I have been working on audio plugins rather than Kontakt instruments recently. In order to get these to the high standard that I want for a FrozenPlain instrument, there has been quite a lot of infrastructure development – this is my first non-Kontakt sample-based instrument after all. That being said I would like to show you a bit about my next release, which is coming soon!
In a sentence, this is a melodic prepared piano and sound design instrument. Like with all FrozenPlain products, I wanted to try something a little different in terms of playing styles and recording techniques, this time in relation to a piano. I found that taking the keyboard mechanism off was a good start. This leaves me with full access to the strings, which can be played in some interesting ways. This is a late Victorian piano, and it certainly has some character, something that I wanted to capture. After some experimentation I ended up with a few different playing styles: hitting strings with pencils, metal nails, and plucking them with my finger, a guitar plectrum, and a handful of other more experimental techniques. The hammered styles have an incredible bouncy, slightly detuned, feel to them, like something ancient or nordic. And the plucked styles can be soft and harp-like, and quite beautiful.
This collection of multisampled piano articulations are only half of the story with this instrument. It is designed to be a sound design tool to some extent. So included are various morphed and synthesised accompaniment sounds, which can be layered with any other sounds in the collection. As expected there are the typical sound shaping tools for each layer: ADSR, filters, tuning, pan, etc. We are going to work on loads of presets for it, and an easy way to browse these. You will be able to easily explore this, sometimes dark, sometimes beautiful world of cinematic prepared piano. Both pad/ambient patches and ‘keyboard’ patches.
This instrument will set the standard for future FrozenPlain sample-based VSTs/AUs: compelling and accessible instruments with usability features you’d expect from modern software instruments such as resizable and clear GUI, optional tooltips and MIDI learning.