Prepared Piano is a collection of 3 pianos recorded at the MGM Scoring Stage and Hollywood Scoring Studios Stage in Los Angeles, California. It features various extended techniques used by Los Angeles studio musician, Randy Kerber. Several years ago at a recording session at The Bridge, we were recording Nami’s Theme, a spacious piano duet between Randy Kerber (piano, Randy’s Celeste), and Amy Tatum (flute). During one of the breaks, Randy started playing with some museum putty inside the piano, giving the instrument a delicate, masked and suggestively underwater tone. It was such a clever and unusual sound that we decided to build an extended piano solo completely out of Randy’s prepared piano techniques in the middle of the duet. We always spoke of recording a sample library of those sounds and more, and this year, we finally got around to it. Renowned for his sensitivity and tone, Randy is one of the greatest film musicians of all time. Though he mostly composes music now, we were able to get him down to the studio to lead this project.
We recorded the following sounds: – Rubber Mallets on the strings – Finger Muted strings – Dimes placed between the strings – Museum putty to create harmonics – Fingered harmonics – Light chains on the strings – A metal bar placed between the strings – Ping pong balls on the strings – Hitting the cross bars – String zingers (scraping the strings) – Many dual piano samples
FEATURES: Articulation Selector On the top-right is a pull-down menu of the various articulations. There are separate Instruments for each articulation as well.
PEDAL VOL: Adjusts the volume of the piano’s pedal mechanism. The default is a delicate pedal action. Click “Hard” for a more aggressive action. HAMMER VOL: Adjusts the volume of the key-hammer action. DYNAMIC RANGE: Lower levels increase the volume of softer samples. Higher levels increase the difference between soft and loud samples.
EQ Apply a 4-band EQ to each mix perspective separately. Choose the mix perspective, then adjust the gain and frequency for each band. The high and low bands are shelves. Keep in mind – resetting the EQ on one mix perspective will not reset the EQ on the others. Check other active mix perspectives to see if the EQ is active.
MIXER There are 5 mix perspectives: Full, Close A, Close B, Close C, and Room. The Full mix is a combination of Close C and the Room. Close A, B, and C are different microphone pairs, each offering a unique texture. Below each mix, you may advance or delay its sample playback +/- 100ms using a left-to-right slider. Each mix allows for a left-right swap (LR), phase invert (Ø), a stereo widener (select either Haas or Mid/Side), left-right pan, reverb send (PRE- or POST-fader), and gain. Also included in the mixer is the REVERB type and return and an ATTACK setting to soften the attack of each note rendering a more cinematic sound. Higher ATTACK values will reduce the volume of the sound. At the top of the mixer, there’s a pull-down menu labeled 01 Full Mix. Click on that to select between mix presets. Create your own and save it as an .nki.
The piano recorded at the MGM Scoring Stage has similar and different articulations. Its interface is a scaled down version of the same functions.
PATCHLIST: – 01 Finger Mute – 02 Dimes – 03 Putty Harmonic – 04 Harmonics – 05 Chains – 06 Rubber Mallet – 07 Metal Bar – 08 Metal Bar High – 09 Putty Strum – 10 Ping Pong Balls – 11 SFX Boom – 12 SFX Hit – 13 SFX Zing – 14 Dual Octaves – 15 Dual One Shot – 16 Dual Textures – 17 MGM – Mute – 18 MGM – Nail – 19 MGM – Bell – 20 MGM – Strum – 21 MGM – Knock – 22 CineSine LITE
MULTIS: – 23 Rubber Mallet + Sine – 24 Finger Mute + Sine – 25 Dimes + Sine – 26 Putty Harmonic + Sine – 28 Chains + Sine – 27 Harmonics + Sine – 29 Metal Bar + Sine – 30 MGM – Mute + Sine – 31 MGM – Nail + Sine – 32 MGM – Bell + Sine
Prepared Piano is scripted for Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) format.
Works with the FREE version of Kontakt 5.6.8 and above.