Too many projects as always, but I decided to make a last minute effort again. This time, piano will have to do - but (on the subject of aforementioned projects) it is a physically modeled piano, so there is that.
I’ve been focusing on modeled instruments (with expressive controllers, spatial mixing etc) lately, so there wasn’t really room for this competition in my schedule, but I decided to write a piano piece - and even this connects to my main project, as the piano is physical modeling based.
Didn’t have much of a plan for this one, but rather just found a picture for inspiration, improvised a bit on the piano, and came up with a few ideas that I developed into the different parts. It was all recorded without metronome and edited “freehand,” so timing and tempo is all by feel.
Cubase Pro 10.5
Pianoteq 6, Steinway Model D
Very beautiful, listening a solo piano composition after so many orchestral/bombastic tracks is recreational and relaxing.
My preferite parts are the descending melody on the doric passage I-, IV (with that beautiful bass hold on the tonic) and the suspended moment before the finale, that reminds me the impressionistic compositions by Debussy and Satie.
Great piano sound too, so full of life and bodied.
Very peaceful and relaxing and I really love the sound! Is it you playing?
Thank you very much!
Indeed; I suppose I am a fan of impressionism in all art forms, and that was quite literally how I approached this piece. Also, this modeled piano I’m using (Pianoteq) is incredibly life-like and inspiring in how the sound builds and evolves when playing like this, and of course, that also contributes to the final sound.
By some definition, yes, it’s me playing. I can hit most of the right notes at approximately the right time, which goes a long way when you can record bits and pieces and edit as needed.
Not much to say. Beautiful piece from man that always deliver. It´s a genius move to get rid of the metronome. That gives a character that`s hard to accomplish even if trying to humanize in the daw. Nice transition between relaxing and majestic. Also I had no idea Pianoteq sounded so good.
The freehand thing kind of just dawned on me as I started recording some ideas for this piece, and realized that fitting it to the grid and managing a tempo map wouldn’t really buy me much - and the “feel” and rubato bits won’t fit the grid anyway.
(On that note, I should check if there are options to make Cubase less aggressive about resync’ing everything on every tempo map change… Editing while playing is not really an option as it is.)
I was pleasantly surprised with Pianoteq as well! I’ve known about it for a good while, but I guess I wasn’t impressed by the sound of prior versions. I also didn’t realize how much of a difference the subtle detail of everything being modeled, without layers, round-robins etc, actually makes to the playing experience.
Would be interesting to see a grid that could adapt in realtime to the playing tempo.
I tried Pianoteq 4 as demo earlier but didn’t like the sound back then. Must give it a new chance.
David - beautiful playing and piece. It is nice to just sit back and listen to this.
I hear idyllic elements of Bach + impressionism + modern style. The Pianotech does sound real and is appropriate for this piece. On my monitors, perhaps a bit more low-end frequencies as well as very high-end (12k?) to make sparkle and make fuller-sounding? This piece sounds more “scenic” to me vs “majestical”. That said, I am learning through this contest there are many subtle shades of styles, so perhaps this is an “early morning over a majestically scenic landscape”. Either way, it is beautiful and enjoyable to listen to, so Congrats!
is this pianotech software free and usable in VSTs?
Indeed; both highs and lows are a bit held back as a result of the spatial mixing, and I didn’t really spend any time on the mix beyond just getting that “acoustic piano on stage” sound I was going for. I suppose the same goes for the composition, which is really just what came to mind after looking at that cover picture for a while - but “early morning over a majestically scenic landscape” is indeed what I was going for here.
I’m afraid it’s not free, but the entry level version is not terribly expensive, and there appear to be a substantial educational discount, if that applies.
However, it is indeed VST, AU, AAX, and NKS compatible, and runs as plugin or stand-alone, on Windows, Mac, and even Linux! More info here:
Beautiful piece, David. Listening to a not overloaded music is always, refreshing. Sometimes we tend to add to much sound when the message can be transmited with a simpler voice. Perfect in form and performance. Niiiice.
Indeed; I think we all sometimes hide behind complex arrangements - often because we just can’t get the desired sound out of “naked” instruments. This is why I’m getting into modeled (and real) instruments. It’s so much more inspiring to “massage” that expression out of instruments that actually respond to it.
Gorgeous work! This makes me want to write a flowing piano piece. I think this is a great majestic piece. It seems to be making a statement about something big and grand, even if it’s just a piano. My only personal critique (and this is very minor because I think it’s beautiful, the chord changes, composition, dynamics, everything) is that there’s not really a melody that I can hum to myself afterwards. It’s wonderful, but I can’t, in my head, repeat it after hearing it.