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Topic: 70's Rock piano

  1. #1

    Question 70's Rock piano

    Hi, looking for a classic 70s rock piano; 'Bennie and the Jets'; 'Let's Spend The Night Together' (the Bowie version on Aladdin Sane); The Faces, etc. Does anything out there successfully capture that vintage character? Or is it a case of taking a more dynamically expressive piano and squashing and brightening? Cheers

  2. #2

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    Also Good,

    Vintaudio Upright Piano Collection.

    Grand Pianos have their place too, but this isn't a chorused Grand, but rather a smaller piano harp from a set of Upright Pianos.

    I use them for jamming, rock, r & b, and anything where I don't want to sound do " white ".

    But this is definately worth buying, as it is old and therfore cheap.

    There's a VST and Gigastudio version, but Gigastudio has the awesome pedal down impulse on it that really makes this authentic.

  3. #3

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthling
    Sampletekk "White Grand" works well
    Hey there, I second that: I also like the direct but still "natural" string sound of "White Grand" - it's a bright sound but not too "artifical" like many other especially eq-ed rock piano sounds do. Also, the "C7G Junior" has a nice vintage tone and doesn't sound that "in your face" like "White Grand" does.

    If you own Kontakt, there's a suitable factory sound, a "August Förster" grand which sounds also pretty much vintage-like. There's also a tape-processed patch which I like. However, it is not "high-end tuned"....don't know if it's actually a bit out of tune, but it sounds a bit as if. It works for many songs, though, but for others it might perhaps not. Check it out.

    The "German Baby Grand" (a Blüthner) of the new Galaxy II package would also be a nice choice for a 70ies sound. You can buy it seperately as a download if you don't need the other 2 grands of Galaxy II.

    The "Bluthner Digital One" has obviously some special vintage sounds included that date back to the days of the 70ies.

    I don't know exactly which piano Elton played on "Bennie and the Jets", but back in the seventies he was a Steinway artist, so this was probably the brand of choice in most cases back then. However, he once said that for "Burn Down The Mission" (maybe the whole Tumbleweed sessions?) he used a Bösendorfer Imperial.

    Hope this helps a bit!



  4. #4

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    Speaking of Elton's Bösendorfer Imperial:

    I recently bought Sampletekks/PMI's "Emperor". I haven't really used it yet, just played a bit around with it but IMHO it could also work well for a 70ies rock sound, maybe not that bright as "White Grand" but with a bit more "body"...

    Another probably suitable Bösendorfer sound could be Pianowaves "B-211".
    It seems to be pretty unspectacular in terms of sound, not too much concert grand-like...you know what I mean? Go to


    and get a playable demo version.

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: 70's Rock piano

    Thurston, scope4live, Earthling:
    Thanks for the replies, there are many useful pointers there.

    I hadn't even thought to check the Kontakt library, so will do that now.

    White grand sounds like it could be close to what I'm after - I have black grand already and rate it highly.

    I'll check out as many of the suggestions as I can.

    Incidentally, regarding the tuning on the August Förster; I definitely like a bit of that for certain tracks - when other pianos are just too perfect, I'll often use Rain Piano, which I love.

    There is a similarly quirky but full of character 'ships piano' available here:


    It was only released yesterday so haven't played it yet, but have bought it on the strength of the demo (it's only £15). Check out the dulcitone and other instruments there as well.

  6. #6

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    From The Mixing Engineer's Handbook by Bobby Owsinski:

    If you like the early Elton John piano sound, put the piano into two LA-2As or similar compressors and compress the signal at least 10dB. Then put the output into two Pultecs or similar equalizers. Push 14kHz all the way up and set 100Hz to about 5. The effect should be a shimmering sound. The chords hold and seem to chorus.
    "I'm worried that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else." Lily Tomlin

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Re: 70's Rock piano

    cheers for the quote TBlizz - I guess when I wrote 'squashing & brightening' I was on the right track...

  8. #8

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    AcousticSamples "Academic Grand" (Steinway-D) sounds like it could be a contender from the demos:

    re: the White Grand - thirded. (I have it)

    EDIT: I also think the K-Sounds "Signature" piano (a Yamaha C7) can be an absolutely *smoking* rock piano. (another one I have)


  9. #9

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    RE: the August Foerster (in the Kontakt bundled library), I really like it's sound too, however it's rather coarsely sampled (at least it sounds like it is), and the programming just isn't up to scratch IMHO. The instrument itself sounds like it would be really nice!


  10. #10

    Re: 70's Rock piano

    hello together,
    the Pianowave Boesendorfer that Thurston mentioned might qualify for rock because of its adjustable brightness curve.
    There are two knobs, one for the brightness of the softest notes, and one for the brightness of the loundest notes.
    I had the idea for that while flying a model helicopter, where the gas and the pitch have to match (if you increase pitch to go higher you also have to increase gas to maintain engine speed)
    In the remote control you can set a gas curve and a corresponding pitch curve, which are simultaneously triggered by a single stick.
    On a grandpiano, you also control two parameters by the velocity: the volume and implicitely the brightness. Therefore I searched for a way to assign a brightness to each velocity level.
    The trick is to provide all the layers over the whole velocity range and to only activate the one whose brightness is required.
    Silly what people do with their spare time, huh? :-)
    If you want to use the Pianowave Boesendorfer for Rock, you problably dont even have to buy it. The demo version (www.pianowave.de) is fully playable, but sample length is limited to one or two seconds (I dont remember...).
    If thats not enough - play faster!!!! :-)

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