e-piano. The more ambient patches are very low in terms of default volume but tha's not a huge problem. I highly recommend running the three ambient patches together along with the either clean or the DI patch, to create an amazing soundscape!
I am not sure what I am supposed to do with this
While I love the movie, I am a little split when it comes to this instrument. The idea is based around the "Shepard Tone" effect, which is the illusion of a sound where its pitch feels that it is constantly rising, when it really doesn't. This is done by stacking and overdubbing notes from lower and higher octaves, and that's what is going on with this instrument. It's really just one octave. It's cool, it has minimal noise, fake velocity dynamics, and a modwheel that adds an effect with a cool GUI design. It's an interesting phenomenon, though I am not sure how this can be used musically more than just a few times.
DEEP piano shimmers
This is a very interesting patch featuring a very deep, almost muted sounding piano that hosts some soft shimmer textures on top. It is not that dynamic, but the soundscape created is very wholesome but at the same time, if you play in a more typical-piano way with 2 hands, it starts getting kind of noisy and very bass-heavy. I suppose with some EQ settings this might be able to be just fine, but unforunately the GUI leaves you with just a volume and a reverb knob.
Intersting things are going on
You will find two multis here, the Rusty and the Ambient Stereo pads. The latter is a rather short pad which I can't seem to be happy about, since it's really wonky to play a nice sustained note. I also noticed it was quite noisy once the tails get quiter. The Rusty pad though is really nice, with a fantastical type of sound and with much less noise than the other. The panning though is a little questionable. I'd love to have proper GUI with stereo field or swarm-like randomization options, because as it is you are just left with what the default kontakt panel can offer.
Mellow but noisy
While this piano has a kind of definite attack, the sound signature is very mellow and nostalgic. There is some white noise in the samples though, and the release trigger sounds contain even more, so I recommend minimizing them via the only knob provided. The noise builds up very quickly though no matter what, especially if you use the sustain pedal. The top velocity player is a little problematic when it comes to playing staccato, since it immediately stops itself for no reason, with a very sharp release. This is not how pianos work normally, so it takes away the playability factor. Overall it's a very nice sound but needs somew ork in order to become a solid playable instrument.
An actual taped piano, but with lots of noise...
First of all, as of Oct 2021, there are two instruments named Tape Piano here. While the other one was amazing noise cracking ambient patch, this one is an actual piano with taped strings. Can't say I am a fan though. The sound is very snappy and it's unfortunately accompanied by a lot of noise...
The noise takes the magic away
These flute patches could have been great, but in my opinion they need a little bit of work. First of all, I had to manually select every single sample for every single patch, which was a pain. After I set it up, I reallised that most of them suffer from a lot of white noise and subtle clicks which don't really make it any appealing. The Staccato patch doesn't sound that staccato to me. The Overblown and the Trill patches are far more intersting and usable, especially if you are after someting like a Native American sound. There are no dynamics at all though. The GUI is good, but I would prefer a slightly more minimal design with less white and overall contrast. You will find full ADSR settings along with Reverb, Delay and LPF.
It's been through a lot!
This little cute piano toy has really been through a lot - so much that some notes barely let some pitch out! It's freaking lovely though! Good quality of sampling with a some white noise to be heard, but that doesn't take the magic away. The dynamics are nice too! Check it out if you are looking for something really unique. I'm pretty sure you can do a lot of creepy stuff with it.
A nice retro sounding harpsichord
This sounds like a harpsicord that came out of a 90s game-boy game! I like it, even though there is some very tiny slight noise on it, which you won't really notice unless you go hard with the sustain pedal and chords. It's not too dynamic though, and you can't really customize the sound since there are no options other than a verb and echo knobs, which I didn't personally enjoy myself. Very nice overall!
This has some processing problems
While messing around with this one a little bit, I quickly heard some very distorted - in a bad way - noises. It was kind of random, but it happened mostly with the sustain pedal on high velocities. Some notes might sound a little more poppy than others too. I do not recommend this unless it's fixed...
Very bass heavy, not in a good way
All of the 5 patches included seem to be very bass-heavy. If that's your thing, sure - just be sure to EQ it a little bit. In the Ambience Pad patch, some samples, from the mid to high range have a click sound on the attack which is kind of a dealbreaker for a smooth pad... The wallpaper is interesting and it may fool you that there are some kind of controls there, but there aren't any.
The velocity layers might be a problem for you
Took me just a few seconds to realise that the volume between the samples bound to velocity is very different, so you will need to be very careful with how you handle it while performing on it. You can also manage to control the velocities in programming in midi. The sound of this piano is warm, with a very prominent attack that is up to you to decide whether you like it or not.
A nice heavy sounding pad for you
While this is not my favourite type of sound signatures, I can say that it is well sampled in general. You won't find much stuff in here though. It's just a single patch and no controls to be found. There are no modwheel dynamics, filters or expression controls, so it's not really controllable in any sense. Nevertheless, you should give it a try!
The Piano Veteran of Pianobook!
This piano has so much to say really! It has such an interesting character that worths exploring without a doubt. There is just a little bit of noise in the samples, but that won't let the magic go away. The GUI is beautiful too, with the option to control the release sounds, the stereo image and the reverb included.
File errors but nice character
This piano has a nice character overall, it's not too noisy and you can really make it work - if you figure out what is going on with the missing files that is. In Kontakt I managed to fix some but not all. It plays well though, and you can try it yourself and see if it does it for you. The key noise is separated as a different instrument - that's a way of dealing with it I guess. Same thing goes for the pad, even though I can't say it made sense to me.
My first comment goes to the the pure white in the GUI, which kind of way too bright, but at least the arpeggiator is working properly - which is the main purpose of this instrument. Without it, it's not even playable, since the notes are spread in weird ways. The samples are kind of noisy too, and all the patches are way too wet, with no setting to control that. But hey, at least it's kind of fun to play!
I wish the pad had a faster attack!
I had this instrument saved and kind of forgot about it. When I opened it I said - THIS IS JOSHUA FOR SURE! And that's a good thing, because Joshua is really consistent with his instruments in both terms of quality, emotion and character.... aaand also GUI LOL. Anyway, this still has an amazing sound, very well sampled, BUT... I feel that the attack is way too slow, and I can't find a way to deal with it when it comes to perfoming. It will be no problem in programming though. The Fiddle harmonics patch is amazing though, and the multi that combines both of them is even better!
Quiet and noisy at the same time.
This instrument is sampled on a way low volume level, and if you somehow manage to increase it you immediately get heavy white noise. Not sure what else to say because there is not many things someone can do about that.
Very quiet and soothing
After the amazing Guitar Tremmors, here come the Flutters! This is just another awesome instrument by Joshua, even though I have to say it is very quiet, especially the reversed patch which is even maxed out in Kontakt by default... Also, I noticed that sometimes I get some notes inconsistently canceled if I play something like an arpeggio too fast, but it's not a huge problem. You also get to have no choices when it comes to sound design, but the patches sound fine by default. All in all, this is simply beautiful!
A lot of textured ambient pads!
With the characteristic sound of a piano pad, this 0,9GB bundle has a lot of beautifully made patches for you to play around and lose yourself. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. 70 PATCHES to be exact, and 30 out of thouse are multis. There is no GUI that comes with these, but I can't have any complains. My favs got to be the reversed tapes! - though to be honest I didn't have the time to sit and listen to all of those... Pardon!
Cool demo, but kinda noisy!
This is a very nice drum patch but unfortunately the sounds suffer from some white noise, especially on the kick drum, tand there it lasts for a while too... The kick also clips at its highest velocity, so you will have to mind that. In the GUI you will find a wide variety of options that unfortunately they don't seem to work for me, probably because this is a free version of something bigger - at least that's what I got. I have to say that the compressor settings need to have some kind of indications in order to make it work, because right now it's really chaotic.
A whale with a nice personality!
This download was 1,7GB big, but the actual sample is around 300MB which is an example of bad file management. Anyway, the patch works fine and it has some interesting sounds inside. It's really not an actual piano though. There is just a piano leading smoothly leading the ambient sounds behind, which are can produce a nice soundscape. The GUI has some pretty clean aesthetics, and lets you play with just the attack, and there are also a high cut and low cut filter. It's a good one, and I personally like it with a high attack, acting like a smooth pad.
Don't be impressed by its size
This is one of the biggest piano instruments I've downloaded from Pianobook. The actual folder size is something more than 3GB. Despite the hefty size, both of the mic settings offered are very noisy, and at some point you might even hear some distortion. The actual sound of it is interesting, like a western-cabaret style, almost out of tune in some pitches. By default it is also very wet and noisy, which you luckily you are able to control. Speaking of controls, the GUI could have had things more spread out because right now they are very cramped for no reason. It's alright overall, and there is some character to it, but you have to try it yourself to check if it's for you or not.
Does size matter in the end?
The answer is probably not, if you know what you are doing. While this download pack is 5GB, the actual uncompressed folder is almost 14GB. Maybe I mean, the famous "The Giant" by Native Instruments is half its size... On top of that, despite the enormous size, the samples themselves are quite noisy. I also noticed a pedal noise, which I am not sure if it's intentional, but I don't necessarily like it, and there is no option to remove it. I am not sure why there is an ADSR envelope included for such a classical sound. The EQ addition is kinda cool, but it doesn't work for me at all, except for the 100hz knob that adds an extremely unpleasant white nose. It is kind of a shame, because this could have been a great one, but I can't recommend it.
A great rhythmic instrument!
The most important thing that you need to know about this instrument is that it is tempo synced! Other than that, the sound is great, and the provided options give you a nice way to customize the sound. I'd like to see more though, such as a phaser or a filter of some kind. It's not big deal though, since you can always add your own effects.
A swarm of colours!
Don't let the black GUI fool you. This is a very colourful patch full of character and surprises! Other than a very small delay in the "main" sound in some notes, this is pure perfection. You will quickly realise that it is not intended to be played as a lead instrument by itself, so that delay doesn't really matter. Great combination, great execution, great everything!
A fantastic take on a Piano!
Even though it's not as dynamic as a typical piano instrument, this offers a very nice and unique perspective, and with a very interesting sound as well. It might be a little noisy in some cases, noticed more in the higher register, but still it's quite playable and it's totally worth your interest!
An interesting set of cute pads
There are 5 pad patches included on this pack, and each one is slightly different. They all have a full range of 88 keys, and the panning slightly favors the right side across all of it for some reason. The GUI is very minimal with just one knob labeled as "Volume". Weirdly enough the knob doesn't do anything if you move it with the mouse, but it seems synced to the modhwheel. It feels more than a "Dynamics" knob instead, as it doesn't completely turn off the volume - and there is also hidden Expression setting on CC11. Overall it is very interesting it's worth your attention!
An interesting sound
This small patch is very well done, and the samples have a very subtle noise that can go easily unnoticed. The overall sound is very synthy and in general it's kind of sharp - in terms of texture, not musically. The GUI is nice with full ADSR options, though I find that even with the attack all the way down, it is still fadey. I found it working best as a smooth pad, with the Filter "Freq" knob in the middle to make it a little smooth, but I still don't find it THAT interesting. It might sound very appealing to you though!
This guy did it properly!
Let's face it. We've all tried to play music with rubberbands at some point! I certainly did that a lot. This guy took this idea and made, not one, not two, but 8 different types of rubberband instruments. Quality-wise, you can hear some wonky sounds if you play at higher velocities, but the sound is very nice overall. You will also find some extra options to play in the nicely done GUI, such as saturation, chorus, delay and reverb, along with a low pass and a high pass filter. These might not sound very useful at first, but since there are 8 more patches that include drone and pad like sounds. There is also an awesome little percussion patch! Kudos for both the creativity and for the execution!
Confusing GUI doesn't do this justice
This is overall a very nice instrument but it comes with some serious GUI issues. First of all, the knobs shown on are labeled to be working with CC, but while the CC is indeed working, the knob is not being updated as if it was never bound to any CC. This happens with both Drive and Tremolo Rate knobs. And why are they not in a straight line together? Why is there a button that you have to press in order to realise that it just turns the Tremolo on and off? Why is it not aligned with anything? There are also two keyswitches that seem to do absolutely nothing. Anyway... GUI rant over. The sound that is produced is very nice out of the box, which is with no tremolo and no drive. The drive makes it more pitchy, and the tremolo makes it just very clickly, so I do not recommend that. I do recommed it for the default sound!
Interesting but needs some work!
This is an interesting idea, but it really needs some work to be done if you want to call it usable. You will find 4 patches, but only one of the works fully as intended, and that's the title name, SynthCada. It works, it has some character, but to my ears it is a very pitchy sample that won't really work anywhere that easily, unless you just use the lower sections which can be considered as a cool synth bass lead. The samples are looped in a way that they produce some kind of a rhythm though, which might be weird to fit in your tempos. The rest of the three patches contain problems, especially with some GUI elements that refuse to work. This needs some work before it gets recommended!
It's a mallet out of nowhere!
It's a very nice sounding mallet instrument with a kind of dark character, It's very playable, and it also has some nice dynamics to offer. As a personal preference, I'd like it to be shifted an octave lower altogether, because I find the lower samples not that great. You can hear a small click sound right in the attack, and the sound is too muddy to my ears. The mics are also switchable through three key switches at the bottom end.
Has a lot to offer!
With 16 patches included, this little soldering iron holder is offering a lot! I won't go on to analyze every single one of them though. I will just say that they are very decent, versatile, and somehow unique sounding to each other. I found that they are a little bit noisy - sometimes on the attack, sometimes on the release, or sometimes there is just some white noise overall, but not easily noticable. In general they are on the wet side, even with the Wet/Dry Mix knob set to 0 - not too much though. I'll also mention that my favourite patch of all is the Base Come Back Loop, which reminds me of a Glockenspliel with A LOT of character!
Useful for Sub kicks but not much else...
In this small patch you will find some nice sounds that with a little bit of manipulation and sound design, you might transform them into something usable. Out of the box though this doesn't have much to offer, and the quality is kind of questionable, since it's too bass-heavy in general. There is also some noise on the samples, and some of them have some clickly tails that can be very annoying to deal with.
A nice demo, but nothing to do with it
I just personally don't like the sounds that come off of this patch. It produces some very short and distorted sounds which can sound awesome with lots of reverb, but I do not like how distorted they sound at all, even with the grit setting turned down. The GUI is nice, but from a design perspective I think it doesn't match the theme at all. I also don't like the horizontal controls of the knobs. It always confuses me since most premium plugins are vertically controlled.
The pad stands out the most
Three patches to be found, Keys, Organ and Pad. They Keys patch is a no from me, because it sounds like those very basic epiano synths made for little kids. The Organ comes next, which has a nice sound overall. For an organ it's on the smooth side, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Last but not least comes the Pad, which is in my opinion the most interesting one out of the three. It has some nice metallic texture on top which can be interesting in some situations. Both three instruments come with Attack, Release, LPF and Reverb knobs, which is always very nice to have at your fingertips.
