4 Vintage Classics
In true Spitfire fashion, we take 4 vintage keyboard workhorses and create a definitive, deep sampled, musical rendering of these classic instruments. The finest maintained Electric Piano, Stage Piano, Electric Keyboard Bass & Electric Clavichord, by the finest of players via a unique, classic and unbeatable signal path by an engineering great.
Cryo - Harnek Mudhar (0:00 / 1:19)
Chad, Inder And The N7 Keyboard Band - Christian Henson (0:00 / 3:15)
Unjaded Delight - Homay Schmitz (0:00 / 2:59)
Mr. Watanabe - Daniel Gadd (0:00 / 2:59)
Four pristinely maintained classic vintage keyboards from the 1960s and 1970s performed by a session giant and recorded by a top London-based engineer through a sumptuous signal path to give a truly 'Spitfire' take on electric pianos. Deep and pristinely crafted samples by our Spitfire engineers were then exhaustively tested by keyboard players for the most realistic response.
North 7 Vintage Keys is presented in Spitfire's incredibly popular eDNA engine, to provide you with the potential to take these classic signals from the 20th Century and warp them into the 21st. With a host of presets designed by our own in-house funkateer, Christian Henson, these offer a mere glimpse at the potential of this collaboration.
Characterful, vibey and like no other vintage library of this type, North 7 Vintage Keys offers you the scope to take these classics and make them your own.
After years of experimenting, researching and soul searching, Spitfire finally turns its hand to the well trodden path of vintage electric pianos, organs and other curiosities. "Could we make a difference?" we asked ourselves. By simply applying the Spitfire ethos to how we record everything else, with affluent abandon, we felt we could.
Spitfire are proud to announce the beginning of what we hope will be a beautiful union. N7 studios and productions are based in the new immense music industry hub; Tileyard Studios in Kings Cross, London, the largest of its kind in Europe. Among this melting pot of innovation and experience sits producer and engineer Simon Changer (Bjork, David Gray, Jamiroquai, Finlay Quaye) not only a talented force in his own right but an engineering magpie, who has built a studio from the finest fragments and polished jewels scattered citywide after the decimation of the London studio scene. Welcome to N7 studios.
This was our first port of call for the finest, but most pristinely maintained unique signal paths in London today. A long time collaborator of Simon and partner in the North 7 Vintage Keys project is Sean Hargreaves (Ella Eyre, Natalie Imbruglia, Michael Buble, Alison Moyet, Trevor Horn) a keyboard wizard and producer, but no lesser Magpie than Simon. For Sean has one of the most pristinely maintained collections of classic keyboard instruments that we know of.
We charged them with the task of creating the definitive collection of classic work-horse 1960s and 70s keyboards; The 'Spitfire Electric Piano', a not-for-the-superstitious 'Electric Clavichord', a Stage Piano, and the rare Electric Keyboard Bass (made famous by Ray Manzarek of The Doors in the absence of a full time bassist) this one dating back to 1962 with a serial number of 000463!
• 4 Vintage titans sampled "the Spitfire way".
• Rare but pristinely maintained instruments.
• Sumptuous vintage and hi-end signal paths.
• Performed by session giant - Sean Hargreaves.
• Recorded by in-demand engineer - Simon Changer
• Deep sampled for ultimate character and realism with multiple round robins and dynamic layers.
• Tested exhaustively with session players for realistic response.
• Presented in Spitfire's eDNA interface, instantly tweakable.
• Over 100 presets designed by Christian Henson
• Bass keyboard section "alone worth price of entry".
SPITFIRE ELECTRIC PIANO or "EP"
Arguably the most successful work-horse electric piano of the 1960s and 70s. This 73 note instrument generates sound using keys and hammers in the same manner as an acoustic piano, but instead of strings, the hammers strike thin metal tines, which are then amplified via an electromagnetic pickup. Our favourite exponents of the instrument would be Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Bob James, Richard Tee, Joe Zawinul, and Chick Corea, whilst appearing on countless classic Jazz Funk, RnB, Pop and Rock (possibly most famously with its use on The Doors' "Riders On The Storm") tracks throughout the 1970s, not to mention a plethora of pulpy, blackspoitation, crime caper films of the same era, from Dirty Harry to Towering Inferno. Why is this instrument such a favourite of ours? Possibly for its particular prominence in Vince Guaraldi's soundtracks for Peanuts / Charlie Brown films. But more probably its sensual use by Vangelis on his masterful score for Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner'.
ELECTRIC CLAVICHORD or "CLAV"
Arguably its most famous incarnation is on Stevie's monster 'Superstition' written originally as part of a collaboration with Jeff Beck, with this instrument being used merely as an illustration of what Stevie wanted the guitars to do. The sound is produced by a harp of 60 tensioned steel strings oriented diagonally below the key surface. Each key of the simple keyboard action is a single lever element that pivots on a fulcrum point at the rear. A spring returns the key to the rest position. The unique playing feel of this instrument comes from this abrupt impact of the pad striking its anvil point against the string. The Clavichord responds well to guitar effects, especially the wah wah pedal as expertly demonstrated on the seminal "Head Hunters" recordings by Herbie Hancock.
STAGE PIANO aka "THE WURLY"
Not only a stalwart of RnB classics from the likes of Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway, this instrument found its way onto countless hits of the 70s and 80s with Elton John, Richard Carpenter, Edward Van Halen, and possibly most famously on Supertramp's "Dreamer". The 64 note Stage Piano (known to many musos as a "Wurly") comprises of a single steel reed for each key, activated by a miniature version of a conventional grand piano action and forming part of an electrostatic pickup system. We love it for its soft mellow tones at the bottom, and its biting totally transformed angry mid-tones when played harder and louder.
ELECTRIC PIANO BASS aka "FINGER BASS"
A much rarer, but no less pristinely kept instrument from 1962. The world's first dedicated keyboard bass instrument made uniquely famous by Ray Mazarek of The (bass guitar-less) Doors. His use of the electric piano bass was so iconic, his widow recently donated his model to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This set of samples are a rare chance to create the most amazing dub bass style, sub harmonic rich Hip Hop style bass lines. Using the same technology as the "EP", the Finger Bass is an instrument finely tuned to provide the richest low end, while having the pump and attack you can only get with a piano style instrument. The bass presets designed by Christian Henson offer a mere starting point of how far you could take this bad boy.