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Good Morning,

i've spent a month or so being member of this forum, and i thank you for your wonderful community! In this month i have learned a lot about virtual instruments, sample libraries, i have known new and old products and tools i didn't know, and i am improving my musical work with all this knowledge. I thank you again for the "musicians helping musicians" statement!

And now, everyday seeing people offering new virtual instruments, and me testing piano sounds, strings sounds and whatsoever... i am keen and enthusiastic to attempt the build of my very first virtual instrument from scratch. That will be my sampling project for this year (2016). And for such a challenge, i have a gem! My upright german piano "Apollo Dresden" year near 1884.

It is a wonderful instrument, rich sounding (its harp is quite amazing, a Klavier Meister said to us it was a unique piece), very old, 19th century, with candelabra, three pedals, and the keys i haven't counted them never... I will edit this post and add some nice pictures of it, later, because the piano stills in the house of my father. But i have added a picture of an original patent referencing a piano like mine above this lines.

This is an attempt also to preserve the memoir of the instrument, for me, for my family, and for the people who will want to use this piece of art. Musicologically viewed, it is a documentation too for the future archives of the music instruments of the 19th century.

I bet you guys to help me by informing me what is necessary in order to achieve the realization of my first virtual instrument!

What i know or suspect:

1. Sampling the instrument:
  • 24bits/96Khz
  • AD converter (audio interface)
  • Microphone technics: Stereo mics, direct mics, room mics, floor mic, subwoofer mic (for the very low frequencies)
  • pianoforte articulations
  • pedals (3) engine
  • dynamic layers (4- ?...8)
  • piano sound with cover close and open
2. Scripting (here i am a novice)
My prior experience with sampling was more than 10 years ahead, i've built a Tabla instrument with Soundfonts and that was it.
  • here i need a lot of advice!
  • editing samples: start-note-attack, sustain, release
  • mapping samples (keys, layers)
  • scripting all the articulations, nuances, note on-off, legato, etc.
  • wich plattform to use? Kontakt, UVI, sforZando, Giga, SoundLib, Rex
I can't now imagine what more would i need for this project, but i can think about releasing my v.i. "Apollo Dresden 1884" Piano commercially, when possible, ... and there i am blind. I thank you in advance for your kind advice.

My (strange) idea to sample a piano: dynamic layers are the most important thing, they should be as more as possible, and they should be constant between layers. The (strange) idea is to use something (not human) that apply a costant pressure on the key, then sample all notes at different pressures: this will give the possibility to have costancy between dynamic layers and to sample lots of dynamic layers (32, maybe 64 or more!!!). The sus pedal should be sampled, but it really depends form piano to piano, some pianos have different sounds when pedal on/off, other sound quite the same just as sustain notes are hold on. Mute pedal should be sampled or at least scripted with a filter/eq.


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@dreamnight92 thank you for your advice. For many years i have seen a picture from a mechanical artifact for a sampling project, i think of Yamaha pianos... i look forward to get more information about this.
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