A Bbbassy Drone!
This is a nice dark drone patch that can provide some nice and deep tones. Unfortunately you have no control over them, but at least they are nicely split on the keyboard via some empty key spaces. There's not too much to say, except to try it out yourself!
Mark's best instrument!
This is a very well crafter instrument, with a well-thought and consistent GUI with tons of options. It's a combo of many stuff together, so I really recommend it to download it yourself and start playing around. The only problem I found is that if you try to play too fast, like quick arpeggio with the sustain pedal, some samples will cancel others out. There is also some slight noise that can build up if you try too much stuff together, but it's barely noticable. Good job Mark!
Not what you really expect to hear
Provided you didn't watch the video or listened to the demo, this doesn't really sound like fireworks at all. It's more like heavily distorted and overprocessed snare sounds. I personally can't see them fitting in my collection, but you might like them! It's a very awesome addition to see them grouped up in different coloured sections across the keyboard, nice touch!
Cool idea, but needs some work!
This is an instrument pack featuring the kind of funny popping sound that a bottle or a mouth can create. You can find 4 patches, but I don't find anyone being that great in order to recommend. Sadly in many samples there are some noises in either front, middle or end of the sample that are transfered to the FX patches as well. They are also very wet with no control offered. There is also a Pad patch but I wouldn't say it's a pad really. It's more like a very wet sample with lots of reverb and delay that you can't even control. There is a very noticable delay between you playing the note and hearing the sample, to the point that if you play in a spicatto, the sample doesn't even register. You can always try it and see for yourself though!
This is a wonderful pad-like instrument with lots of character and one dinstinct characteristic that I liked: You never know where it's going to come from! The panning is very random, bound to happen on each note press individually, which creates a very unique ambient soundscape that you never get bored of. The sound also kind of changes randomly a bit. Sometimes it i almost sounds like a textured string instrument, some other times like a very mellow woodwind. If this had a proper GUI and some controls to play with, this would be absolutely perfect. Still, it's a very interesting patch and I recommend it to everyone!
Very textured but very noisy as well
This is very noisy and heavily textured instrument pack. You can't control the texture, which is kind of nice, but there are some textureless patches instead, though they suffer from great noise too. They also seem to be slightly panned left more than right. There is also a complete lack of GUI and controls. The problem though comes with the preset volume - sometimes it's set to zero, sometimes it's set to max. Sometimes its bound to the modwheel, and sometimes it is not. In general this needs a lot of work to be considered usable in my opinion.
An unexpected sound!
I really did not see this coming. This kind of sound can be very versatile, from wholesome to "stranger things" creepy. Without having too much knowledge on the subject, I think it has a vintage synth-like sound. Sadly there is no options to be found other than a reverb. The sound itself is an almost sub-heavy noise that ping-pongs towards mostly the right side, and can be very annoying to deal with, therefore I recommend some EQ on it!
This is VEEERY similar to what you will hear in the drop of the well known song "Animals" by Martin Garrix. It's very well sampled and it has a lot of uses. The UI is great but GOD I hate the horizontal knob controls. VERTICAL ALL THE WAY!
A very noisy drone-like vacuum
In general this is a very noisy patch that can become really loud and intimidating by using the modwheel and the rest of the two knobs included. If you turn them both down and leave the modwheel up, you will hear a weird click sound but that goes away as soon as you "enable" the instrument through the knobs. I find the knobs reacting to horizontal mouse movement a little weird, since most software is using vertical movement instead, and the wallpaper path is broken, so I don't know which one is the "right" wallpaper - I think it's the wooden looking one.
Very limited but cool
This has potential to be a nice SFX for thriller cues. The recording of the sample is good, you can't really listen to any noise even if you stack many notes with the sustain pedal. The problem is that the delay is fixed, so you can't tempo sync it. It's just that one and it's up to you to find a good way to use it.
Oh my god this is so well made!
The GUI, the settings, the key colours, and the sound themselves, everything is perfect! I have only one request though - either add one single key that plays only the noises without a pitch, or it would be ever if there was a volume knob for the notes as they are for everything else. But, with that said, I can't not give it a perfect score. Cheers!
This has a lot of potential!
I'd like to say that this is very interesting sound patch. The only thing I can say is that it's too bass-heavy, but that can be fixed with some EQ, though you won't find any settings in the GUI, except for a lovely snowy wallpaper to set the mood. Speaking of GUI though, the modwheel setting is LOVELY, and I don't know why it is not mentioned or indicated anywhere, which is a shame because I bet there will be many people who won't even notice!
A good bundle of ambient sounds
It's not perfect, but you can make it work. Some patches like the Oxygen 1+2 and Echo suffer from noticable noice - not sure if that's intentional though, because the LoFi one has a similar one and I'm sure that's intentional. There is noise in some other patches as well but I bet you won't really notice unless you pay real close attention. The worst part though is that everything seems to be soft panned left, even in the high range. The GUI won't let you do too much. There is just a cuttoff and a resonance knob. The rest are up to you.
Some very interesting sfx!
What can I say... This could be an amazing horror SFX library, but it needs some work to be done. First and foremost, the samples need to be processed and cropped in a more proper way, because there is noticable noice and they end up way to suddenly. The inclusion of ADSR settings would probably fix that, but still. The other thing is that in the massacre patch, the samples start way too late. I imagine that in a composing environment this would be a big pain. This could really be great!
Playable but needs some noise reduction!
While these patches have some nice characteristics, they all need some improvement. In general they are noisy - and even if they are not at first, something happens in the middle and it becomes noisy. The drone patch sounds super cool but it's doomed by white noise. The sequencers included don't work, as in most cases I've seen. It breaks right after you introduce a second note that is slightly off-beat. Maybe though it is possible to create some noice risers if you combine many patches together. It's up to you to play and find out.
Don't hit your Kettle
This person did it instead. You will simply find kettle hits that are in fact VERY dynamic with different layers, but that's about it. They are a bit on the noisy side, the release sample is weird, upon the release the sample cuts off, and sometimes in long holds you hear some clicks and stuff. I bet it was fun to make, though I can't see myself using it.
Great soundscapes with limited control
It's simple, two awesome sounding patches with a complete lack of control. You really need to try them in order to tell if it is for you or not. I recommend them!
The Rhodes patches are cool!
You will find both percussive-mallet patches and a few rhodes-like ones. I personally find the percussive ones not that great. It's this fun idea that you have when you hit a plastic water jug, but that's just about it, for me. The Strange Scent is the most interesting patch by far. Try it yourself!
Amazing but limited ambience
In short, this is a lovely sound that offers an amazing airy soundscape, but there is not much to do with it because there is a complete lack of control. With that said, I'm sure it can do very well on its own!
Nice sounds, but is this enough?
When opening the folder you will meet 5 different patches, and everyone of them is much different. I won't bother describing what they sound, but I will say that there is a complete lack of control, so you are left with the defaults. I only need to mention that the "lead" patch is limited to only low-notes range. Try it yourself, you might enjoy it!
A nice synth with playablity problems
This is a very lovely synth and very well executed. You will definitely like the sound but you might find it hard for you to perform on it. The reason is that the low velocity samples are extremely quiet, and the mid velocity ones are moderately loud, enough to make the low ones disappear. This won't be an issue if you want to program it though. I also want to mention that this has a nicely working arpeggiator! I mention that because I've seen in many Pianobook instruments the often included arpeggiator doesn't really work.
This could be perfect!
Ok first: For just three patches, I should be able to find all of them just by clicking the initial folder. It's an easy fix by the user but most people won't bother doing that. Also for some reason, the insturment refuses to remember the position of the samples, every single time, even if I select the option for it to remember it. It's just very inconvenient. Anyway. Similar to the Fire instrument which is featured in a different upload, the rain and Steam patches are amazing, perfect I'd dare to say. Be careful though because the Wave patch is very loud, especially compared to the other ones! The attack is also very harsh on the waves, and it sounds very unnatural to me, and the bad thing is that you can't even change it via the Kontakt instument settings either.
Now that's a very pitchy mallet!
If you are looking for a mallet with a lot of character that features a very unique voice, this is it. WIth that said, don't expect this to sing. It kind of roars instead, but on its very own way. It's dyamic too, and there are also some knobs for you to play with. I'd love if they were something else other than the default design though. You might hear some little white noise, especially if you turn up the reverb, but that's ok in my opinion.
Dan has mastered this style
It's really perfect, same as his other similar instruments. They are full of character, they are extremely inspirational, very well done, and at the same time he manages to make all those different each time! I won't say anything else, other than this is a must download. Thank you once more Dan!
There is A LOT going on here!
Like, seriously. Instead of single instrument patches, you will find a ton of multis instead, and each multi has either 4 or 8 patches! The samples are good, with little noise, but if you solo some you might notice some noise cracks, bad loop cuts, or just uneven pitches. All together each multi offers a slightly different sound signature which they can mostly be described as a very, very airy organ. It's pretty damn interesting though if you think that this is not an organ, but just a combination of stuff found in a kitchen...
A ship horn can be too noisy I guess
It's just too noisy for me, and the samples spread across the keybed sound overstretched. If you go high on the register, it just starts sounding like a car horn, like an F5 for example...
Good for single-note use!
This is a cute little percussive mallet, that suffer from some playability issues. It seems that the patch can't handle simultaneous voices that well, resulting in suddenly cutting off some notes if you play too many too fast. The sound has some noise in it, I can say that it has some dynamics. The GUI lets you choose between 3 different mic positions but there is no option to blend them through setting different volume for each other. Funny note: If you play something like a single C6, it sounds like an elevator bell!
Nice synth sounds, and nice ambience overall!
This is a very intresting instrument from Clay. While I really like the Lush patches, which are some very ambient and smooth pads, the other patches seem good but not as interesting. You might like them though because they are well made to say the least. There are a little noisy but you don't really notice it that much. They produce some nice synthy sounds that you will enjoy if you are into that type of genre. As for the dry funnel bell patches, oh well, brace yourselves for some rough pitches!
Excuse me. Why is this free?
I don't have much to say. This is a near-perfect bundle of some amazing sounds. Leads, pads, drones, shimmers. A lot of them, very well done, dynamic, controllable, and they all come with this beautifully designed GUI. My only wish is that the options would appear all at once without having to click on the label. I could sit down and write about every patch included, but seriously there are so many that I don't even know where to start. Just download this and say a huge thank you to the creator.
Why have I never thought of this?
It's very, very simple, but very well done as well! Sure the GUI is just two knobs and a wallpaper of an actual kitchen paper roll, but still this is very usable and kind of cute. There is veeeeeery little noise in the samples but I am sure most people won't notice it at all. It's also not dynamic at all, but what the hell do you expect? It's a freaking paper roll! Special tip: if you max the attack, the high notes sound like water droplets!
Just plain lovely!
Out of th four patches offered, every single one has some thing really unique on it. There is some very little white noise that will probably go unnoticable though. I'd really love if we had the chance to play around the volume of each sub-sample so we can customize some patches even further. Nevertheless, this is just amazing. Well done to DK!
Cmon, lamps can't be that good, right?
Oh man they can. While there is just a little bit of noise, I was wow'd by the amount of detail on this one. The sound is very metalic like a hang drum, but it has its own kind of chracter for sure. The GUI is fantastic as well! It matches the theme and it gives you some nice options to play around, including the depth of the sound itself and the stereo field. Just download it and try it already!
Sounds like a wind instrument!
This very unique instrument is very well sampled and the character of it is not easy to be described. I have to say though that it sometimes sounds more like water droplets than fire cracks. There are some options for you to play around though. Unfortunately there are no proper dynamics so it lakcs playability. I'd also change the the background a bit to make it more... fiery!
A proper mallet-like percussion!
It's like a hangdrum but it's actually a water bottle! With just some small noises in some samples that trigger from time to time, this sounds really good. You also have the option to mix two different kinds of feels, a hard and a soft one. You can completely turn off the one if you want. I personally prefer more the soft one!
Could be useful for some
I can't seem to locate any noise so the sampling is great. But due to the lack of dynamics, I wouldn't put it in MY arsenal, because I kind of need more dynamic percussion for the stuff I like to make. If you do something more like experimental EDM, you might be able to fit this somewhere.
Good concept, needs some work
I loved the concept and I wanted this to work, but the end result doesn't feel usable. The main problem for me is that due to the stretching of the samples, the wetness differs greatly between the low and the high ranges because the reverb is pre-applied on them, therefore it's too short high and too long low. Another problem is that the velocity is way too random, resulting in a very unbalanced sound overall that it's not even programmable.
Lots of potential with a very clunky UI
First and most importantly, the sound of this instrument is lovely out of the box, and I can see it being used in many scenarios. The panning seems to favor the mostly the left side. You have to go really high on the range in order to see if it ever goes in the right side as a piano library usually does. In terms of playability, the choices made are a little weird. The expression is set to CC20 instead of 11 which is the most common, and the vibrato is set to CC71 instead of CC21, and the cutton is sett to CC21, whereas it could be set to the CC1 since there is no dynamic layers included. When you try to change them you might be lucky to notice something weird. If you try to click or move a slider from below the "mid" height, it will grab the slider below instead. The GUI is nice though. I like the design but I'd definitely make some changes.
Sounds kinda like a hang drum!
Even though it's supposed to be a water bottle, it really sounds a hang drum! It also kind of dynamic as well. The range is set for the entire keyboard, although I would just stick to a more smaller one in the middle, because the samples get way too distorted as you go too high or too low. Sadly there are some clickly noises at the end of each sample which I don't really like and there's no way to treat that. The UI is ok but I really don't like the aesthetics of it. Needs some work in regards to that!
I wish all vacuums sounded like that!
The worst thing about this instrument that there is a bad clickly sample right in the beginning of each sample, which gets caught by the delay and repeats it self a couple of times. This can be easily fix by adjusting the attack juuuust a tiny but, but you have to do it manualy because there is no GUI to help you do it quickly. I'd also prefer to see a more moody wallpaper, just for the sake of matching the feeling I got while playing. I also wish that there was at least 2 dynamic layers to crossfade with the modwheel, but that would really make it a premium instrument in my opinion.
An interesting but limited sound
A drone-like pad that you have to hear it yourself. It is quite chaotic and if you play more than 2 notes, it becomes chaotic very quickly. There is a little knob to make it more "spinny", which is like shifting its pitch up and down a little bit. It's interesting, but I think it has a very limited range of use. You might disagree though!
Low on volume, but cute overall
All the patches are very low on volume, and because of that the multis don't really work that well. The pad duration is very short, so when you are about to hear it, it dies. The main patch sounds very good though. It has pretty much no dynamics at all, but I can see it going well with a jungle cue by using the low range, or in a more child-like cue with the higher range. To my surprise, while Joshua doesn't really put any GUI on his instruments, one patch has an arpeggiator included, and to my extra surprise, it works perfectly unlike most other Pianobook instruments who break after using more than just one note.
