Felt Piano — Gwilym Simcock

Soft, delicate beauty

If you like the LABS Soft Piano, you will love this hand-crafted German felt piano, played with the 'Celeste' pedal, by living jazz legend and Mercury Music Prize nominee Gwilym Simcock. The expertly selected practice pedal draws you to the very inner workings of the piano itself, but for delicate media composition or soft, intimate ballads, you'd be hard pressed to find something more beautiful.

Ixia - Christian Henson (0:00 / 1:37)

Landscapes - Paul Thomson (0:00 / 1:43)

Eulogy - Stephen Baysted (0:00 / 1:02)

Interest Rates - Blake Robinson (0:00 / 0:30)

Rain River Sea - Rory Meredith (0:00 / 3:41)

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Product Info

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Recorded by the Spitfire team at a number of boutique London studios, including Spitfire HQ in King’s Cross, and our old favourite, the classic vintage studio Air Edel, in Marylebone. With a useful selection of classic, vintage, modern, broad and room microphones, our Producer Portfolio features the talents of legendary musicians, producers, composers and programmers. We’re very proud of what we've achieved at Air Studios with our existing orchestral and definitive ranges, but it’s not right for every application. With this new range, we have recorded in smaller spaces — close, mid range and room perspectives with carefully positioned ‘A class’ mics and pre-amps to give you the raw materials you need to make these sounds your own.

Why be a jack of all trades when you can be a master of one? It is this sentiment that led us to search high and low for the most sensitive, beautiful, sonorous, and honest piano sound. Perfect for those delicate ballads (think "Mad World" by Gary Jules), or that intimate heart rending cue (think Newman's "American Beauty"). When carrying out sampling experiments some years ago, we discovered the very beautiful world of an upright piano with a middle "practice felt" or "celeste" pedal engaged. Whilst being hard to get a decent sound from, it produced the most beautifully gentle and touching sound. This became our widely loved "soft piano", available as part of our original LABS range. Our renewed quest to find the perfect "celeste" pedal piano ended at Peregrine's pianos on the Grays Inn Road in London. We then set about sampling in much more detail.

This piano was played by Mercury Award nominee Gwilym Simcock, and recorded with a number of microphones in different perspectives via Neve pre-amps and Cranesong AD converters at 96k. From the almost vintage sound of a mono soundboard mic, to a beautiful natural surround perspective of the room itself. Most celeste pedals allow for only one dynamic layer, but this piano is more responsive than others, so not only did we record several round robins, we recorded two dynamic layers, release triggers and round robin pedal damping and releasing. We also recorded the pedal noise separately, which you can adjust from the front panel.

GUIs

The Overview Panel

This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.

General Controls Panel

This view allows further in-depth control of the instrument, showing all available signals and feature controllers, as well as the ability to purge techniques from memory to reduce system usage.

Product Reviews

Presets / Techniques / Articulations / Mics / Mixes

Instruments:

  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Performance
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Playback (Flatter Dynamics)
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Playback (Medium Dynamics)
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Playback
Tweakable patches:
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Performance - The Punch Cog
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Playback - The Punch Cog
  • PP004 - Gwilym Simcock Felt Piano - Playback (Flatter Dynamics) - The Punch Cog

Mics & Mixes

Microphones

  • Close - Cardioid
  • Room - Omnis
  • Close - AKG
  • Close - Ribbons
  • Close - Mono Ribbon Soundboard mic
  • Close - Mono Pedal mic