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6: Spring 2016 : Piano+Strings * : 091-000-091


This sound has five Sample Layers and one Effect Layer. In sequence, they are:


Grand Piano R

Grand Piano L

Grand Piano R

Grand Piano L

Fact - Shelf EQ

Strings Warm


Let's have a look at each of these in turn. There are some limited note ranges and Velocity Switch differences applied. The Grand Piano Sample Layers have only one Row of the Matrix in Sound Factory set up, featuring Knob 2 which controls the fifth Sound Controls parameter ‘Velocity Level’ within Selectors, allowing the player to adjust the amount of the Dynamic effect heard when a key is hit quickly (hard). The Strings Warm Sample Layer makes no use of the Matrix in Sound Factory.


1. Grand Piano R


In the Sound Factory Filter-Map page, the Velocity Switch table shows a High Vel value of 127 and a Low Vel value of 0. That means this Layer will sound however hard or lightly a key is played. The Key Switch table shows a High Key value of F5 which means at 8’ pitch the top seven keys of the Upper Manual do not sound this Sample Layer. The Low Key value shows C-2 which effectively means no lower key limit at 8’ pitch.


The stereo position is fully right. That is indicated by the letter ‘R’ in the Sample name.


The Modulation Wheel has no effect on this Sample Layer.


2. Grand Piano L


The description for Grand Piano R also applies here, with the following differences:

a)  The stereo position is fully left (‘L’ in the Sample name).

b)  The volume level is 2.5 dB higher.

c)  The volume change when playing a key with maximum velocity is slightly higher.

d)  There is less filtering of the sound (a higher CutOff value), making the sound slightly brighter.


3. Grand Piano R


This Layer has the same Sample as Layer 1 and is also far right in the stereo field. Its volume is 2.5 dB lower than Layer 1 and only the top seven keys of the Upper Manual sound at 8’ pitch.


There is no sound at all if those keys are played with a high velocity (hard). They need to be played gently in order to sound.


4. Grand Piano L


This Layer has the same Sample as Layer 2. Its volume is 5 dB lower. The Envelope settings are similar to Layer 3.


The main difference between this Layer and Layer 3 is that the Velocity Switch settings in Sound Factory cause this Sample Layer to sound the top seven keys of the Upper Manual when played with a high velocity (hard). It is, of course, also fully left in the stereo field.


5. Fact - Shelf EQ


This contains essentially a bass and a treble control and is set to a level position for each (ie, there is no applied boost or cut to bass or treble).


6. Strings Warm


This is placed after the above Effects Layer so that Effects Layer would have no effect on this Sample if it were to be adjusted to change the boost/cut to treble or bass (or both).


This Strings Sample Layer has a volume level of just over 18 dB below that of Layer 2, the loudest Layer here. It therefore provides a very subtle strings sound behind the louder piano sound. There are no key or velocity limitations.


Sound Controls


Full editing of all the Sample Layers is possible only with Sound Factory, but quite a lot can be achieved with the original Sound Editor especially by changing values within Sound Controls, either within the Editor to create new User Sounds or within a Total Preset to achieve that editing solely within that Total Preset.


The set of six Sound Controls plus the ‘Inst’ values for Piano+Strings * is (with a value of 127 being the maximum possible in each case), in the sequence found under Selectors > Sound Controls:


Width: 0

Velocity Level: 0

Tone:   127

Velocity Tone: 63

Hammer Noise: 57

Release:  63


Let's have a look at each of these in turn.


1. Width

With its current value of zero this is having no effect. Increase that value and you will hear a widening of the stereo spread.


2. Velocity Level

With its current value of zero this is having a base-level effect. Increase that value and the volume achieved by playing a key with a higher velocity (harder) will be increased. In other words, this parameter controls the Dynamic volume response. This parameter is set within the Matrix of Sound Factory where the Dynamic response from the maximum Sound Controls value of 127 can be adjusted to provide a lower response if desired.


3. Tone

This is at the maximum possible value so the tone of the sound is at maximum brightness. Reduce the value and the tone of the piano becomes more mellow until, at a value of zero only the strings are heard. This parameter has no effect on the strings sound at all.


4. Velocity Tone

This applies a very subtle change in the tone of the sound according to how fast (hard) the key is hit. At a value of 63 it is set neutrally. Lower values make no difference but higher values do cause a small difference when the key is played more dynamically.


5. Hammer Noise

This provides a very subtle effect which can be difficult to hear, if it’s having any effect at all.


6. Release

This provides the usual reverberation effect, more noticeable on the Strings sound though the Piano sound is also affected. Higher values increase the effect and vice versa.


The overall volume setting for Piano+Strings * is 110 which is appropriate. Reverb is set quite high, at around 100 (out of 127).


This is a particularly interesting sound to edit within Sound Factory. The Strings sound can be made louder (eg just by adding another Strings Warm Sample Layer). Its pitch can be changed as can its Envelope settings to adjust the amount of reverb, all without affecting the Piano part of the sound at all. Having two Strings Warm Sample Layers also then enables one to be changed to 4’, for example. You can put a third Strings Warm Sample Layer and set its pitch to 16’. Then you could adjust the relative volume levels of each of these three Strings Layers to suit and spread each around the full stereo field. You would then have produced a very usable completely new sound, all in a matter of a few minutes. You could also add one Choir Sample Layer and thereby produce yet another new sound. Each Sound Factory sound occupies only one Selector, leaving all the other Selectors available to contain other sounds.


I hope the above survey of Piano+Strings * helps you to understand what is going on within this sound.


As we’ve now covered all the basic sounds which have more than three Sample Layers, this will be the final article in this series




Previous Articles in this Series are available to download from this panel as PDF files.




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