Super nice sound but has some noises!
Really, the sound produced is really cool and I'd love to use it, as I believe it can fit pretty much anywhere. But... I can literally hear birds chirping in the background! Not sure why the volume is controlled with both the modwheel and velocity. This can be a real pain when it comes to programming it. I also really like the Pianobook aesthetic on the GUI. I think it's perfect and it should somehow be the default for every instrument here - but please... PLEASE set the knobs to change with vertical mouse movement, not horizontal...
Noisy but might be an interesting sound to some.
The two chair samples found have a nice sound that some might find interesting, though they have a very obvious noise sample that stops after a while, before the tail fades out. Can't say I'm that inspired by them but I can see others liking them both.
Noisy and the evolutions don't work properly
The glass patches are kind of interesting but they both suffer from noise. The sequencer on the Evolutions patch just brakes after you introduce a second note, synce they don't sync together. This happenes in most Pianobook instruments that try to include a sequencer/arpeggiator though, but I don't know why. Both the patches are not that dynamic, and personally they didn't inspire me that much.
Very interesting sounds!
Let's start with the Milk Pitchers. The samples loop kind of obviously but it's really not a big problem for the nature of the instruments. I didn't manage to pick off any noise in the Pad, but the Dry Shots patch is kind of noisy and very sharp sounding. Regarding the Coffee Mug patches, they are both noisy, but the One Shots patch is more welcoming - though if you play fast, the hits start getting delayed a little bit. The pad is nice but unfortunately it's noisy too, and it builds up very fast by itself, since the volume goes up as you hold down the note.
Unfortuately too noisy!
Even though some sounds are really nice, unfortunately they suffer from too much noise, and the attack might be too harsh for the most non-pad patches. I also found the pitch being kinda off in some lower samples. I liked the bowl sounds the most, because they reminded me some kind of church bells.
A nice sounding blowl!
My first thoughts is that this sounds very nice! There might be an issue regarding pitch in some cases, for example C3 and C4. The panning is spread from left to right across the keyboard range, which is nice. There are are some noises to be heard from time to time, and you might also hear some random uncut samples at the very end of a tail. You need to keep in mind though that, the higher velocities produce some very harsh and long tailed harmonics, that might need some serious EQ treatment in order not to sound horrific in any mix. The GUI is cute, but with just a little work it could be perfect!
You might find some good sounds here!
There are so many sounds to choose from this package. The single-hit patches have a great character, but unfortunately they are little noisy, some more than the other. The Glass Teapot bonus patches are amazing to my ears, even though you might find the release a little too sudden. Note though that if you don't initially get any sound off of those, you will need to move your modwheel, because they automatically start at 0 volume even if your modwheel is not there. Unfortunately the lack of GUI won't give you the chance to play around the sounds. I didn't manage to make the two Bowed Pan patches to work, as I got errors for missing files.
It's alright I guess
4 instrument patches, and one multi. Let's go. The Sharp Hit is sharp, but the ambient release stops suddenly. It is also not dynamic at all, and the high register sound pretty much like a woodblock does. Same does the Dull Hit patch but that sounds like a woodblock even in the lower ones. The Cymbal is weird but interesting in a way. It's just the same one sample stretched across the keyboard. I do think its tail is very short though, especially for a "cymbal". The E-Keys was the most interesting patch for me, since it reminds me something like an analog synth. Unfortunately there are no controls at all, so that's the only sounds you can get. The multi is just a combination, which doesn't do much for me.
Dark and haunting feels
I think I would personally never use this sound, but I can see it being very interesting to dark sci-fi lovers. The GUI is good, but the mod-wheel LPF is not visible anywhere. It's a nice instrument overall!
Ghost Owls, and a bonus use tip from me!
I love this sound, but I wish it didn't suffer from the noise. It's not THAT bad though. Right now it creates a more chilly aesthetic. Without the noise I feel that it would match even more soundscapes. As I was messing around with the controls, I noticed that sometimes the sample reminds me of the wind that passes through slight openings, creating a howly sound. If you match this with the pitch-bend, you can indeed hear it! Unfortunately the samples don't loop forever, so you will have to re-press them every now and then.
Bells with an unlimited tail
This is an alright bell library that can be fun to play with. The SM57 is by far the noisiest mic amongst the three offered, but it's not easily noticable anyway so it's not a big deal. My real issue is that if you hold the keys for an okay period of time, you will notice that they never stop to resonate. Ok they do, but THEY ARE 30 SECONDS LONG, and at the end you can hear some weird noises, and maybe some forgotten samples. That's also when the noise begins to be more audible. It's possible that you will never notice that though, because they are not meant to be played that way anyway.
Needs better organization and noise reduction
These percussion sounds are interesting to say the least, but they seem split in the entire keyboard in a very weird way that I don't get, even after reading the text on the GUI, which doesn't makes sense to me. It would be much better if the keys were coloured differently, and if the single-hits were grouped together, the the "rolls" and then last the swipes all together, based on the pitch as much as possible. The current setup makes it a guess game, and I don't like that in my workflow at all. There is also some noise in the samples, noticable in the higher velocities.
Simple dry kitchen percussion
It's not bad... It's just really simple, really dry and if you try to play a little faster, eg for something for of an action sequence, you will notice a click in some samples that pops out in the attack, which can become unpleasant very quickly. It's also bothers me that as soon as you let the key, the sample stops immediately, which is kind of not proper for a percussion sample.
A simple bell-like instrument.
I am not familiar with this kind of device, but I liked the snappy sound and the quality of it. It sounds something between a marimba and a xylophone I think. The range is just one octave though, G2 to F#3, and there are not any dynamics. I have to say though that the FX controls provided could be much more simplified for such a simple sound anyway. Some may find them interesting though.
In the latest version -v5- there are 5 patches in total and three of those are the "choir" ones. The choir itself has a lot of character and lots of dynamics which can be controlled only by the modwheel, since there is a lack of GUI. Because of that. The lack of ADSR controls leaves you with what you have by default. The other two are different - think about a different kind of woodblock with tons of reverb. Very cool, much wow!
Sweet, kinda like honey!
A cute pad with some kind of texture, but it has a very low attack that you are unable to control, so the build-up is very, very slow. I noticed something though. While the signal seems to be kind of balanced, I swear I hear more through the left side. The wallpaper of a honeybee is cute, but there is a black bar on top which creates an unneeded gap.
A super noisy drone!
Honestly I will just say that this is basically the sound a drone makes but it's pitched properly and through the Photosynthesis engine you can make it sound like a drone pad. It is very harsh for me though, but I can see it fitting well in a sci-fi environment, but some processing will be required.
A very smooth pad that features some "randomness" on it, based on the contributions of the Pianobook community. I didn't expect anything less from Dan, nor from the community. I got to say that I am not a huge fan of the Photosynthesis Engine. It has a lot of settings though so I can't complain that much. Thanks for this wonderful collaboration!
Awesomely textured pads, but with a rare release problem!
As the title suggests, these pads sound veery nicely, and inside the wholesome wetness, you can feel a distinct texture - probably because of the crickets! I was looking at this cricket image here and there, and I was expecting something completely different. I didn't expect to like it that much, but oh well, I do! With that said, after playing for a while, I noticed a weird release click that happens very randomly, but it is still there. Hope this gets fixed!
It can do more than you think!
It's not only a fantastically sampled bottle blow pad - it can also create some swarm sounds with the included options, which I really enjoyed playing around with! The only problem that I found is that while there is a knob with the label "MW Vel" - which I assume means ModWheel Velocity - it does not work at all, it's not attached to the modwheel and it basically does nothing. You won't be able to do much with the wetness of the sound as well, but I guess that's the purpose of this instrument anyway. Very good overall!
This blender is not annoying!
Never thought that the harsh sound of a blender can become a beautiful pad instrument. Cheers for the idea! It is indeed very nice, and it sounds more like smooth but also textured strings. I can see it fitting in some concepts, but at the same time there is not any room for customization, since the GUI offers only a picture of a blender machine.
I didn't expect myself to like this, but I do. I can see some characater on it, even though it is extremely simple. You can hear some cute harmonics-like sounds inside the samples of the low-mid range, but in general there is some noise in the recording that becomes kind of weird as you go high on the register. Nevertheless, it's kind of fun to play with it!
Like very, very airy organ
This pad seems to have a very heavy-breathing character, with a lot of an airy noise coming through it. It can be very tricky to perform on, especially if you go fully dry on it. If you think that it's very harsh, I'd recommend some kind of reverb to create a smoother tail and to assist the harsh ambience that it naturally has. It would be really good if it had some options for sound design, but it's up to you to decide how you want to treat it.
I wish this had actual controls!
This mesmerizing mandoling is sampled perfectly with just a little noise which is audible only if you hold the notes manually or with a sustain pedal. It has great character but unfortunately the dynamic range is on the low side. With that said, there are 8 preset patches with much different sounds for you to check out, and all of them have something new and unique to offer. I really wish though this had more controls to shape the sound myself or at least to tweak the presets a little bit. Nevertheless, this is absolutely worth it!
A nice dry library of ostinatos
These almost purely dry patches feature different kinds of ostinatos for you to create your own sequences. Dry doesn't mean bad - In contrast, I beleive that for strings it means good if done properly, and this is a good example of how to do it. The more dry the string instrument is, the more character and texture you will get from it. Then you will be able to shape it the way you want, but in this one you will need your own resources because it offers no settings at all. In some cases, you can hear where the loop happens, but it's barely noticable. The samples also don't sync together, which means you can create chaos easily, but if done with care, you can turn it into wonderful shimmery sequences. If played perfectly on time, the result is fantastic!
Something interesting is going on here!
At first I thought of this as very simple and kind of limited. Then I realised you can create easily some nice thriller-like melodies - you know, the ones that probably play in a kind of creepy walking cue in a thriller film. Unfortunately the higher velocity samples suffer from a long release tail full of noise that continues for around 6-7 seconds, which is almost cruel... I'd love to have the option to control the release in general to make it a little more staccatissimo. The GUI is near-perfect and it offers many settings for you to mess with and find your own sound.
A small addition to your ambient tricks!
This is a very, very simple patch, but it can become a very creative tool quite quickly. You can basically create your very own shimmer-like textures, and it took me a while to realise, so I have to give it away for you! The modwheel also allows you to add some depth on it, which is always welcome. My only issue is that the samples cut somehow quickly instead of smoothly fading away in the void. There is no GUI to control the attack or release though... that would have been awesome.
When I am ready to play a piano, I somehow "default" myself to playing the very generic upright that you will find at your friends house. This one is nothing like that, and I love it! The character that shares is undescribable with plain old words. It needs your fingertips to let you know what it can do. It is sampled really well, with the small exception on the high velocity samples who carry some noise. The dynamics though are absolutely fabulous! And what makes it even better is the very well implemented arperggiator, which quite surprisingly works perfectly well! - trust me I've seen way too many and only a handful work properly. Kudos to David for sharing such an amazing patch!
How to make a generic piano interesting!
While the piano itself is not really that dynamic, the little surprise hidden in the modwheel is all that matters! Not only it lets the piano's character shine, but it also gives a nice twist with the perfect way to control it. Since it's indicated as a surprise, I won't spoil it. But it should be indicated as a text somewhere in the lonely wallpaper of the GUI that hosts nothing else. Also I don't like the wallpaper. It needs some color - the creator knows why!
I'm not really a fan
The sounds themselves are well sampled, but everything is SO QUIET, even with the kontakt volume being all the way up by default. There are absolutely no dymamics at all, so you can only play at a medium velocity. Werdly enough, I like the GUI. The instrument offers Releases - which is the release sample volume, Attack, Saturation, Cutoff, Delay and Reverb. While I initially liked the seeing the saturation knob, I realised that it is very subtle, but the noise added is not really worth it. The release sample was also not preferable to me, but I am glad there is the option to fully control the volume of it. Nevertheless, this might be your sound, you never know!
Fairly simple, and the sequencer needs some work
The sound produced is very simple. You can only play around with the stereo image via the knobs they won't do much. I was excited to play with the arpeggiator/sequencer, but apparently it seems that it can't take more than one note. As soon as you add one note, even if you try to play them perfectly in time, it goes crazy, to the point that it starts being random, stop reading samples, and performing its own gate sequencing. It really needs work because it's unusable.
The instrument greets you with a nice wallpaper that hosts just two knobs for Cutoff and Resonance. These two knobs along with the modwheel will make the smooth default texture sound like a nightmare. I can see this doing incredibely well as an atmospheric riser in cinematic soundscapes.
It's fun, but gets boring quickly
Although it is very quiet in general, the quality of the samples is great. I was excited about this but I really got bored within the first few minutes. The lack of control restricts the choices someone can make in terms of how it can be implemented in real situations, but I might not be creative enough for such stuff, and it can be just the thing you are looking for!
It's a little low indeed...
Definitely not a fan, but I can see some people liking it. It can sound good, but it is also very chaotic for my taste. The GUI doesn't help at all - I believe it works against the user. The indications are vague and they don't represent what I am expecting to hear. The placement is also very weird. Like, why is the Delay Feedback first? And why it never stops if you put it all the way up? And why is it indicated as DLY FB? It took me a while to understand that. And why is nothing centered?... Anyway, not for me.
A good first try, but needs some work!
Though the sound quality is good, there are some both minor and major issues with this little patch. First, the pad itself is very quiet, but it gets better when you start adding Delay and Reverb. There is also Tremolo setting which make things more interesting at times. Then theres a knob called "DIST" which I assume it means Distortion, but really acts like the volume of an extra instrument as an extra... And that extra instrument seems to not be affected by any of the other settings at all, as if it existed in its very own universe. There are also Attack and Release sliders, but they seem to make very subtle differences. I got to say though for someone with OCD, the worst part is the GUI, because THE TEXT IS NOT CENTERED DAMN IT!
Strange things are happening
Initially these piano samples are very noisy, and the extra noise release doesn't help at all. Weirdly enough, the noise is greatly reduced if you play with the sustain pedal, and then you are able to really see that this piano has a very sweet character. The sustain pedal also seem to completely ignore the ADSR settings which is again very strange.
Dry perfection!... kind of
This is pretty much as dry as it can get. You get the sound of the actual instrument to shape it as much as you want. The problem is that there is no customization inside the patch, so you have to rely on what you have at your disposal. Nevertheless, this might be the best violin recording I've heard so far in pianobook - but sadly, there are some clickly release noises every now and then. I wish this was perfect! I will be waiting for an update!
IT COMES WITH EXTRAS?
HELL YES. kthanxbye
There is nothing else to ask for. Just download it and use it already! The chills, the feels, the character, playability... Everything is there and it's waiting for you to create something worth crying for. You have been gifted. Now go.
Not really a fan...
