Cassette Toy Piano
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The Idea & Process
Cassette Toy Piano is a collection of 5 instruments based on a children toy piano. First of the five included instruments is of course just a raw toy piano recorded on a cassette and while it is a nice and useful sound most toy pianos are very… imperfect in their nature. Because of that the main aim for this collection was to create additional variations of the raw sound to embrace what’s good in it (with things like spring reverb, granular synthesis, etc.) without losing its original (and sometimes) creepy sound.
So to sum everything up - Cassette Toy Piano is a collection of 5 instruments recorded with 3 dynamic layers using 2 different cassette decks (one with a more neutral sound and the other with a much more lofi and degraded sound). Overall there are 1112 samples - 111 samples per deck, plus 2 noise samples from each deck (1,71 GB of uncompressed 24-bit WAV files).
Below, you can listen to each of the instruments, plus how each deck affects the sound:
Raw Sound deck A MONO - unchanged, raw sound of toy piano - almost neutral cassette sound
Raw Sound deck B MONO - unchanged, raw sound of toy piano - lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 01 deck A MONO - wet, resonating sound - almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 01 deck B MONO - wet, resonating sound - lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 02 deck A MONO - dry & sharp, metallic sound (sounds great when tuned down by octave) - almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 02 deck B MONO - dry & sharp, metallic sound (sounds great when tuned down by octave) - lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 03 deck A MONO - granular, almost bowed sound - almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 03 deck B MONO - granular, almost bowed sound - lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Sound 04 deck A MONO - classic granular sound - almost neutral cassette sound
Sound 04 deck B MONO - classic granular sound - lower quality, loose drive belt introduces a lot of pitch instability
Every note has been carefully denoised with a high quality algorithm to avoid noise stacking when playing more than one note (there’s still some noise left in the samples to avoid denonising artifacts). Noise can still be added with the noise knob - it’s much more flexible this way and allows the ability to adjust the volume of the noise independently whilst also applying parameters such as filtering. It also creates a more realistic sound, so when playing a five voice chord, only one sample of noise instead of five stacked on top of each other will be heard.
Video showing how Cassette Toy Piano was used in audio demos:
The End Result
Custom impulse responses in Kontakt version
Kontakt version contains custom impulses (4 spring impulses, 4 hall impulses & 3 corridor impulses), along with a choice of whether you want it to be placed pre or post insert effects - same thing goes for the delay.
Useful and fun production tool
If you like vintage sounds and you're looking for something to enhance your production toolbox, then this product will be for you.
Simulated Round Robin
Makes faster note passages sound more realistic and adds to the overall nonlinearity of the instrument - available in Kontakt and SFZ versions only.
Variety of sounds
Aside from the sound of a cassette record with this instrument you can easily create some weird sounds and there are already quite a few presets included to get you started (Kontakt & Ableton Live versions only).
- Available in multiple popular formats: Kontakt 5, Ableton Live 9, Logic, SFZ & Multiformat
- 1,71 GB of uncompressed 24-bit WAV samples (1112 samples in total)
- Recorded on 2 different decks
- Simulated round-robin in Kontakt and SFZ versions
- 5 instruments
- 2 noise samples (each 2 minutes long)
- 3 dynamic layers
- Organic sound with lots of little imperfections
Format specific features:
- Full version of Kontakt 5.6.6 (or higher) required - not compatible with Kontakt Player
- Simulated round-robin
- 42 presets
- One-page interface for easy and fast sound design
- Convolution Reverb with custom impulses (spring, hall, corridor)
Ableton Live version:
- Full version of Live 9.7 (or higher) required
- 55 Instrument Racks: 20 basic + 35 additional presets (both with mapped macros)
- Custom Effect Racks
- Full version of Logic Pro X required - not tested in Logic Pro 9
- 50 basic presets (normal, reverse 100%, reverse 75%, reverse 50% & reverse 25% for each deck)
- Compatible with any SFZ player, for example: Plogue Sforzando
- Simulated round-robin
- 20 basic presets (with and without simulated round-robin for each deck)