Spitfire Audio – Producer Portfolio: Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano (KONTAKT)

By | February 21, 2016


If you like the Labs “Soft Piano”, you’re going to love this hand-crafted German piano played with the ‘Celeste’ pedal engaged by a living jazz legend and Mercury Music Prize nominee.
There’s just something about that practice pedal. It draws you up to the very inner workings of the piano itself, quiet and difficult to play, but for drama and soft, intimate ballads, you’d be hard pressed to find something more beautiful.
Why be a jack of all trades when you can be a master of one? It is this sentiment that led us to search high and low for the most sensitive, beautiful, sonorous, and honest piano sound. Perfect for those delicate ballads (think “Mad World” by Gary Jules), that intimate heart rending cue (think Newman’s “American Beauty”). When carrying out sampling experiments some years ago we discovered the very beautiful world of an upright piano with a middle “practice felt” or “celeste” pedal engaged. Whilst being hard to get a decent sound from (strange to play a piano loudly and have a muted soft sound come out), when it rang, boy did it produce the most beautifully unsophisticated but gentle and touching sound. This became our widely loved “soft piano” available in return for a small donation to Unicef as part of our Labs range. Our renewed quest to find the perfect “celeste” pedal piano ended at Peregrines pianos on the Grays Inn Road in London. We then set about sampling in much more detail.
This piano has been performed by Mercury Award nominee Gwilym Simcock and has been recorded with a number of microphones in different perspectives via neve pre-amps and Cranesong AD converters at 96k. From the almost vintage sound of a mono soundboard mic to a beautiful natural surround perspective of the room itself. Most celeste pedals allow for only one dynamic layer but this piano is more responsive than others, so not only did we record several round robins, we recorded 2 dynamic layers, release triggers and round robin pedal damping and releasing. We also recorded the pedal noise separately so you can adjust this from the front panel.


Part of the Producer Portfolio which answers requests for drier sounding more manipulable samples, for more non-orchestral material, and for libraries that are affordable to all. Recorded by the Spitfire team in a number of smaller but excellent London studios, including the new Spitfire HQ in King’s Cross and their old favourite, the classic vintage studio Air-Edel in Marylebone. With a useful selection of classic/ vintage, modern, broad and room microphones, the Producer Portfolio features the talents of legendary musicians, producers, composers and programmers. With Spitfire’s existing orchestral and definitive ranges, we’re very proud of the “impression” that the hall at Air studios gives, but it’s not right for every application. With this new range, we have recorded in smaller spaces, close, mid range and room perspectives with carefully positioned ‘A class’ mics and pre-amps to give you the raw materials you need to make these sounds your own.

PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Performance
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Playback (Flatter Dynamics)
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Playback (Medium Dynamics)
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Playback
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Performance – The Punch Cog
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Playback – The Punch Cog
PP004 – Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano – Playback (Flatter Dynamics) – The Punch Cog
Close – Cardioid
Room – Omnis
Close – AKG
Close – Ribbons
Close – Mono Ribbon Soundboard mic
Close – Mono Pedal mic


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