This little one has QUITE the character, but not in a much usable way this time. The Plucked patch is very out of tune, even the octaves themselves, which means you can't really play it, unless you use single notes somewhere just for the sake of creating an atmosphere. There is also some delay between pressing the note and hearing it, but it's not a major issue since you won't play fast or complicated melodies on this one. The Warped Pad is just a down-sliding sample stretched across the keybed, which I don't really enjoy if I'm being honest - which I always am by the way. The Arp Pad is interesting, but the arpeggios are fixed major or minor depending on what key you press. If you are familiar with music harmony, it's basically the harmonic sequence of C major.
Lovely little banjo!
A cute banjo that works really well even if you play on fast speed, as a banjo is usually played! It's not really that dynamic but it surely gets the job done. This wouldn't be a Josha instrument if there was no Ebow pad, so yes, there is one and it is indeed as good as everything else Joshua does! The combo patch though doesn't work for me because the two sound signatures don't really match the pace that the banjo needs to create.
PERFECT - but on low volume!
This is a really magnificent instrument and very well designed in all aspects - BUT - it suffers from 2 issues. The first is that everything is very loud, and sometimes this results in cracks and clips even though the volume indication is in a safe spot. The second is that every now and then you will notice some very obvious noices from the recording, and there is no way to control that. If those are fixed, this should be a flipping premium instrument. Please please please update it please please!
Quite noisy, so it needs work!
For a library that features only shorts, noise can be a deal-breaker, and unfortunately this library has a lot of noise in all of its samples. I liked the velocity layers though, and the instrument itself has some kind of character. It needs some work to be done before I can recommend it though!
Comes with some problems...
This one has some playability issues for me. Starting from the simple "Mountain Dulcimer" patch, I really loved the character of it, but I ran into some problems very quickly. If you play moderately fast between the two "ranges", you will realise that some samples won't be registered at all, resulting in dead key presses, which is quite unfortunate. This is also one of the noisiest patches I've heard from Joshua. You will also find a percussive patch that I don't necessarily liked. When it comes to percussion, I think that you kind of NEED some round robins, otherwise everything sounds way too fake. The Blackhole multi is very soothing, to the point I want to cry... There are also some drone-like patches that you can explore. All of those seem quite interesting as always. Once again, there are no options for you to play with, and this time the image choice kind of takes the magic away...
The swarms got me good!
The single instrument is sampled really well with no apparent noise, but it lacks dynamics and character in my opinion. You will find ADSR options but I think in this case they are not needed. The unison patch adds some more to it for sure, but the real fun begins with the Swarm patches! If you combine them carefully together, you can achieve some amazing soundscapes, but that's all programming by you.
Cool, but needs some work
Cool idea, not that good in terms of executioning it. There are 3 patches, Full, Left and Right. Every single one of them though seems to be panned 75% or more to the right side, not sure why. There is also some white noise that will build up fairly quickly, especially if you turn the volume up - which you will because everything is very quiet at first. Without Reverb, everything sounds kind of weak and super dry. Between the 'left' and 'right' patches there is some tonal difference that has potential for a nice soundscape, but the instrument doesn't do anything about it, other than adding some reverb with out giving any control over it. I also hate the fact that you have to push a button in order to access the settings.
In here you will find two instrument patches and one multi that is the combination of the two as a preset. The two patches are a solo instrument and a pad one - becuase it wouldn't be a Joshua instrument if there was no pad! Even though I love his pads, this one in particular does not sound that interesting to me. I think that this is also the first time that I find a bad release noise sample in an instrument by Joshua. I absolutely love the solo one though! Also, a little note that the Ebow patch has two pointless tabs on the very bottom that do nothing - what did you have in mind Joshua??? Are you actually start putting interfaces on your instruments? Blasphemy!!!
An Amazing Solo Mandolin!
I've got used to Joshua's pads and ambient combinations, so I was surprised to see such a well-done solo instrument. Everything about it is real nice. It is on the "muted" side, unless you hit it real hard. But again that's part of its personality and I really like it! I was also a big fan of the idea of having one additional patch set an octave down. I see lots of potential uses on this one, so I highly recommend it! With that said, I was not that surprised by the pad sound. It's nice but it does well on its own, and not too well if you combine them together.
Perfect spurs, perfect feels
Since this is called Cello Spurs and not just Cello with an extra patch of Spurs, this is simply perfect. There are also some proper dynamics set for the mod-wheel, and there's also Expression bound on CC11 just like your typical Spitfire instrument. This goes super well with other similar libraries like the Soft Sring Spurs. I have no complains. Kudos to Dan!
Lovely sound and beautiful multis!
In typical Joshua fashion, you will find a single instrument and some multi patches that will make it fly. You don't have any control over them though, but I'm sure you will enjoy them as they are. The only weird thing to me is that in the single patch, there is a "missing" octave between the G3 and A3. Maybe that's how the instrument works, or maybe it was intended to be chords on the left hand and a higher pitch for the right hand.
An excellent free harp for all your needs!
I was expecting something more experiemntal, but this is actually an awesome harp for everyone here. There IS some white nose that can build up if you hold too many notes with a sustain pedal, but still it's very much worth it. Some samples are not properly cropped as well. There were times that at the very end of a sample, there was the beginning of another one. That's an easy fix if you check the waveforms of the samples though. I'd also like the GUI not to have 2 separate tabs, and if the graphics were more minimal.
I say, give it a go!
While theres not much control over the two patches, they have a character that you might like and find it fitting for your works. I personally like the Choir patch more than the Pad, because you are not restricted to the sample durations - in the pad patch, the samples are stretched in a very obvious way and in the higher register they don't last that long, just like me in bed LOL. DEFINITELY NOT PREFERED HAHA...ha ha.. Anyway I also found it weird that the patches are shifted one octave up, so the middle C is actually a low C instead. I think this was because of the very... VERY subby lows. I say, give it a go!
String magic in a box!
Nothing is missing from this little magic box. I LOVE IT. At first I picked the "swells" patch and I was like "I wish there was a patch without the sample dying"... And then I said, wait, there's a sustain patch. And that was it, I was sold. Excellent UI, excellent sound, very well done.
A true hidden gem!
This needs to be on top of all lists! It has character and it's sampled and programmed really damn well! You got to love the dynamic layers and the general playability. The only negative thing I can find is that the reverb is acting weird on the release, fading off quicker than needed, even if you set the sample release at the max level. If this had custom graphics for the controls, it would be a 5/5 from me.
This Zither has been through a lot!
You can hear it instantly with just a touch of your keys. It really needs some touch-ups though, but I get it, it's still in beta. Here's some feedback though: In general the samples are quite noisy. I can clearly hear that there are three samples as round-robins, that need to be randomized. One of the three is usually lower and kind of breaks the release of the previous one, which is really weird. The samples have a noise that stops immediately and renders the instrument pretty unusable in general. As for the extra articulations, the "destroyed" one is good but there is still some noise, the Knocks&FX and the Glissandos are very noisy and suffer from that sudden release cut, Finally, the Drunker Mbira suffers from all those problems too but since the sample is very small, it is very noticable. There is some character though, so I'll be waiting for the proper release!
A wonderful little guy!
The quality might not be top-notch - there is some white noise, especially in the high velocities and some general inconsistencies, but there are some serious vibes on this one nonetheless. I'll be waiting for an update - but my expectations are high because of this! Don't hesiate to test it yourself and see its potential, you might be impressed!
Premium quality for free!
This instrument has pretty much the aspects of a premium equivalent, and it is guaranteed addition to my collection with no further thoughts. There are a few things that someone might notice, but they are not necessarily bad. There is a very slight release sample that has some white noise. You will be able to hear it if play a note long enough that it is almost dead. It's also very apparent in higher velocities, which is a shame becaues I LOVE th samples there, since they add so much character to the instrument. There is a "Noises" knob, though it changes the volume of a different set of noises. There is also the "purple zone" which I think it's the open strings. In there, the C, C# and D are an octave higher than the rest of that octave. Lower than the purple register, you will enter the drone zone, which is haunting and beautiful at the same time. There's a knob to adjust the volume, in case you want to automate it independently, or you just want to play both zones at the same time. There are two other zones higher. The first is small custom loop zone that you can also change keys played by a knob. You might also locate the last zone at the highest part of the keyboard which might be hidden under your kontakt octave settings, and this has some VERY LOW volume percussive sounds of the instrument. There's also a Reverb knob and a "Voice" knob which is bound to the mod-wheel and I really can't tell what it's doing. There's also a "tone" knob that will let you to slightly alter the sound of the entire instrument. With all that said, I can't give it less than 5 stars. It clearly deserves all of them.
Save it. Run Kontakt. Slap the Ebow-multi, and lose yourself - that's it, that's the magic. We are done. Sure there's no GUI, there are no settings, nothing. You have to figure it out yourself. But ok, I'll give you a hint. You can control things under the hood with CC1 and CC11. That makes things easier, does it? Now go, go play, go create something.
A perfect, haunting swarm.
After checking out "The Swarminet" - which I recomment you immediately go and download right now - I had to try this one too. The idea is exactly the same, except this time it's a guitar swarm that will haunt your dreams. Since the guitar can be a little more spicy sounding than the clarinet, the sound is a little more harsh, but this makes it perfect for the purposes of a haunting swarm. Everything about Paul's instruments is simply perfect and beats me when I think they are out here for free.
A Haunting Brass Drone
As soon as you play you press a key, you will understand what it is about. Before that happens though, the GUI greets you by setting the mood with its gritty textures, and there you will find 4 knobs for letting you mess with the Attack, Release, LPF and Reverb. Sadly the samples don't loop by themselves, and that shows as you go up on the higher register, realising that they are all way too short. The lower sections though are deep and haunting, and will surely dress your music track's chraracter well.
Incredibly inspiring and professionally done!
This near-perfect instrument is hard to think it's out there for free. The only negative thing I found is that there is some white noise, but if you don't prefer that you can easily tweaking it by turning the modwheel a little down or simply engaging the LFO filter. Other than that, everything is very, very well made. Thank you!
What I loved about this one was the lows, as if you were to play an ambient pad. The highs are ok too, but they seem a little too unbalanced compared to the very soothing low range. In general there is juuust a little bit of noise, but that's part of how wind instruments are sampled. I believe that this instrument would sit very well in a calm or sad sequence. Jeez it reminded me of the movie Manchester By The Sea out of nowhere... ANYWAY, finally a good GUI that matches the nature of the instrument perfectly! You won't find too many options though. I have to admit that the Expression works great with the modwheel and the release trigger, something that many get it wrong and defeat its purpose. Very nice overall!
Limited but with a nice character
A fairly simple yet interesting take for the Sakuhachi, though I am sorry to say that this is not executed that well. At first the instrument sounds very nice with a nice twist on it. With the little warp-like effect it is able to create a kind of creepy vibe, which is kind of unexpected, since the Sakuhachi is usually very calm and soothing. Sadly the sampling and processing is not very good. You can listen to a click sound that happens when the sample loops mid-way, resetting to a spot that makes a very unnatural transition. Also the speed of the "warp" slows down as you go low, so it is kind of weird to play chords. The only use I can think of is something like a single ambient note, which will have to be processed a bit as well. The GUI has nothing to be found, so you are all alone.
Very, very simple
This seems more like a modern workstation keyboard engine trying to create brass sounds. It's not fully realistic, but it's not too synthy either. I found the lower range being the most usable one and as you go up you see that thngs can only go worse. The higher you go, the more synthy it becomes, and turns out sounding very fake, in my opinion. Most of the samples suffer from a little noise, but the worst part is some weird clickly noises that repeat often due to the short sample looping. On top of that, the GUI offers no options at all.
Cute but needs some work
There are some minor issues regarding this instrument, such as that the pitches between the "voices" is not identical in some keys. In some keys it appears on higher velocities while being ok in the lower ones, and in other keys it's the opposite, which makes it really confusing if you are either programming or performing. The lower pitches are very low in volume and kind of unusable, and the very high pitches suffer from the opposite problem - too high, and too sharp. I liked the fact that the pitch-bend keeps one voice on the current pitch but only manages to shift one. Very interesting. There is nothing else to be explored though, since the GUI is just a plain wallpaper and offers no settings.
Buggy but it can work!
You can definitely hear some character on this instrument, but overall there are some issues that need to be fixed. First and most importantly, there is some significant noise in some samples, and some weird artifacts as well, that can be found between the dynamic layers between different velocities. The volume and the panning are also slightly inconsistent. The main problem though is in the GUI. While the wallpaper is really cool, you will see two knobs for the mics, and these are super buggy. As soon as you touch one mic, the other one gets muted no matter where it is placed. You have to touch it again to have it retriggered, but that will mute the other mic, and that is not indicated anywhere, and means that you can't really have a blend between the two. There is also the reverb which sounds very nice, but not as big as someone might want.
A small journey
This is a very small set of two patches that will surely remind you of the eastern mountains. It's simple yet effective enough to keep you awake in this dreamy soundscape. Being used to Joshua's way to treat his instruments, I was not surprised to just see a simple wallpaper and no controls included at all. Nevetheless, this instrument might be just right for your works.
The art of noise, maybe?
This is interesting, and really unexpected. At first I thought I would listen to an actual flute playing short notes, but it's definitely not the case. It's really the noises that a flute can make while playing staccato, and that sounds more like a very dry mallet, or rather a plastic pipe hit with something. I doubt that's the way of playing it though, because you will see that there are 5 impulse responses for you to mess around and they can make things veeery ambient. Weirdly enough, the on-off switch is upside down... Whyyy???... Anyway, if you don't want too much ambience, you can try the included arpeggiator, which, unlike every other arpeggiator/sequencer I've seen on all Pianobook, this one works like a charm! Kudos to the creator for the unique idea and for the proper execution.
Windy power, featuring legato!
This wind instrument is very, VERY well made. The patch is a legato one, meaning that there is no multi-note option, and the note shifting from one to another sounds more natural. There is also an amazing high-velocity layer that pushes the instrument and produces something like a trill, which you have to hear it yourself! At the same time there is a noisy release sample that I dont really enjoy and I would like to have the option to turn it down or completely off. In fact there are no options at whatsoever, not even the volume attached to the modwheel, which makes it less playable. It's kind of impossible to play quietly, but still, this is very much worth it and easily recommended!
Super nice overall!
A ver nice little orchestral instrument pack that you won't regret downloading! Let's take it one by one: First the Cello, which I really loved. The sampling is really good, the range is great and it has a lot of character in general. It's sharp, crisp and very well defined. Same goes with the Viola, which I have to say it has some very chilling harmonics that may cause goosebumps, especially in the mid-range. The violin is a little on the warmer side, but it is still very well defined. You may hear a very slight noise though, probably coming from the bow. The horn on the other hand has a very quick attack that may be hard to get over. You can hear that well in the higher range, but it becomes smoother as you go down. Next we have the recorder, which sounds absolutely lovely. I especially love the vibrato layer, but there's a problem with the two dynamic layers - they are very different and that may cause inconsistencies while you play it. Last but not least we have the to clarinets. The first is very airy and smooth, and the second is more defined with some airy parts in the mid-range. They suffer from the same attack problem just like the horn does though. The GUI is nonexistent and for all instruments there is no control over anything. Nevertheless, this is a very well sampled library and you won't regret trying it out!
