Piano in Blue

Piano in Blue

—   Columbia Records' historic Steinway D Concert Grand piano

Cinesamples Piano In Blue captures the historic sound of the very same Steinway D Concert Grand Piano recorded at Columbia Records for Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue," and Glenn Gould's "Goldberg Variations."

Experience a beautifully playable grand piano, now encoded for the free Native Instruments Kontakt Player 6.6.1 and Komplete Kontrol.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to preserve this iconic combination of this piano in this space, and are proud to make it available for music creators everywhere.

Now works with the free Kontakt Player 6.6.1+ and Komplete Kontrol!
$149 $60 Add to cart
FEATURES

About the Product

As of October 2021, Piano In Blue has been updated to be compatible with the free Kontakt Player 6.6.1+ as well as NKS encoding, and can now be downloaded and installed directly via the Native Access application. This update puts Piano In Blue right in the Libraries tab of Kontakt for easy access, and includes improvements to performance and sound quality. 

The Direct samples have been meticulously treated and de-noised for this latest update. The library had undergone de-noising for a previous update, and this was done again for the Direct samples for the latest NKS update in the fall of 2021. This newest treatment allows the warm richness of the library to come through cleanly and expose the character of this instrument in a natural, playable, controlled way.

Note: The Tape samples were not modified for this latest NKS update. 


If you owned the Legacy version of Piano In Blue before it was encoded for Kontakt Player (originally purchased prior to October 2021), you will be receiving a coupon code to upgrade to the new encoded version. Learn more about upgrades in our Help Center.

A friend of ours, John Davis, did a scoring session at Clinton and let us know about the closing as this day was to be the final date. As the conversation drifted from the saddening state of affairs for large stages we came to talk about why this particular stage was a special place.  Although I had previously worked at the this studio I was never aware that the grand in the corner was the “one piano” used in so many of my favorite recordings.

At the time we were in  Seattle conducting some non-cinesamples recordings. Mike and I walked over to secure a copy of Ashley Kahn’s paperback Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece.  This book pushed us across the threshold and the vision for this session started to become a reality.

As Patti headed back home to put the finishing touches on the Seattle project Barry caught a red-eye that night for Manhattan.  We had arranged to extend the closing date of Clinton by one day, just ensuring us enough time to sample this extraordinary instrument.   Much of the gear being used was already up on Ebay.  It was the last session ever recorded at Clinton.

With a mind to the handful of historic pictures from the recording from Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," our engineer set up three sets of microphones.  The first pair – the M49’s from the old Columbia setup, with the same placement (using stereo placement rather than mono), and with the two other pairs each set successively farther back.

We recorded two signal chains for each mic, a clean signal going through the Neve console and one going through a historic tape machine and finally into Pro Tools.  We highly suggest exploring the charming colorization of the tape signal but both are provided for your convenience. Note that the Tape samples do have a higher-gain sound, and we include a Noise knob so you can control the baseline level of tape hiss to help prevent samples going to complete silence.

The piano was sampled chromatically -- one key at a time -- exposing delightful variances in timbre with each key. This was the only way to get a true representation of the instrument. The piano was meticulously sampled by hand, with careful consideration for what works best with a sampled piano, all throughout the recording session itself and at every stage of production thereafter.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this piano as much as we do.

PIANO SPECS:

  • 1949 Steinway D via Neve 8078 Console
  • 8 Velocity Layers Sampled Chromatically
  • 9300 Samples
  • 3 Microphone Positions
  • Close/Vintage – 2x Neumann M49 near the lid
  • Mid – 2x B&K 4007 at the tail of the piano
  • Far – 2x Sennheiser MKH20′s in the hall
  • 2 Processing Paths (Tape; Direct in)
  • Studer A800MKIII  24 Track Analog Tape Machine

Latency
We added a “Sample Start” knob, located next to the Direct/Tape switch, which will cut into the samples of the sustains by 20ms — this adjustment will remove all of the hammer/finger noise from the instrument. While we do not recommend using this feature, for those with lag issues, this addition can be useful to make the piano more “pop-like” — however, it will remove the “weighted” feel of the piano.

Tape Sample Replace
We have re-recorded all the sample sets back through a physical (not a plugin) Studer tape machine with better leveling to remove the “crunch” on the top velocities. ALL samples have been replaced for the tape setting. We also painstakingly re-denoised all of the samples, so there is very little tape noise buildup in the background. We highly recommend adding a bit of tape noise back in to blend the samples together. You will notice some tape artifacts in some of the samples, but this is part of the natural sound of using tape.

Individual De-noising of V1 Direct Samples
There were a few samples in the Direct patch that were too noisy or had lowfrequency bumps — these samples have been addressed and fixed.

Sample Fix — F4, Velocity 101-110, Direct-Room
There was a modulated distortion noise on this note — this noise has been removed.

91-110 quick release velocities
There were issues with the shorter release samples being too quiet in this region — this issue has been fixed.

Various minor adjustments to ADSR curves and some minor volume tweaks on individual samples.

Added CC11 (Expression) control