How do we follow an act like Piano In Blue? We record a stunning 9′ grand piano at the MGM Scoring Stage at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Our goal was to record a comprehensive piano library at the same scoring stage as our flagship CineSymphony libraries for seamless integration and to provide four distinct characters of the piano through a variety of microphone and mixing techniques.
Tim Starnes on the recording process:
“The recording for Piano In Blue worked so well; I returned to the vintage Neumann M49 microphone pair and its position that I used on PIB. The M49s were powered by a pair of Neve 1073 preamps to imitate the Neve 8078 console that recorded PIB. Also, as on PIB, I placed a pair of small capsule condenser microphones near the tail of the piano. In addition to the standard room array, Adam placed several other close microphone pairs to provide options for other characters. The four unique characters are derived from these various microphones and the mixing process that followed.”
4 UNIQUE CHARACTERS
This is a standard representation of the grand piano on the scoring stage employing the M49s and the room array. The separate close, room, and surround microphone mixes are available on this patch.
The Classical mix is a slightly more distant mix employing a different combination of microphones and designed for concert realism. It is a concrete mix and thus the only available mix in this patch.
The Cinematic mix is a very intimate and muted sound, perfect for cinematic textures. This mix is made from a unique set of microphones and mixing techniques. It is a concrete mix and thus the only available combination in this patch.
Rock Studio Grand
The Rock Studio Grand relies more heavily on mixing techniques to achieve a brighter, punchy, edgy sound with slight distortion on the attacks to cut through a dense mix. It is a concrete mix and thus the only available combination in this patch.
The Perspective Fader
CinePiano, like CineHarps, includes a new Perspective Mode feature that allows for changes through microphone positions. When you activate Perspective Mode, a slider appears that gives a smooth crossfade between the microphone perspectives. The slider is automatically mapped to the Mod Wheel, giving instant control of the relative depth of CinePiano.
Pedal Behavior – Repedalling
We added a new feature called Pedal Behavior to CinePiano. When you play a note on a real grand piano with the sustain pedal down, quickly releasing and depressing the sustain pedal does not allow the dampers enough time to stop the strings from vibrating completely. CinePiano effectively models this behavior for a much more lifelike performance.
The Character knob acts as a macro knob, controlling multiple parameters at once. This can be used to change the play style from intimate to aggressive and everything in-between. When set to close, the velocities are biased towards the lower dynamics, with a low dynamic range (see Dynamic Range Knob below).
The Soundboard feature emulates the sympathetic resonances of the soundboard and other strings. This effect is only active when the sustain pedal is down and can be turned off by pressing the power button.
Enable fff layer
The Enable fff Layer button enables and disables the highest recorded dynamic.
The Dynamic Range knob acts a bit like a MIDI-controlled compressor. This knob doesn’t impact the velocities but instead changes the actual volume of each note. A low value reduces the volume difference between the softest and loudest dynamics, and a high value increases the contrast.
Round Robin Borrowing
The RR Borrowing knob employs surrounding notes as additional round robins. A value of 6 results in up to +/- a tritone of borrowing, providing up to another 12 round robins per note. A value of zero only plays one round-robin per dynamic level. Higher costs result in more round robins and more tonal variation. The default value is 0.
The Velocity Curve control can be used to dial in exactly the dynamic you are looking for. Bias Forte makes it easier to play louder dynamics, and Bias Piano makes it easier to play soft dynamics. Linear allows the velocities to pass through unaffected. The Velocity Curve control can also be used to compensate for a MIDI keyboard with undesirably hard or soft action. You can custom-draw a velocity curve by clicking and dragging with the mouse.
Release and Pedal Volume
These two faders control the volume of the release samples and pedal up/down the amount, respectively.