A good old Flugelhorn
This is very simple and very well sampled instrument. There is not much going on though. It's not that dynamic, and the heavy attack -along with the lack of control on it- kind of takes away the realism, but that doesn't mean it is unusable. You will definitely need to try it yourself and see if it matches what you are looking for.
Embrace the darkness
Oh. My. God, I LOVED this. It is deep, it is dark, and it has so many possible uses. Thankfully you can fully control the ADSR envelope, and you also have access to a reverb and your tupical cutoff filter. These options can let you create more a more synthy pad, or you can just stick to the darkness of the heavy low notes - not that the mids and highs are not good - they are trully amazing with a really nice grit on them. I would prefer an even more minimalistic GUI though. Yes. Even more. Don't ask why. Fantastic work, would recommend to everyone!
Near perfect quality!
This instrument could easily be a premium one if it didn't have this one problem: The CC1 is mislabeled as Dynamics, whereas it should be Expression. The actual dynamics are controled by the velocity, and they sound very nice and indeed very dynamic. This "problem" makes it less playable, and it's a shame because the velocity layers are stunning. I would very much prefer though an actual dynamic crossfade for CC1 and Expression in CC11 as in a typical Spitfire fashion. I also wish that the GUI didn't feature the default stupid Kontakt knobs and labels, as they take away all the magic that the instrument has to offer. You will find tons of controls though, including two mics that can be panned seperately for a better stereo image. You can also set the attack and release which can turn this into an awesome pad, especially if you combine it with the nice reverb and room knobs that come with it. There is also the Legato patch which also offers portamento, a great addition to see on a free instrument. It works well if you don't do super big jumps. Overall this is a great instrument and I highly recomend it!
A buggy, almost dangerous clarinet.
Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice instrument, and it's beautiful in its own ways, but it is literally unusable and I will tell you why. Once you run the instrument you have a sustain patch and a GUI with just three knobs to control vibrato artificially, a "shorts" button that triggers a kind of stacatto mode, and an empty wallpaper... The sounds are nice and warm, a bit on the noisy side though. The shorts are a bit incosistent because of the downsampling, but that's not the real problem. The more you play, the more the CPU builds up, to the point that it can become dangerous for your hardware. You can't play it for long, and I don't encourage you to download it either, unless you want to find a way to fix it.
A pad-like sax-choir
This instrument thrives when you treat it as an ambient pad. You do have enough options to create a more solo sound, such as turning the attack and release all the way down, but you will quickly realise it gets noisy and there is a clipping sample right in the start of each note, that you can only get rid of if you put the attack at 3o'clock, which is like at 80%... Not a fan of the drop-shadow effect. It's not a good way to deal with bright backgrounds and white text.
A great solo instrument!
I admit that I had low expectations at first, but after taking a look at the patches offered, I was like, ok, something good must be going on. You will find three patches, Sustain, Staccato and Legato ladies and gentlemen! The sound of the horn itself is kind of dark and dry, which is great in my opinion, though there is some very light noise on the higher dynamic samples - which, by the way, are controlled by the modwheel for the longs and by velocity for the staccato patch. I have to say though that I keep getting a weird error of a missing file that I can't find at all and is kind of annoying. I think it is the FX patch mentioned in the description, because I can't find any FX no matter what I do. In general though, I was impressed, especially by a legato patch in a free instrument that works just right.
Great ambience but too wet.
While the sound and character of this instrument are great, I find it to be very wet, even when you reduce the space setting through the modwheel. This results in a very quick buildup of the reverberance, which in cases it might be proper for what you want to do, but the in my personal opinion, the possibilities are very limited.
Mesmerizing for real.
I have tested and reviewed a lot of vocal samples and pads, but I have to admit this one was something special. Everything is so wonderfully great about this. I wish the range was a little bigger - which is just 4 octaves right now. It is great as it is though, don't get me wrong. The GUI blends it really well, and it prepares you for what's about to come. I'd love to see more customization though, such as ADSR envelope, reverb controls, and perhaps stereo-image setting.
The lows can kick but the highs will make you laugh
There is great contrast when it comes to the sound produced across the range of this instrument. The mid-low range sounds kind of normal, the low can be horrifying, but anything above C3 sounds kind of ridiculous - practically unusable for me. Christian mentions it himself though, that this is best served low, and that's all that you need to know in order to make this work. Other than that, there are no other settings to play with.
Ok, it's the VERY quiet choir
I mean, it is really, really quiet. And the patches themselves are all the way up, but I guess that's something that can be pushed in the mix with many many methods. With that said, it creates a very wholesome, yet nostalgic feeling. You will find though two patches, the normal and a "swells" one - and a multi with a multi-preset that actually worked the best for me. Hard to believe this is just Joshua's voice, because I could swear I can hear some angelic children voices! I am not a fan of the selected wallpaper though... It kind of takes away the emotional aspect. There are also no settings at all, so you get to play whatever Joshua intended.
Extraordinaire and very creative!
I LOVED this, both for the idea and the execution! It's the definition of character and I feel honoured that Jon shared this with us. It's so wholesome and the quality is very high. In more detail you will find an ADSR setting, and individual volume sliders for each family member, in both wet and dry signals. I do wish the GUI was slightly different, but I don't want to take away the 5-star rating from this.
Great direction, could use some more variations
Not sure why there are 5 patches, because they all sound mostly the same to me with some very minor alterations - but then it might be just me and my untrained ears. Also kind of hate it when the knobs react to the mouse only moving horizontally and not vertically.
Pretty dark and almost too muddy
There are some interesting characteristics about this one, but the lack of GUI or any controls will make it hard to play and/or to program. The samples seem good, but they lean towards the muddy territory which can become a real pain in the mixing stages. The range is kind of limited and the panning in most -if not all- patches seems to be off towards the left. It needs some work!
One of the best choirs in Pianobook!
I absolutely love this choir library. The sampling job is great, and the modwheel layers are amazing! I also loved that the artist kept it realistic - the voices stop after they run out of breath, and you actually hear a release sample of them breathing. If this had a better GUI and some further controls over the release samples it would undoubtedly be a perfect 5/5. Give it some legato patches and it would easily be an amazing premium library.
Lots of character on this one
This is a great little instrument that offers a great ambience with cool settings to play around and find your own ambient voice. The GUI is great but for such instruments I personally kinda need ADSR settings for making it work for me, and this doesn't include any. More specifically I feel that the release needs to be controlled a little in order to be able to adjust in various situations. I like the filter addition in the modwheel though. Overall it's very good and I highly recommend it!
A very WET vocal pad
Seriously, this is way too wet, to the point that is almost unusable. The samples are great though, with little to no audible noise. But, even if you hit a note in a spiccato fashion, the sample keeps going 8-9 seconds. This would have been amazing with some simple ADSR controls, or even a modwheel control over the dynamics.
What can I do with just a D?
Sure, the sound is very nicely sampled and the ambience created is great, but I can't really find a proper wayto use this. A kind of workaround is to turn the pitch all the way up to 36, so the actually Dee is not recognizable anymore, and the sample becomes a shimmery "bling" sound. Maybe I'm not creative enough for this...
Very fun but does it have an actual use case?
I am kind of split between "This is so much fun!" and "Where do I use this?". It seems that it's nicely made in most terms, but I really can't think of any real musical scenarios that this can be used in a serious way. It lacks the feeling, the control and the continuity that I am looking for in such an instrument.
Gave me the creeps!
A trully unique Pianobook instrument that came out very unexpected for me. At first I just loved the simple Tape Noise patch, which is something that you can use pretty much everywhere. I was very impressed with the sounds overall, but the ADSR doesn't really seem to work probably. The attack actually does nothing for me, and the Release just keeps the sample for longer instead of making it fade away, which is not the purpose of the release setting. There is no mod-wheel control either, so the release problem is something that can be fixed by automating the volume. I really the graphic though, though I would have put a heavy noise texture instead of a flat dark gray, just to match the instrument theme.
I absolutely LOVE this
This is just great. While it is very wet even with the reverb bypassed, the ambience that all the patches can generate is magnificent. It is full of character, and I especially love the ModWheel wavy distortions when you put it all the way up. Unfortunately it won't give you 5 stars because of the GUI that I don't really like. Such a quality instrument needs some much better graphics to accompany it!
When a noise becomes creative
I really like the instrument and most patches other than the drones feel super good! But damn it it feels weird to use those drone patches without ADSR settings, or at least a modwheel setting with either volume or a filter. I feel that the attack is way too fast and the release way too long. I'd love to have the ability to control those so I can shape the envelope the way I want. Nevertheless, all patches are very nice and usable, no doubt about that. My favourite has got to be the Noisy Whistle and the Old Radio ones.
Definitely needs some work
While the voices are interesting, you can really sense that this is kind of basic. It's not just the lack of GUI. It's that the samples are looped in a way that once you notice it you can't unhear it. That's not a big issue though compared to other problems. Most of the samples sounds very dry and the attack is very harsh for my taste. This results in a very "synthy" feel which doesn't match the sound I'm hearing. Since there are no settings to play around, not even with the modwheel, you can't really do anything about it.
Except for some very minor noise issues that can build up quickly if you play with very wet settings, this kalimba is totally worth it. The main instrument itself is cool and pretty customizable, but it suffers from the noise I mentioned, though only audible in very wet settings. The matrix is a fantastic tool to play around and generate some ideas, especially by using the sound of a warm kalimba like this. I'm impressed because it's pretty rare to find it in free instruments - I personally have seen it only in premium ones. Good job!
With some tweaks, it can be amazing!
The actual sound of the instrument is very nice, but there is definitely some room for improvement. The release sample that cuts off immediately would likely give a hard time if someone would try to perform on it, but it wouldn't be a problem in programming. For performing, you can always use the sustain pedal though. The other thing that I personally find kind of counter intuitive is in the two horizontal sliders in the GUI. 1st, the interface makes it seem it works backwards - the yellow should fill the empty blacks - and 2nd, the actual control VERTICAL instead. There are some other settings though that work great, such as an EQ, a compressor, and a wonderful Resonance setting with tons of options that work great. If the release trigger and the UI issues are fixed, this would be an easy 5/5.
Just some snaps
While the samples are cool and well made. They will do a great job if you want to use them every now and then, but they might start sounding artificial if you overdo it, because of no round robins, since in nature it's very hard to perform the exact same snap twice. Be sure to check them out if you need some though!
Sounds like a bass harp
I am updating my review because I found better wording for it. At first it didn't feel like a pizzicato bass, but now I think it really feels lke a very bassy and dry harp. That's not really a bad thing. Dry instruments are easier to work with in my experience and they offer better textures too. This sounds more like a jazz bass technique too, so if you are into that, you might really enjoy it. It has big release tail that I am not personally used to, but it might be just right for you.
The amplified one is worth it!
Three kalimba instruments, but one of them is really worth your attention, since it's quite different than most kalimbas you will find out there. The "normal" one is kind of an indifferent one with lack of character. The coconut is a little more interesting for sure, but compared to the amplified one it sounds just like an old kalimba.
After reviewing many instruments by Joshua, I've come to the conclusion that he is a very creative individual and a very talented sampler for sure. He has the ability to create wonderful combinations of instruments, such as this one. Inside you will find two multi-patches, one of which is the Lovechild itself. It is a combination of 5 instruments that make you want to play more and more, and it can easily fit in many different genres of music. One of the instruments in this multi is a "regular" kalimba, but it doesn't do well on its own, so I don't recommend using that alone. The other multi is called "A Gorgeous Void Pad" and it is indeed very gorgeous. It features a "blackhole" pad and an ambient kalimba based on reversed samples. Both of these are featured on the other multi. In typical Joshua fashio, there are no controls over anything, but that's ok because the patches are perfect anyway. Just an idea: this could be named just "Lovechild"!
The Kalimba Veteran!
This Kalimba is indeed old and it has been through a lot. You notice it instantly as soon as you touch one key. It's not your everyday kalimba, so don't expect it to act like the others. It can't, and it shouldn't. It's not cute, it's not perfect. But it's those imperfections that make it full of character. I noticed that there are I'm pretty sure it can fit well in many scenarios, especially more on the horror side. A big plus that you have nice dynamics between velocities. You also get to have some percussive samples which is a nice addition - but man don't beat it up anymore, give it a break!
A tiny tinny kalimba, literally
Since this is a custom-made Kalimba instrument, it is bound to be a little different than your generic Kalimba. And if you pay attention you will notice it, but juuust a little. Since this is a fish can, you can really listen to the can itself. It's a more metalic and tinny sounding than others, and this might be just right for you.
Not your everyday Kalimba VST
This is a different take on the cute instrument called Kalimba. This isn't really that cute - it can actually get quite crazy! It's basically a blend between a synth and the kalimba itself. The blending happens through the modwheel, but that's not indicated anywhere. There's just one patch that once you load it you find 2 settings, a cuttoff knob and a resonance knob. If you turn the cuttoff all the way up, the resonance down, and set the modwheel fully down, you get a natural kalimba sound. The more you play with the settings, the more synthy and gritty it will get. You need to test it yourself and see what it can do.
Simple but very effective!
For a first attempt in sampling, this is amazing! There is no noise at all and the quality is pretty dang good! I like the fact that the sustain and release work really well with no problems. Since the GUI is just a photo, there are no extra options to play around, so it's pretty much a good old kalimba. Also, the nice information about the instrument in the description is a very nice thouch. I'll make sure to check out more of this artist's instruments in the future!
Simple But Cute!
Not sure what Hidde Pieters is talking about - Not sure if I did something wrong, but I can only find one patch that is pretty much one simple instrument, with a GUI that features two mic knobs and a small wallpaper of the instrument intself. The sound itself is clean and quite unique - I personally haven't heard anything similar to that. Try it yourself and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Beautiful in every way!
This little baby was the first Pianobook Kalimba I tried and I was blown away by pretty much everything. From the sampling quality to the GUI and the settings, this allows for no complains. You kind of need to be careful of not pushing many mics too high at the same time because it can get really loud at high velocities, but remember that for achieving maximum feels, a marimba should be played with elegance, so be gentle! I have to add though that there were some problems setting it up, but after I solved it I saved it as a new patch and everything seems great now. Cheers!
Beyond the Twin Peaks
When it comes to creating a tribute instrument, it takes a lot of effort to replicate what you listen to. You can't be fully objective - at some point your character will jump in and will probably take over. You will find 8 different patches, but I'm mostly impressed by the Guitar patch and how the artist decided to create it. It gives me a fresh new look, and most importantly, it makes me more creative. There is some kind of noise though over some samples, for example in lower samples of the Strings 1 patch. The pan in that patch is also mostly panned left by default, but you can reset it easily. In general, this is a very nice bunch of instruments that will likely make you more creative.
