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Topic: Jake or anybody

  1. #1

    Jake or anybody

    I should likely have done a search before asking, so sorry if already discussed.

    What piano these days comes close to Thomas Newman's piano sound?


  2. #2

  3. #3

    Talking Re: Jake or anybody

    Ooops, the link doesn´t work, sorry!
    Have a look at Eastwest QL pianos Bechstein mp3 called Freedom...
    What do you think?

  4. #4

    Re: Jake or anybody

    Hi Sam,

    I found the Freedom cue and you are right on. Exactly what I was looking for, and thanks very much!

  5. #5

    Re: Jake or anybody

    Hi, Joanne. I have to admit that I don't know Thomas Newman's usual sound. But I've often seen it praised. Could you post a link to a recording? (I have really bad luck when I try to learn about someone's work. Somehow, I always manage to find the worst recording.)

  6. #6

    Re: Jake or anybody

    Hi Jake,

    Regarding Newman: Since his compositional medium has been the film score, there is often only one recording available of the work. Here are a few of my favorites.

    Scent of a Woman
    Pay it Forward
    Shawshank Redemption

    I am curious to hear what you think.

    You don't have to worry so much about recording quality with Thomas Newman's scores, as he and Bill Bernstein have been working together a really long time (which is pretty unusual in Hollywood). I met both of them a few years back when Cinderalla Man came out, and they were very gracious about working with each other. Newman said that Bernstein had worked with him on every movie since "The Player". IMDB credits Bernstein as the music editor for every one of Newman's films that I could remember off the top of my head.

    Back before the current deluge of new pianos over the last two years, I turned to SampleTekk/PMI Emperor when I looked for a Newman sound. That's partially because a lot of the Newman recordings had a great deal of "sparkle" to them, but also warmth and most libraries tended to err heavily on one side or the other.

    While there are a lot of really great new options that deserve your attention, I would listen a bit to Emperor on the SampleTekk site and see whether you like it. It's much cheaper than the competition and has a sound all it's own, though it's not perfect. I tends to be easy to get a lot build-up/mud in the low end but at the same time, the sound of its sampled Bösendorfer has a power in the low end mixed with sparkle in the high that neither Galaxy II nor Quantum Leap pianos have in their own sounds.

    This is not meant to criticize those libraries, just to show the value of the individuality of the various libraries.

  7. #7

    Re: Jake or anybody

    One piano sound from a film that I like is in the movie Blue, which is partly about a composer's widow sorting out what to do with an unfinished score. A very liquid, full but not muddy, close perspective timbre while the piano is played in scene. I haven't found a sample set that comes at all close to the sound. (I was listening with just the same headphones I always use, not a surround set-up.) Trying to extract the sound from the DVD, unsuccessfully, I learned that the disc used an entirely different format, popular for films, from what I've seen used for any samples or other recordings. Can't recall the name of the format, and never learned the bit rate or sample rate, but I wonder if it had anything to do with the full sound of the piano. (It may well have been a surround-sound arrangement that came out really well in stereo.)

  8. #8

    Re: Jake or anybody

    DVDs are usually encoded in Dolby Digital/AC3 or DTS. Occasionally they will just be standard PCM files.

    In any case, the format itself wouldn't really contribute to the sparkle of the piano since, except for PCM, all of those are compressed formats while your samples are typically uncompressed.

    However, you may be on to something about the surround mix having translated unusually well to stereo: it's hard to say about that part.

  9. #9

    Re: Jake or anybody

    Hi Jake -

    Good to hear from you after so long. We've been talking pianos since here for almost 9 years - hard to believe.

    Here are some examples of T Newman and his typical sound.

    Soundtrack cue from one of his most recent movies: Revoluntionary Road

    piano enters around :35. Soundtrack: Shawshank Redemption


    Thanks for your comments and tip on SampleTekk. I've always wondered what I would say to Thomas Newman if met. Likely something not very interesting. Although he was around music lots with Dad, one bio says he did not start composing until around age 17. Listening to these melodies/harmonies, hard to believe.


  10. #10

    Re: Jake or anybody

    ArtVista Maljmso gets that sound IMHO.

    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."


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