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How do you go about processing your piano's?

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Postby soronery » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:57 pm

depends on the effect i want to create
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Postby JamesHanvey » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:59 pm

soronery wrote:depends on the effect i want to create


Vintage/old-sounding?
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Postby antandra » Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:56 pm

Try various EQing and distortion settings. Some reverb and/or delay are also good when not overdone.
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Postby Shum » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:30 am

BP b2b light distortion/tape saturation b2b appropriate reverb
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Postby pulsewaves4stopsines » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:30 am

If you want that sound of an old piano that's been sitting, gathering dust over the years, you could subtly use a flanger, or go as far as to detune some notes a little, on top of whatever eq and distortion you do. Old, unkept pianos often have detuned strings, resulting in phasing, and some keys will detune enough to have a semi-tone difference with the original note. I doubt you're going for that sound, but all the same. Something fun to try out.
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Postby outbound » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:20 pm

For a more washed out background'y thing I love drowning it in an EMT140 (UAD) with a 4 second or so tail sounds great.

For a more upfront I will use the valhalla with one of the tightest settings, it's borderline chorus at that point but I find it works great at smoothing the attack if you want it played loud to bring out the higher harmonics.

Not a fan of compression upwards or otherwise (in the high end this usually brings up loads of noise eurgh)

Low end is treated dependant on the mix, if it's a busy mix with a separate bass then the low end has to go but if it's a solo instrument I do like a nice bit of beef down there :)
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Postby NinjaEdit » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:59 am

I boost the highs a little and send it to a reverb.
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Postby Barka » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:01 am

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, for bright sounding pianos anyway. Works wonders though!
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Postby mt1 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:37 am

Filters can be useful (in moderation) to simulate older mediums like vinyl, and EQ can be used to emphasize the mid range. If you choose to detune, do so extremely sparingly unless you have no other melodic components nearby. My pet peeve is hearing overtly detuned piano next to something perfectly in tune.
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Postby test_recordings » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:22 am

Multiband eq might be good because the instrument has a broad frequency spectrum
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Postby 3za » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:07 pm

The sources is very important no amount of processing will make a shit midi piano sound good, this is one of the few areas worth investing in. As a lot of people say with production in general picking decent sounds to begin with is half the battle making a decent sounding tune, this is even more the case with piano. With drums for example you can really abuse, and process them to get decent sounds, we are so use to hearing drums like this, that they just sound like drums to us. This isn't really the case with piano, we are use to hearing heavily processed pianos, but they always sound like processed piano even to the untrained ear. What makes a decent sources depends on what style of music you’re making, what the roll of the piano, your personal taste, so I ain't going to recommend you any sources for your piano. Though I will say that an expensive, extensive, clean multi-sampled grand piano is not always the best option, sometimes it's a beaten up old upright, with all its imperfection captured. You say you want an "old sound" that could mean anything with the hundreds of years of history with the development of the piano, like jazz old, or classical old?

As for processing keep it simple, unless you want something that sounds like a processed piano, you can get away with more processing when the piano has less of a role to play in the music. Like if you’re making a solo piano piece, don't cut the low-end with a filter, but if it's in a busy mix with other bass elements, then cut it away. A little bit of eq/compression/reverb/distortion can go a long way, but be careful not to over do these thing.

TL DR : decent Source/simple processing/all in context to the tune
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Postby evil_cliff » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:06 am

Depends in the context of the track. Is the piano playing in a breakdown or in a busy mix? That will affect your mixing decisions.

If your going for a 'vintage' sound I'd go for a band pass sound and cut the highs and lows to thin it out. A lot of old vintage sounds don't have the top end of modern production. Saturation can add character to make it old...maybe layer it with some vinyl crackle samples?

Btw...are you using midi or audio samples?
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Postby _Agu_ » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:08 am

I mostly feel that piano has absolutely too much stuff on the 300-700Hz range or so, but that's probably because I rarely use pianos soloed, there's always kick/snare/sub/e-guitar/midrange leads or other synths/hats/percs everything playing at the same time
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