A top-tier musicbox, for free!
This instrument is fully worth it even if you only consider the default setting, just the single-play one. Upon launching the instrument you will find a blend-slider between two mics, and you will also notice that there are some separate keys for mechanical noises, which I absolutely love! There is also a bunch of Impulse Responses to choose for your reverb, and most of them are pretty neat. But there are also the swarms, lots of them! You have some kind of control over them, but unfortunately I find kind of difficult to make them fit properly because the duration can sometimes be exhausting to the ear and you can't really control it unless you pick a different kind of swarm. The best for me would be the White Noise options. There is a wet/dry slider but it doesn't work that well for me. Nevertheless, this is a very well made instrument and I easily recommend it to everyone!
A chilling choir!
If you want a female choir with an ambient characater, this is a very good choice. At this point I have become very familiar with the Photosynthesis Engine, but I feel that it doesn't do enough justice to this specific library. The cutoff filter bound to the modwheel seemed nice at first, but since it acts as a filter, it also catches the release sample and this makes it very unnatural if you want to play with more dynamics. You should also mostly avoid the lower part of the library, since after the middle C everything sounds very down-pitched and unnatural. The higher "female" parts are incredible though! I'd also stick to the NR version, because the other one seems to have some noises that I am not a fan of.
Sci-fi all the way
While this instrument seems very minimal, you will be surprised of how much it can offer. Each of the two patches offered is unique, and will do great justice to most sci-fi scenarios, especially if they are inspired by the 80s. This is not meant to be played as a lead instrument though. Think of it more like a drone, with A LOT of character. I'd love some ADSR controls, but other than the modwheel acting as a filter, there is nothing else. With that said, this is a very, very nicely done instrument. Well done!
Tons of horror SFX!
This instrument has to offer lots and lots of sound effects for horror scenarios. The sample quality is really good, and the best part of it is that there it's not only one or two pitch modified samples, but many different ones. The GUI offers tons of options, including the control of the reversed version of the samples. You can also blend them together and add different kinds, such as Drive, Flanger, Chorus and Reverb - to the normal and reversed samples individually! You will also note that they are split into 4 categories and each category gets its own settings as well. Sadly there is no attack or release settings, but nevertheless, the possibilities are endless!
The Endless Possibilities of Pianobook
Pianolith was by far the biggest in size instrument I've downloaded from Pianobook. I was very curious to listen to what it had to offer and once I realised what it was about, I was stunned. This massive project brings out some of the best instruments you will get to see in Pianobook. Some others are not the best ones, but you are free to try them yourself and create combinations that no one else will. The engine has A LOT to offer, seriously. Since this was done more than a year ago though, it would be lovely to see an update for 2021. Pianobook has grown so much in both quantity and quality and I'm sure it will be worth it!
If that's not creativity, I don't now what is
In all seriousness, how can this sound THAT good? It shouldn't, but it does! Clay has done a fantastic job sampling sounds off of a disposable cup, which still seems ridiculous to me, and I am still impressed by the results. The percussion is lovely - I suggest combining the low octaves with the very high ones to get a good kick-snare sound. I bet it would go well with the synth-like sound of the other patches. The possibilities are so many!
An excellect collection at your fingertips!
This is pretty much a pretty huge list full of different combinations Joshua has created in the past, and each one of them has something to offer. Inside you will find 38 multi-patches for you to choose and play around. In a similar fashion of all his other instruments, they include only a wallpaper so we are only limited to messing with Kontakt's built-in settings. The samples themselves though are so great that you it is very unlikely that you will want to change them. My favourites have got to be Appalachian Dream, The Strange Choir and Ocean Guitar!
This could easily be a premium instrument
I found myself playing with this way too much... Bravo! I especially love the Sunspots patch, but I can see the other patches working either alone or together to create incredible soundscapes. Also I need to pinpoint that the GUI has some phenomenal work on it. Everything is fully custom and even the knobs have proper lighting on them. Absolutely incredible job. An easy 5 stars from me. Cheers!
Just a simple harpsichord.
If you are looking for a free, simple, plug-n-play harpsichord, this is it. Even if there is really nothing very special about it, it gets the job done nice and smooth. Some samples have some little noises here and there, but barely noticable. It also has a kind of limited range but they say that limitations stimulate creativity. The dry sound is nice because it can be easily manipulated. If you are in search fo a harpsichord, give it a try for sure!
It flows very damn well!
First, I need to give it up for the name, because it's just perfect! At first I thought this would be mostly a Lo-Fi instrument but it can definitely do more than that. You will find 13 patches available, and every one of thme differs from little to A LOT. In addition, you will have full control over pretty much everything. If you are not familiar with the Photosynthesis engine, let me tell you that you will find all kinds of envelope settings, along with some filter and effect options. There is also a rhytmic engine which I am not really a fan of. It will work only if you are very precise or if you end up quantizing your midi notes, because it won't sync with every note at a specific starting point, therefore you may create some chaos. I'd also love if the UI could be slightly more customized.
Zombies are alright, I guess.
This is a fairly simple sampled instrument, with just one sample scaled across the keyboard in both pitch and length to a big extend. But for sure you can create small horror ambiences for either a game jam or a pen-n-paper horror session. I have to admit I got a quick scare after opening the instrument and seeing the wallpaper, but it's not a zombie! The GUI is cool, but more themed graphics would take it off to another level!
A kind of lo-fi piano that could offer a lot!
This piano has quite a lot of character to offer and feels very nice to play on. It has this kind of lo-fi quality to it though in all three microphone options provided. In some cases the noise might feel too much in higher velocities, but if your playing is consistent you might not notice it too much. If you manage to handle it, the piano actually sounds lovely! The instrument wallpaper is also out of proportion, but that obviously doesn't interefere with the character of the instrument.
How to capture a soul?
Ask Joshua, he's done it. I don't really have much to say. This is a minimalistic pad that breathes life, both figuratively and literally. Props to Joshua for having such a creative idea, and the heart of sharing this part of his to the Pianobook world.
Free nostalgia synth!
Another synth that is executed pretty well. The quality is nice and there are full ADSR options, along with a low-pass and high-pass filter which are very important for synth sound design. You will also find a Reverb and a Delay knob. The feel you will mostly get is a 80's one, and you will find both pads and leads. Unfortnately the patch names don't say which one is which, so you have to load it and see. The GUI has some problems when it comes to clicking things, as it usually grabs the one next to what you want to click, but it's not that big of a deal. Finally, the color theme is quite unfitting in my opinion. I would prefer to see something darker and closer to the cover art, combined with some more colors instead of a mustard-yellow...
A horror synth at your fingertips
This instrument seems very versatile and it will not disappoint you. You will find lots of options inside for you to play around and create a sound that will perfectly match your prefered atmosphere. I noticed a small problem though. If you hold a note for a long time, the sample automatically stops, and it doesn't even trigger a release sample - it just stops immediately. This shouldn't be a big concern though because for such a case you can retrigger it with a big release and no one would really notice.
Don't hit your car!
Joshua already hit his so you don't have to do it yourself. It's a very interesting library, though I find the samples cutting of more quickly that I usually like. There is also an "arpeggiator" for the percussion that you might find handy. Weirdly enough you will find a pad included too, which is nice and vibey, but it's not something trully special. It is also a concern when it comes to actually organizing your instruments based on the vibe or the kind of instrument. Where should I put this, in a percussion folder or in a pad one? OCD intensifies.
Horror and fantasy combined!
This little patch is both full of horror feels and fantasy magic. I've never even heard of a Didgeridoo, but I absolutely love this. It is very well sampled but unfortunately there are no controls at all, except for a wallpaper that reminded me of a circus, and more specifically killer clowns...
Amazing atmosphere, I'd love some more controls!
This instrument has trully some big potential. While the range is much smaller than a full piano, it performs very well and the quality is quite good. To my very big surprise, I didn't expect to see a different GUI from Christian, but oh well, this one is perfect! Inside you will find a bunch of customization sliders and knobs to tweak it as much as you want. Sadly you can't control the delay timing, and it is also not synced, but applied individually, which can create a mess if you play faster or out of tempo. If you are careful though it won't be a problem. BUG REPORT: If you try to bind the first two sliders on any CC, it fails and reads it as if you wanted to bind the knob closer to where you click.
I wish I had this before I finished my album...
It's been a long time since I had goosebumps just by playing a few notes. Strings full of emotion and character that will give you the chills guaranteed. I really, really wish I had this when I wrote my concept album. One day I will remaster it and I will make sure to include this. Leaving the personal opinion aside, this instrument is very well sampled with no audible noise. There are tons of options inside to customize it to your needs, but there is no way to control the reverb completely. The knob design could have been more classical, but who cares, I will give it a 5/5 because it deserves to be at the top. Big, big thanks to Dan!
I say it's perfect.
5/5, no doubt at all. This is simply amazing, hands down. Every single patch is fantastic, with definite character and tons of potential, especially in the modern lo-fi genre. In addition to that, there is full ADSR control included, along with a very nice Reverb and a Cutoff filter that is attached to the mod wheel. I'm surprised that others didn't figure it out yet, but yes, there is noise, but you can remove it if you turn the Cutoff just a little bit down! The noise disappears and the volume is not affected too much. I will say it again, this is simply perfect. Thank you for this, Peter!
All about character!
It's been a long time since I've heard such character in a drum kit. Everything is mostly amazing, with the exception of some samples having a very weird release, especially one particular one in the base drum on low-mid velocities, which there is a click and a sudden stop. It happens on the toms as well, but overall it's not a big deal. I like that there is also a slow flam, but it be awesome if the flam would be faster on higher velocities. My only big complain is that the mapping is not the same as the generic drum mapping for the cymbals, but that's something that you can get used to.
Popped my interest!
Inside this bag of pop-corns you will find two categories of patches, "corn-pad", which is a pad-like instrument if that's not obvious, and "rock-corn", which is a drum kit! The Corn-pad is nicey, but I find the samples stopping in a way that I don't personally enjoy. It is also kind of obvious that each of the 4 pad patches is basically 1 sample per patch, just tuned up and down. Perhaps it would be a little more practical if all the patches were combined into one. The drum kit is nice though! There are also loops which are good enough to give you some inspiration in terms of how you may use the single patches. With that said, in one the single patches, I find the distance between the keys too high for me, I would need 4 hands to brainstorm a rhythm! I'm also sure that most of the patches could have been combined to give more inspiration and choices for the player. You should tyr and pop it too!
A nice swarm that shouldn't be overlooked!
This shimmery guitar swarm is able to produce some very nice sounds. It is sampled wonderfully, there is no audible noise at all, and the range of the instrument is just right. At first I tried playing it using the classic mod-wheel for dynamics, but it didn't work. I noticed though that there are dynamics controled by velocity so that's very nice, but a little weird for a swarm instrument. I would much prefer the modwheel, but it still good enough to get the job done. The lack of GUI is a shame, but the instrument is good by itself! With that said, I'd like to have a picture shown just for the sake of the artist's identity and inspirations.
Don't sustain the highs!
This is a very lovely one - that is, if you avoid using the higher octave... Why that octave, you may ask. Well, if you play it as a sustain instrument, any note on that high octave will produce a not pleasant ringing sound, as if you just hit your head really hard. This can probably be fixed with some EQ though, preferably a dynamic one if you are going for a more complicated harmony. The other part that I don't like is that each key has a click sound, but italso gives it some character that you might like. The option to reduce or remove it would be awesome!
Good sound, weird execution!
The piano pad, awesome. It has quite the character inside it, and you can blend the two different sounds with the modwheel. Nice! As for the Toolkit pad... I find that some stuff inside are almost irrelevant for my taste and very awkward to use. For example, on this patch the volume is controlled by the velocity, not by the modwheel which seems counter-intuitive, especially since the other patch has the modwheel do something. But that's not the problem at all. Inside that patch there is a setting that lets you pick between 8 different instruments, 5 pads, which are really nice and work really well, 2 weird synths that I don't know why they really exist, and an awkward synth-like drum kit which you don't get to see the key-range because it highlights the entire keyboard - possibly because of the other instruments. With that said, these are extras and you can just ignore them. Or maybe you find something in them, you never know!
I was kind of looking for something like this!
The flute itself is fantastic! The sampling is awesome, there is no audible noise and the instrument plays really well along with the mod-wheel dynamics. There is no control offered other than that, but I love it the way it is. Perhaps it could use a vibrato slider and perhaps a few legato samples in the form of a wood noise. That would make it probably perfect but then I'd feel bad for not paying for it. You can also find a cute glockenspiel which is really nice, with lots of dynamics, but still no control over anything else such as the room reverberations. Weirdly enough, the wallpapers of those two patches don't match at all.
This could be a little better, but it's good enough!
There is some serious work put on this small library, but I'm sure it can become amazing from just good. The close mic introduces a white noise which exists even if you don't play anything, but that may be ok for some lo-fi cases, or you can slap a noise gate on, but you will keep getting some once you trigger the sound. This happens mostly in the Bass drum patch and in the Chimes patch which are very noisy in general. My other issue is that some samples are inconsistent when it comes to the total volume. This is very audible in the Snare patch, where you can listen the single strokes being very "normal" in contrast of the rolls that can get very, very loud. I'd also love a flam sample! These are some very nice sounds and the GUI is nice too. You get 3 knobs for different mic placements, which I am not a fan of the indications on top, and they are also a little buggy - at some point I got locked using only one of them and after a while it got fixed by itself. There is also a nice light indication for the dynamics which are controlled by the modwheel.
Beautiful but limited
Even though it's just two little patches, both of them sound really well! I do like more the Piano one, because I feel it has more placement posibilities. Not that the other bigger one is bad, not at all! It's just a personal preference. The ambience projected is majestic, but you are just left with the default settings because there are no others. Pretty fun nonetheless!
The limitations don't take out the loveliness!
While this instrument has the very limited range of just 2 octaves, it offers great ambience, especially if you work with the Low Pass Filter as your Dynamics. I absolutely loved it! I also tried it without the reverb setting which is included in the GUI, but I didn't like as much. The wallpaper is nice but it would be even better without the default kontakt graphics. Other than the reverb and the LPF knob, you won't find anything else for you to tweak, but that's alright because the sound is amazing by default.
Lovely but could be much better!
This is a nice little guitar instrument that can work really well in some cases, but unfortunately it comes with some sampling and programming problems. First, the is some slight noise in the samples, but that's not that bad. In some cases, the sample pitch changes depending on the velocity, or is just plain out of tune, which doesn't let you use it as you may initially wanted. The overall sound is good though. It reminds me of old and kind of entry home keyboards, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In addition, it took me a while to realise there is a Reverb setting in the middle of the UI, because it blends too much with the background. I would also love to see the different mics on the UI instead of having to load different patches.
