Autumn Reverie Walker piano

Cass Hansen

Cass Hansen
I’ve posted this one before but I didn’t have a notation program then and several of you had asked for the score. Now I have one so I’m reposting.

This time around I’m playing a different virtual piano, the Embertone Walker 1955 grand. I think the quality of this piano fits the piece better.

Cheers, Cass

Autumn Reverie

The Score
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Recovering sale addict
Is a nice track, but I wish the keys weren't played so hard. Most of the track the velocity is way up, and the piano loses it's warmth.

What's with all the background noise and hiss?
Cass Hansen

Cass Hansen

Cass Hansen
Glad you liked the piece Mark! Thanks for the feedback too. As far as the noise and hiss goes I’m one of those people that can’t stand a clean, sterile recording of piano without ambient noise around. Plenty of noise at home when I play, I can attest to that. But also I go to many recitals and I’m always conscious of the ambient factor as they play. Probably why I only buy live recordings and why I always add noise to my recordings even though that’s not the vogue thing to do at present.

That said, I also goofed when creating the final master I used for this. I agree, the hall sound was too loud so I deactivated the automation on the track and cut the volume 50 %. However, somehow the automation got turned back on and of course the volume went back to where it was when I rendered it. So thanks for feedback. I made a update recording cutting it back down to 50 % where it was supposed to be. You probably still won’t like it, but it is just right for my ears.

Another reason you hear a lot of noise is because I used the hammer microphone in the library. The tone is great but as you would guess since the mic is placed an inch above the hammers, you’re going to hear lot of felt pad lifting and hammer impact, which is especially noticeable in the softer sections. The GUI only lets you adjust the pedal noise but not hammer or key noise. That adjustment is through the various mics which are placed from a couple inches from the wires to I think 7 feet. I could use a different mic but I like the really organic, close and personal sound of the hammer mic. But it is a bit noisy at low volumes as I said.

As for sounding harsh and not warm because everything is played too loud, to high of velocity, I had to check and in actuality, the opposite is true. In this piece over ½ the velocity is played in at 50% or under and the loud parts, one short one in the middle and the climax at the end is around 80% velocity at the zenith. Part of what you’re hearing I think is the fact I’m using the hammer mic but probably the main reason is my lack of capability in mastering. I severely damaged my ears when I was a young kid and as an adult I’m left with not being able to hear anything above 3 KHz and what remains has a buzz to it, like a broken/ripped monitor especially any instrument that has a sharp attack, like a piano. To compensate I almost always push the upper end too high. So in this update I lowered the high frequency EQ quite a bit and raised some mids to give it a warmer feeling. However, that said (again) I don’t want the loud sections of this piece to be warm sounding but rather biting and more like steel in nature, an imposing force to emphasize the extremes of emotion found forthwith in this piece. But the softer sections should be warmer as you mentioned. And lastly, I reduced the threshold of the mastering limiter which was slightly distorting the loud sections.

I do appreciate the feedback because my hearing will never be “normal” and I can only guess when it comes to mixing/mastering. If you have time to listen again, let me know if the update is better for you or not. Thanks