How to sample

Pianobook presents a unique opportunity for a community of musicians to contribute to a library of sampled pianos. For many this may be their first experience sampling a piano and so this guide is to help make the process as simple as possible. It covers how to record your piano, edit the samples, create a virtual instrument, apply noise reduction and package your samples for upload.

There are many different options when it comes to sampling a piano – how many microphone positions, how many notes to sample, how many times to sample an individual note, how many velocities to record, whether to capture with different combinations of the pedals. For Pianobook we are keeping things simple and trying to capture the core character of the piano and so will be sampling all pianos as:

  • Cycle of fifths (every 7 semitones)
  • Sustain pedal down (everything sounds better with sustain)
  • Two velocity layers (notes play quiet and played loader)
  • Release triggers (the sound of the key being released)

The guide below is just one way to sample a piano to the spec – feel free to adapt it or use your own methods if you prefer.

  1. Recording your piano
  2. Creating a virtual instrument
  3. Noise reduction
  4. Packaging your samples