Shimmers for the Shivers!
I really, really like this instrument. Joshua has done an excellent sampling job on this one. Each of the patches offer something different, often offering a nostalgic vibe from the 80s - at least that's what I felt. While there are no controls at all, I feel that it is very playable, though some control settings wouldn't be bad to exist, like ADSR for example.
Smoothest organ i've heard in a while
When you read the words "requiem" and "church organ" you kind of prepare yourself for something harsh instead of gentle, something spooky instead of wholesome. This offers the exact opposite of these thoughts, in a good way! I often feel very intimidated by church organs because of how harsh they may sit on a mix, but with this one, I feel more confident. You will also find though a bunch of other patches for you to try out, including some with more harsh sounds. The file organization is a little bit weird and you might get some errors, though. You will find a nice GUI with control over all the different parts of the instrument, which is very interesting in my opinion. It shows that some great effort was put, and I can't wait to use it in my works.
I absolutely adore this instrument. I wish this could be a 5 star rating but the lack of GUI will bring it down. Not that it needs it though. Inside you will find 4 patches - which could be organized in one folder instead of 4... but every one of them is lovely and surves its purpose well. I like both the sustains and the waves, but I am sure I will end up using more of the sustains along with the FX patches. Well done!
Thunderous, but a little confusing
It's thunderous, for sure, but I wish it could be a little more versatile. It definitely sounds super heavy, and it's definitely meant to be played less "thunderously", since in higher velocities it just becomes too much. The built-in reverb builds up very quickly, so it would be nice to have control over that. The panning panel is a very welcome addition but sometimes it generates some cracks. The GUI is a little confusing at first. You will definitely need to read the tooltips to see what each setting does. I'd prefer a more clean look without the huge board. I get why it exists but it just feels excessively big in this case. Maybe you can find a way fitting it in your compositions though.
Lovely but a little inconsistent
This piano sounds absolutely lovely and the sampling seems very good, there is a problem when it comes to the key noise that might turn some users off. Some keys have a very harsh click, and others don't have any at all. Since there are no round robins or multiple velocity layers - which is generally fine - in this case playing for a while won't seem as unique as your first time playing it. Inside the GUI you will find two knobs, one of which is a volume that's the same with the default instrument volume, and a reverb setting which creates a heavy echo.
Nice vibes, but could be more than that!
Sampling a guitar sounds like a hella lot of work! This is lovely though, you can vibe very well on it. My main issue is that you have no control over the release sample length, because right now favours a more "open string" play. The higher velocities sound great and speak for themselves! I'd love to have more control in general but it's good enough as it is
What a lovely sound!
This instrument offers a different take of a guitar, and its name matches well what it can do. The velocity setting favor more of a medium to heavy playstyle. I'd like the GUI to let me adjust the Reverb a bit because I personally feel it can built up more than I'd like. An attack knob would also be very useful, but it's favors more of a lead-like playing and less of an ambient one. I'm sure most users will have big fun with it!
Character unable to shine
You can hearthe piano has quite a lovely character there, but unfortunately there are some issues that won't let it shine its goodness. The first thing I noticed is that all of the notes are almost hard-panned left, they have a very prominent white noise, but that's ok if you like Lo-Fi productions. The low notes though are not that clearly audible due to that noise. It's also no that dynamic, favouring the medium to loud kind of playing. You won't find anything in the GUI, so you are left with just the default sound. It's an interesting and kind of intimate sound, but i'd love a revamp!
Not my preference, but very well made!
Even though I didn't like initially the sound of it, I can see that this is very well made and it has a lot of character for sure. Be sure to test the amp setting, because I feel that the clean setting is the least preferable for me. Inside you will find a lot of options though, like an EQ, drive levels, tremolo speed and more. The least favourite part of mine is that the dynamics are very limited, making it impossible to play smoother. I really believe though that there was a lot of effort put on this, and it shows!
I am in love
This instrument should be on the top of Pianobook. Leaving aside the default GUI knobs that I hate, this instrument is simply inspiring. At first you may think it's a simple e-guitar instrument, but it's far more than that. After you play with it a little you will be surely blown away by the character of it, and you will immediately start thinking of possible scenarios of use. I personally thought of more than one theater plays. This is gold, thank you Pete!
I don't like acordions but I like this one!
In general the sound of the accordion sounds very weird to me, almost in all situations. Joshua managed to create one that not only I like, but that I would gladly put it in my creations. Obviously it is not an actual accordion instrument, but an ambient one. What I really like about it is that if you play low, the sound is very soothing, and as you go up, the more harsh by nature frequencies spice things up. You won't find any settings to play with, though, but it's playable as it is. The samples loop and there is no noticable noise at all.
Not cool, but very warm instead!
The title of the instrument is misleading. I wouldn't call this cool either, but I would call it very damn warm. Whatever you play with it creates a very wholesome feeling that will do justice to your soundscapes. Opening the instrument will only show you an image of a recorder in a halftone cover. Other than that, there is nothing else to be found. No ADSR controls, no effects, nothing. It's pretty playable and the quality is decent. You might be able to listen some veeery low overtones, but I bet that's something that can be removed with some slight EQ.
One of the best combinations I've heard
This is a trully nice instrument that sounds something between a pad and a drone. You may really lose time while playing it. The combination of a normal and a reversed patch is genious and you can definitely use them individually if you want. Unfortunately there are no options for you to play with. I'd personally love to have a a stereo separation option, along with full ADSR control. The GUI offers nothing but a nice picture of some string instruments.
Tremors and Chills!
I love the character of this instrument. It's simple yet so effective. There are no options for you to manage, but I'm sure you will find many uses for it. I'd love to see an ADSR setting or at least dynamics control with the modwheel, and a custom delay controller would be simply amazing.
Just a super basic piano
I got some missing file errors which I couldn't manage to fix, but it seems that at least every key is working properly. It's a nice sounding piano, very barebones if you'd like. If you like using the sustain pedal for long holds, you might listen to some noise that builds up that way. If you are looking for something to play around, this will be more than enough.
Definitely not a toy anymore!
This is a wonderful idea, executed very well. I simply love the sound of it and it makes me have good thoughts, which is something important to me. Anyway, you will only find a multi-patch that contains two instruments that can't be control and have no GUI at all. The reverse idea is magnificent but sadly you can't control the speed of it. Once you press a key, at some point it gets back to you. Weirdly enough, the samples are put at -4 semitones in order to match the correct pitch, so keep that in mind!
One of the smoothest pad I've heard!
Really, it's so smooth I want to play on it all day! It can create very dreamy soundscapes and in my opinion it backs up mallets very nicely, especially with the glockenspiel! Sadly there are no options to mess with such as ADSR controls, but the sound is trully good without them anyway. Also the samples seem not to loop - if you hold them they will just fade away - very slowly though.
The different face of a Steinway!
This is a lovely piano pad, and you can definitely feel the piano behind the ambience. It's not overprocessed to the point you can't tell. I found that the pitch-bend working really well on this one, you need to try it out! The only options you will find are a Reverb and a Harmony setting, which I can't figure what the latter does. I'd love to have an ADSR option, but this is not the case, and it works just right without it anyway!
If you liked the Multiverse, this will blow your mind!
Similar to the Multiverse Mandolin Pad, this follows the exact same idea - an unrecognizable pad instrument that can fully dress your ambient tracks. Again though, the lack of GUI makes it very weird to handle. I'd love this to be in a single patch full of ADSR and Reverb options. It would make it simply perfect.
Literally, you can't really tell this is a mandolin. Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, because you might wanted the character of a mandolin to go through. It sounds like a very big pad. It comes with a multi that out-of-the-box is not very well set for my taste. At the same time, there are no settings to be found, except for the default Kontakt ones. The worst part is that you can't really set the release, because to me it sounds pretty long. For you it might be just right!
One of my favourites!
Even though there are no options to tweak at all, this piano is full character and emotion. It is sampled perfectly, there is absolutely no noise at all, and the sound is simply magical. I highly recommend it to everyone that wants a cinematic and emotional piano.
It saved Air Piano!
This needs to be an official combo for the Air Piano, no joke. This is a great addon that makes Air Piano simply amazing. Well done!
Be sure to check out the extras!
This piano has a lovely little sound, although it may seem that it lacks clarity a little. The key noise is very prominent and you can't do anything about it. Although Christian has created much more intimate sounding instruments, this may sit better for you. Apparently this works wonders with the "Layers for Air Piano", but be sure to replace some files with the "clean" ones.
Clean, natural, and very quiet
This is a very clean sounding piano, amazing spacial character, but it is super quiet, so you need to bring the entire volume up. There is a very minor issue with the highest E key on low to mid velocities, there is a very noticable delay there that you will need to get used to, and that's something that can be fixed in programming anyway. The wallpaper is beautiful, but I am not a fan of the font. There is also no sound customization, but it really sounds good right from the get-go!
Pads over organ
This is a very cute little instrument that is worth it because of the pad patches. The main instrument itself is cute as well, but I don't see it fitting well in my mixes, though it might be nice for you! There are no ways to tweak any instrument though, it's just plug-n-play all the way. You should give it a try!
Classic lovely Steinway sound, would be perfect with a bit of noise removal
Unfortunately there are very prominent noises within the samples, but the sound of the instrument is lovely. For example, the middle C, and in some other keys, at a mid-velocity have a very harsh noise-rattle, which might turn some classical users away. The GUI, hosts a photo of a Steinway, but I am not a fan of the aesthetics. I'm sure that most people will enjoy it though, so you might too!
Options are always good!
This is one of my least liked piano instruments, but it doesn't mean it will be the same for you. It definitely has some character, and it has some mic options, along with 3 reverb patches to choose from. Sadly though, only one of the 3 work for me, and that's the PS2 one. I have to completely turn down the other two, because there is a very weird release sample on each note that repeats the note for a moment, and this just makes it weird for me. The 3 included reverb patches are alright, but it would be much more convenient if you could have only one patch with a slider for each reverb, so you can mix them together for a more personalized sound, without having to run mutlis. Nevertheless, options are good!
This quickly became one of my favourite pianos
Pianos can be a very subjective topic. I can't explain it, there is something about this piano patch that I absolutely love. It's a simple plug-n-play piano, no extra options, no effects, nothing - except the weirdest addition I've seen so far - the sustain pedal has its very own sound effects! In terms of sampling, there is VERY little noise that you will only notice if you hold many notes for a very long time, and only if you are listening on high-tier headphones, so I don't know why I am even mentioning this. There is nothing else to say really, you just have to see it yourself. You may or may not love this as well. It's up to you to decide.
A pad saves the day
This is not your everyday piano. At first it may look like one, but it's not. Because PADS! This is a fantastic idea that actually saves the day. This piano has a very strong and definite character, and the pad addition makes it even better. It surprises me that there are no other well-known instruments like this, because the combination is indeed magical. The pad also saves the day because there is some noise in the samples, which becames very prominent when playing chords or when holding notes with a sustain pedal. The pad will mostly cover the noise though, but it still sounds a bit empty when you let the pedal go at the wrong moment. I also got to say, I absolutely love the wallpaper.
Clumsy, but in a good way
In this little piano instrument you will find both good and bad traits, just like in ourselves. There are moments this piano shines, but there are also those ones that it falls one step behind. It is up to you to give it some time and play with it again. And who knows, maybe you will fall in love with these imperfections.
It's not fair to ask for more!
This instrument has a lot to offer - with the only negative point being that the samples have a little white noise that becomes very apparent when you use the sustain pedal with some chords or arpeggios. I'm sure you won't really notice it though! Other than that, it has so many options. The sequencer included are not worth it for me, as it won't sync up to your actual playing, it might create a huge mess if you don't play perfectly, but that's just an option that you can live without, so be sure to try it!
Noisy but certainly cool!
This has quite some character and plays really well, but you might be able to listen to some white noise in the samples, especially on the higher register and when you go harder on it. With that said, this can play beautifully, especially in some vintage or lo-fi situations. There 3 sliders, Piano, Felt and Strings - which unfortunately the last one doesn't work at all for me in both patches.
A great free piano!
While personally I am not a fan of this one, it might be just right for you. It just works, but there are some issues with the samples. First, there is some extra noise on each sampled note, which sounds more than white noise rather than room/ambience. The biggest issue though is that you get are some very weird noises if you turn up the RT knob. You might be able to listen to some birds chirping in the background, which in fact can add some texture! In the higher register you can listen to some bad sample crops though - after a few seconds, there is a tiny small bleep of a higher note. Of course you can turn it all the way down but then you lose the entire character and it all falls flat very quickly. The dynamics promote a more moderate type of play, so be sure to check it out if that's your thing.
Henson's soul included
I said it before, and I will say it again. Christian's instruments share a bit of his soul, just like a horcrux. Claustrophobic? Yes. But I can personally sense everything behind this phobia. Wholesomeness, shyness, empathy, and some good old pain... But these only cause us to grow, and become better humans, true to our selves, true to our beloved ones and to everyone else. Chopin and Debussy would be proud to play on it, I'm sure of that. BACK TO REALITY: 4/5 stars on the GUI because cmon Christian I am bored of your GUI, we can do better than that!
It's not just another piano
This is a beautifully sampled piano has character right inside its guts, and I put it that way because you can feel it no matter how you set it up. Don't get me wrong, you can tweak it a lot, yes, there are the options to do so. two different reverbs - IRs, two different mics that you can blend, and an extra-noise knob. I love to turn the noise all the way up, blend the mics, and I just let it sing for me. There is something to it, but you will have to try it yourself. I'm not much of a fan of the included reverbs, but its character makes you not to care anyway. I'd love a darker UI though, because the current doesn't do any justice and doesn't prepare you for the feels. Don't even get me started with the feels on the story...
The Soul of Pianobook
I had this library since the beginning and I am absolutely in love with it. Not because it's free, and not because it's imperfect - it's not anyway. Sure some samples have some extra noise that builds up in chords. Sure the GUI could be a little better. But it doesn't matter. This is the true nature of Pianobook. The essence of collaboration, the feeling of unity, a reminder that we have each other, and we are not alone in this imperfect world. Big thanks to whoever contributed to this project.
Folk pipes for our people
It's not easy to find a folk virtual instrument out there. Hell it's hard enough to even find a real one! This Pipe VST is a solid one, and you can definitely put some good use to it. With that said, there is definitely some room for improvement. The "worst" part - though it's not such a huge deal, is that some samples are textured way differently than others, making some virtual-legato transitions very midi-obvious. While the GUI is good minimal and it just works, there should be an indication of which articulation you are using. Also I found that while in the "combo" articulation, the staccato trigger is way too high, making it kind of hard to "perform" on it. There is no dynamic attachment to the modwheel, which is in reed instruments is usually a must but I'm not sure if bagpipes work the same. The default-looking knobs take some magic away as well, but I am really nitpicking at this point. Nevertheless, it's an amazing addition to your folk library, which you can't really say no to.
