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Published 20.11.2013 | Author : admin | Category : Wooden Skiff Plans

When someone mentions a Toy Piano, the last things you would think are 50Hz Booms, sub drops, eerie textures, bows and big percussive hits. After obsessing about owning a toy piano, I found a vintage 1950’s mini grand piano on Ebay for ?20. After a good few hours of repetitive sampling, we thought it was time to open up the piano and experiment with its internals. The next step was to attach the rods to a resonator to amplify the sound and bring out the lower frequencies.
The D112 was placed in front of the guitar sound hole to pick up the low rumbles (predominantly being produced by the large body of the acoustic guitar), whereas the U87 was placed at the point of impact to allow us to mix in the attack of the hits.
The next step was to completely remove the rods from the piano so they could be used to their full potential. The U87 picked up great detail and allowed us to capture the crackling sound of the bow against the rusty rods, while the D112 picked up the resonating low tone of the rods.
I have recently used these samples in an original trailer score for a new release, soon to be hosted by Machinima. Great Article, Just be sure to change the Shure D112 to AKG D112 before some gearslutz junkie sees it! The full library is now available to buy as a playable Kontakt instrument via Impact Soundworks. All content on Designing Sound is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Around half past nine, a nice opening ceremony was held in the presence of Mickey Mouse and the characters of the hugely popular Toy Story franchise. On Monday, July 26, 2010, I got the wonderful opportunity to visit the construction site of the all new Toy Story Playland. In the all-new Toy Story Playland opening August 17, 2010, guests can descend 27 meters on a simulated parachute drop, race round-and-round on a zany coaster and zoom through a 25-meter half-pipe Hot Wheels track aboard a remote control car. To create the sense that guests have shrunk to the size of toys, Disney Imagineers took advantage of a more than 100-year-old forest that edges the play area. Andy’s enormous but subtle footprints that can be found in the walkway, will reinforce the notion of scale. The play area is planted with beautiful stands of 9-meter-tall bamboo which encloses the land and seals us into our new toy world. To tell the story of Andy's backyard adventures, Walt Disney Imagineering looked to the way kids set up their toys during playtime for inspiration.

Before you experience the attraction, you will have to walk through the Green Army Men toy training camp, featuring human-sized green army men, a quonset hut, a plastic jeep, crates, a lookout station, even a baby monitor.
Guests will be able to play a game made exclusively for the attraction on the inside of Slinky Dog's packaging box as they wait in the queue. As you walk through the attraction queue, you will snake through the forest on a toy slot car track. On Monday, July 26, 2010, I got the wonderful opportunity to visit the all new Toy Story Playland (opening August, 17, 2010) - Walt Disney Studios Park Paris. I had plans to sample the instrument to create a chromatic piano library that would be playable through Kontakt sampler (similar to the already existent one by Soniccouture).
Liam Lacey is the Senior Software Developer at Nu Desine, where they are developing a new electronic musical instrument called AlphaSphere…Check it out, it’s pretty fascinating. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the infrastructure of a toy piano, individual tuned rods that are struck with plastic mallets produce the sound of each note. The idea behind this setup was to strike the top of the piano with a mallet, which in reality was the handle of a screwdriver, covered with a sock.
The 2 Gefell microphones were placed slightly lower to pick up stereo rattles and the higher frequencies from the strings; high pass filters would be applied to these microphones in the mixing stage. I recommend using decent speakers with a good frequency response for playback, or grab yourself some headphones.
While keeping the concept of using a resonator to amplify the sound, a 12” Spash Cymbal was applied to the mix to bring out some sharp high frequencies and create some sustain. By experimenting with different bowing patterns and placements, a huge variety of scrapes, bows, glissandos and smashes were created. He can be found on LinkedIn, or contacted directly via e-mail – alilaceyprodcution [at] msn [dot] com. Even cast members are in on the storytelling, with costumes that will have over-sized buttons on them. Benches are fashioned from Lincoln Logs, retaining walls are made of dominoes and a four-meter-tall Buzz Lightyear action figure greets visitors at the main entrance. Kids can't afford an entire collection of a particular toy, so they use other toys to set the scene and tell the story. Once in my possession it came to my attention that the piano was actually rather out of tune, and wouldn’t even play in key with itself.
Luckily we managed to get our hands on some rather decent microphones including a Neumann U87, AKG D112 and 2 Gefell M 930s.

By opening the wooden casing and revealing the rods, it could be played in an unconventional way. This would cause the rods inside the piano to ring out, rattle against the wooden casing and resonate through the body of the guitar to create a unique tone.
The position in which the instruments connected left the rods exposed, this meant that we could bow them to create some eerie scrapes and drones.
The audio clips that I have spoken about in this article are not the full extent of the recording, this is an unfinished project and I am yet to create any Konakt libraries out of the samples. This would make hard work of creating a decent chromatic piano library, so with this in mind I started to delve into the possibilities of creating a slightly more unconventional and experimental toy piano library. Regardless of the pianos tuning issues we sampled all 25 keys at 5 different velocities, including key release samples for all notes and all velocities.
So, wearing one sock I proceeded to hit the piano at different velocities, by also altering the tension on the guitar strings we could achieve a sustained eerie rattle. The longest rod (Lowest note) was hooked under the strings of the guitar while gently resting on the cymbal. I am happy to invite any interested parties or Kontakt library developers to join me in the creation of the Cinematic Toy Piano Library.
This would give me the possibility to create a chromatic Kontakt library with release sounds for a genuine feel. This created a new transient to the sound and changed the timbre, also bringing out lower frequencies that are usually unheard.
This meant that any vibrations from the rods would travel through the strings and body of guitar, while also traveling through the cymbal.
If you have something you’d like to share with the rest of the community, contact shaun [at] designingsound [dot] org. All 25 keys were sampled at multiple velocities using the ‘plucked’ technique; this would allow for a playable instrument to be mapped into the Kontakt sampler.

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