A fantastic piano with extras
This library consists of 3 patches - a piano, a distant piano, and a drone. The main piano contains only mid to high range samples, and is sampled beautifully. I especially LOVE the lower octave of this. It has such a character that is not easy to capture. The distant piano is called "piano signals", and it sounds like a piano through a deep deep reverb. For the two pianos, you get a nice looking "atmosphere" knob that turns down the reverberations, but not completely. The drone is called "Guitar Ebow" and honestly sounds quite good, but unfortunately the lack of settings will make this a hard choice. I'd still give it a try though, because you can't easily find for free such quality.
The Sound of Character
As minimal as this instrument is, it keeps delivering more and more. Each press of a key on my midi gives me a sound that I want to create something out of it. Drones that can rip your soul, raise you up in the clouds, or let you here, down on earth, wonder with or without any purpose. Practically speaking, there is a big disadvantage. The attack and release times can feel a little sudden in some cases, and unfortunately there is no setting for them. There is also no setting for dynamics or expression, that's why I am giving this a 3-star playability. Which means nothing because the quality is right up there.
Embrace your gut instinct
At first I thought of it as a little joke, but after playing with it a little bit, I started seeing, or rather, hearing its potential. Personally, I haven't heard of such a piano before. Well, maybe we shouldn't see it as a piano in the first place. This is possibly the result of a deep emotion that Christian was holding for a long time. And while I am a big hater of piano abuse, I am glad that he took that feeling and did something creative with it. That's what we all need to do after all. That's the definition of an artist. Now, regarding the instrument, I can see this fitting in deeply dramatic sequences and in some horror soundtracks for sure. The GUI fits Christians typical style, which just works. There are 3 microphone options, reverb and effect knobs, and some other stuff. You can even completely disable the notes themselves to only get the noise. I have no other words for this. Thank you Christian.
Not only the GUI tricks you to think this is a Spitfire Audio instrument, the quality of everything is right on par. It could easily fit inside the Albion Tundra collection. There is only one thing that might distract some users though: The default settings are not the best. At first, you get absolutely no sound, because no patch is really loaded until you press one of the three articulations. It should start automatically to the first one indicated as "normal". You will also see "con sordino" and "windy" as the other two, and every one of them is quite different. You will also see 4 microphone settings in typical Spitfire fashion. The first is a custom mix, and the other three are the individual instruments, which are the Violin, Flugelhorn, and Glass - and each one is labeled properly as well! Continuing the Spitfire model, you will see Expression, Dynamics, Reverb and Release sliders, and trust me, you will need them! You can totally feel that this is created with love and passion by Luis, which back then was... 16 years old? Unbelievable. Cheers to you, friend!
A synth that can do a lot!
Another synth - but is it really? Well it is definitely a synth, but it has character, and it's top-notch quality. It comes with tons of settings for you to play around and customize it to your own liking. Oscilators, ADSR settings, AND a freaking Sequencer. You will also find a patch with a very properly programmed portamento mode, which I never expect to see in a free instrument. My only complain is that the knobs work on the X axis, which is left-to-right, instead of most instruments that use the Y axists, meaning up-and-down. At first I thought they were not functional. In any way, big kudos to Angus, for having the patience to create and program this, and the awesomeness to provide it for free.
A Mesmerizing Experience
Not only this instrument is sampled wonderfully, but it is done in a way that the character stands out immediately. In addition, this top notch quality is paired with a great reverb, along with a low-pass filter. With the latter, I can see this fitting even in a sci-fi setting, not just real and fantasy scenarios. The deep lows are the ones who impress me more though, and I can't wait to use them in some of my works. Sadly, for me the GUI is a little on the ugly side, but it gets the job done and I'm sure it won't be a deal for most of the users.
I feel gifted to have this.
This has become one of my favourite pianobook instruments, for real. Once you open the only patch you will find, you will be welcomed by a cute custom guitar wallpaper and three settings: Volume, Reverb and Stereo Spread, and everything works as intended. The quality of the samples is impeccable, you will find yourself kind of mesmerized while playing. My ONLY complain is that there is not enough range, so you are restricted to play on the lower range. With that said, restrictions often cause big surges of inspirations. While I was testing this instrument, I was inspired to create a mockup for a new soundtrack-like music track. Special thanks to Ronny for gifting this to us. Cheers to you!
One of Henson's greatest!
I was blown away by the amount of emotion this instrument can evoke. Good GUI, nice playability, proper settings offered, the sound, and pretty much everything about this wonderfully done instrument is amazing. I also admire Christian's effort of making it for DecentSampler, offering such perfection to everyone. People need to grasp this opportunity and set for themselves quality fundamental instruments,and possibly kickstart hidden carreers.
Spooky, but in a good way!
This instrument has a lot of potential, but right from the get-go, it sounds very pleasing with no problems! The samples might seem a little short and they don't loop, something that you'll need to get used to. I noticed that the knobs by default don't represent the actual settings. If you try to change the Attack, Decay or Sustain, they reset and create issues. Nevertheless, you can definitely give it a try. Once you figure it out, you will like it!
This violin instrument is something that could exist inside LABS, or even in a Spitfire Originals series. It is so great that you have to see it yourself. Every time you press a single key, chills may go down your spine. It will fit perfectly in many scenarios. Unfortunately there are no customization options, and no GUI to at least drive your visual instincts a little bit. In my personal opinion, this is a must-have instrument.
This is a fantastic little instrument that will dress your music with emotion, no doubt. I had a little hard time to set it up, but ultimately it was worth it. You will find two options, attack and reverb, which offer some great sound design opportunities - though I don't understand why the settings are set-up in reverse. The GUI could be a liiiitle better, but it's still good enough for what it has to offer.
In Love With The Cold
I am absolutely in love with this library. The atmosphere that you can create is quite a thing. You will find 2 main categories instruments to pick from, an ambient ones and more lead-like ones. Each and every one of them is quite unique and it has a purpose. Everything feels pretty well done, and I have absolutely no complains, except for the fact that the modwheel/dynamics is mapped backwards, I don't know why. Sadly the rating drops because of the GUI and lack of more in-depth options and customization.
This is not even a demo. It's an advertisment...
Do not bother downloading this. It is a very restricted demo library with the intentions of a leading you to buy the full instrument, which is OK in some cases, but this one is VERY limited. I was blown away by the GUI design and the amount of options displayed on it, but something was wrong. I could only play the notes C5-E5 on the sustain articulation, and that's it. Everything else is completely unusable, and in my opinion it doesn't represent the pianobook community, as it has not given enough for us to even consider this a demo, but an actual ad.
Swelling With Emotions
Whether you are a beginner or not, you will absolutely love this. The quality seems amazing, and having the ability to control the instruments individually makes it even better. I personally would prefer looping swells, but it's not really a big deal at all. The sample just stops and you have to press it again, which makes it very hard to create big and slow one-chord ambiences. It's a must download though!
Very good, but could be even better!
There are tons of options to play around though, such as mic positions, reverb, delay, saturation and a very interesting gate-sequencer for the drone patches which I absolutely loved and inspired me to play more. sadly the notes don't always match the timing, which can potentialy result in a mess if you are not careful. But that's optional anyway. Give it a try!
No words to describe this
This is a solid 5/5, hands down. This should be a paid instrument, since everything about it is very carefully done, with attention to quality, detail and with tons of character. A complete, fully featured sci-fi instrument, with tons of options to play around, a GUI with tons of controls and professional-grade graphics, and an endless amount of possibilities. At first you might think there is some noise in the samples, but it's just the character of one instrument. Once you mess around with some settings you will get the hang of it. Download it and you won't regret it.
The creator should be proud of this
Seriously, this is absolutely amazing. The character provided by this completely free instrument is mind-bending. Sadly, there is no GUI at all so the rating will drop because of that - but it doesn't really need a GUI, especially since there are no other options to play around. With that said, I would love to have a dark, cult inspired image just for the sake of chills. You will find two instrument options, one with and one without mod-wheel controls. I don't know why the latter exists though.
Mellow FM is simply extraordinaire. This will be an amazing addition to your ambient pad instruments. While the GUI has only a Delay and a Reverb slider, you will find dozens of preset instruments and multis. Sure it would be much prefered to be able to tweak it yourself, but this is a reminder that we choose to hear what the artist wants us to. Note: I can't understand why the mod-wheel is on reverse - as you put it down, it grows instead. Weird and counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, this instrument is an instant favourite!
It's really a nice marimba instrument, for free! It has no GUI at all, but honestly it doesn't need it. You just load it and, here it is, a marimba at your fingertips. There are two instruments actually, the Red Beater, which is a dry one, and the White Beater, which is a wet one. Try it!
Amazing!... If you careful with it!
This is a simply amazing instrument and I recommend it to pretty much everyone. The sound quality is amazing, with a lot of character, and I can see it fitting in many scenarios, from dreamy ambient scenes to horror buildups. I like the GUI, but the knobs have no labels, so you have to play around with them and understand what everything is. With that said, please be careful with the knobs because it can go INCREDIBELY LOUD. I was testing it with headphones and at somepoint I got scared. You will also find a spring reverb button and a delay, with no further adjustments available. Don't get confused with the way-too-many instruments to choose as they are different option presets of the exact same instrument.
Sounds good but could use some tweaks!
This is a cute instrument if you have some time to play around with some settings and definitely worth a try. It sounds like a marimba, an e-piano and a jazz guitar at the same time. Be sure to tweak it a little bit at first. The higher you go in the register, the more of its character you will hear. Sadly the range is not that big, it's more on the low side, and the entire sample placement is a little lower than a piano pitch. While the GUI is not great, there are some useful settings there, such as a Delay and a Reverb, a Pan randomizer I guess? Luckily there is an attack and release setting which turned out super useful to me. As a note, I like to set the release at least at 60, because there is a very noticable click sound that I am not a fan of. Also some single notes have a little bit of dissonance, but it's not big deal, since it kind of ads to its character.
The Definition of Inspiration
When I first played this instrument I was blown away. There is so much character, and so much inspiration while playing even a few notes. Sadly, there is no customization, no control of the randomness, no mod-wheel dynamics, no effects. It would be awesome to be able to choose the sounds individually and blend them together as you wish. Nevertheless, it is an awesome instrument to play around, just for the sake of it, just for you.
This is a great ambient tool that focuses on a minimal dreamy sounscape. The original version is a little too harsh for my ears, but the "less fundamentals" one is very usable and fun to play with. Sadly there are no options to play around, such as attack or release, or even dynamic control with the mod wheel. There is also no GUI whatsoever, probably because of the complete lack of controls. It is still very enjoyable though and I can see how many people can enjoy this.
Character that could use some controls!
This instrument is great with a lot of character, but with some controls it would be simply amazing. The GUI is just a wallpaper and basically 6 different samples - from g3 to c4. There are no mod wheel sliders even for the volume, so lower your volume before you press a key. Nevertheless, these 6 samples can create a beautiful-ly creepy atmosphere for the right moment. It's up to you!
A magnificent pad instrument
There is not much to say, other than this is a great instrument. I loved the fact that you have complete control of the Attack and Release, along with a Sample Start Offset control. With these three you can go from a full ambient experience to a poppy, synth-like lead. I have no complains whatsoever, but from a more serious perspective, it is "just another pad" - but greatly executed nonetheless.
A cute celeste
This is simple but efficient. In case you are looking for a free celeste with some character, this will be a good addition to your arsenal. It's not super fancy but it gets the job done. The worst part is that you can't fully put away the click noise of the keys. Also the GUI could be a little better, because the brown sliders don't look well over the selected background.
Perfection shouldn't be free
This is an example of a library that seriously should NOT be free, since the amount of work done here is simply outrageously good. From the GUI being clean and beautiful with all the information needed right in front of you, and all the controls available right away - to the already-set keyswitches with the different playstyles, this instrument is just perfect. Keyswitches for 6 different styles: Sustain Evolutions, Harmonic Tremolo, Tremolo Crescendo, Light Tremolo, Col Legno, and Pizzicato Tremolo. Full ADSR controls, 3 different mixing sliders along with a pan knob, one for each instrument - Violin, Viola, Cello - and one for the room with the knob to swap the instrument placement. There is also a reverb effect slider included that in my opinion works really well. There are also some ECO patches that greatly drop the RAM usage, but the full version is already very, VERY small. Finally, when you mouseover any option, it will have a tooltip assigned to it at the bottom of the program.
In my opinion, the weakest instrument of the Unicorn series, but that weakest doesn't mean weak at all. This instrument has A LOT of character, with an awesome sound that can only compliment your creations. It is very limited though, in terms of settings, playability, effects and range. You can only perfom those mult-hammered notes, which are definitely nice, but it would have been cool to have the extra option of single notes, this would probably be a much bigger project. If you click the unicorn you get one extra setting of a custom impulse response, but again - why do I have to click the unicorn to even see this setting? The GUI could use some work, but it is definitely above averag and it gets the job done.
A customizable dream
I am absolutely in love with this instrument, especially with the Skimmer options being done in such a beautiful and useful way. You WILL create the perfect ambience for your own dream, guaranteed. You have to become familiar with the UI first, because it's not 100% intuitive, but it's not hard to get either. You have to read the text and mess with the options. Play around and the you will easily have the world of unicorns in your fingertips. That is... IF you manage to find the right instrument to click, because when open the folder you will see a bunch of unusable .nki files. For me, the most "complete" one was the v200314. The GUI is the same with the other ones of the series, which I am not a fan of, but it works as intended.
This is possibly one of the best ambient Pianobook instruments I've used. You can feel the glass, but in such ambience that is quite unique. The sound is overall amazing, there is no noise or cracks, and the range feels complete. There are mic positions and effects, such as Delay, Reverb, Grit, Filter, that work very nicely with the instrument, and provide extra customization for the artist. I do believe that you shouldn't be able to click the Unicorn icon for the extra settings. I'm sure you can have both information and all the settings displayed nicely with no extra clicks. Except for the GUI which I believe can be improved a lot though bare in mind I am coming from a graphics design background, this instrument is simply perfect and it's unbelievable it is out there for free.
This is a fantastic little instrument, that can only do good to your compositions, especially if you are after a dreamy soundscape. My two observations are that 1 each sample doesn't "loop" perfectly by itself. It fades out and fades in, as if you let the key go. At the end of the sample you can hear a small texture crack, which can be fine in some cases but has to be noted. They last long enough though! I'd give a 4.5/5 if I could. 2 The mic positions are awesome and you can do really cool stuff with CC handling, but at the very "contact" mic overlaps everything else at the top, which seems kind of weird to me. Finally, the GUI is not my favourite. I don't know why you have to click on the unicorn icon to get the extra options. It could be more dreamy to match the entire theme of the instrument.