Una Corda

Trailer

Walkthrough

Comtemporary Sound Signature

 

• Evocative tones from a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted upright piano

• Full range of distinct sound signatures, from soft and resonant to percussive and textural

• Sampled in intimate detail to deliver everything from up-close realism to resonant overtones

Creating Una Corda

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Preparation

 

By placing fabrics between the hammers and strings of a piano, these preparations produce rich, percussive textures with additional overtones.

UNA CORDA features three individual sample sets of the same instrument – the pure piano sound, a felt preparation and a cotton preparation.

Felt offers a gentle tone with reduced attack noise, creating a smooth sound akin to an unplugged vintage electric piano, while Cotton delivers a noisier, percussive attack with more overtones.

 

The Recording

 

UNA CORDA has been recorded in ‘Saal 3’ of the famous former east-german broadcasting studios in Berlin. Classic condenser and ribbon microphones have been used, in combination with modern and vintage preamps by Chandler, Neve, API and Siemens to capture all details of the instrument’s sound. Matthias Hahn, the sound engineer of Nils Frahm gave Galaxy Instruments insights on the way he captures Nils’s specific piano sound.

Realism

 

UNA CORDA has unique features to increase the realism of the piano perfomace and enhance the sound characteristics of the virtual instrument.

Fabrics

 

The original instrument was modified so that the attack noise, created by the hammer hitting the fabric could be sampled without the sound of the vibrating string. This way, different felt, cotton and leather fabrics were recorded and can be added to the sound of UNA CORDA in order to change the piano’s attack sound - ranging from a soft plushy ‘felt’ touch to a hard ‘leather’ snap.

Atmo

 

The atmosphere of a recording brings a lot of life to the piano performance, therefore an ‘Ambient’ and a ‘Pianist’ section were incorporated into UNA CORDA. Different room tones and vintage equipment noises can be chosen as well as rather abstract soundscapes. The ‘Pianist’ features performance noises of a musician playing a piano like stool squeaks, rubbed clothes and key cracks.

Mechanics

 

The mechanical noise recordings were extended by sampling the noise created by the mechanics while hitting a key, in addition to the mechanical noise of releasing it. Using these note-on noises, a highly percussive attack sound with a ‘wooden’ feel can be added to the piano tone, resulting in a very organic and natural sound.

Una Corda

 

The contemporary piano sound has faithfully been captured and transformed into a virtual instrument, introducing fresh sound elements unique in the digital world. UNA CORDA is based on a handbuilt ‚Klavins Una Corda 88’ modern upright piano, which has specifically been developed and optimized for sampling purposes.

The Instrument

 

In Italian ‘una corda’ means ‘one string’, which is one of the main features of the ‘Klavins Una Corda 88’. By using a single string per key, the resulting sound of UNA CORDA is a soft and pure tone with a strong natural resonance. Acclaimed piano maker David Klavins constructed his ‘Una Corda’ model as an upright piano in an open metal frame with a thin ribless soundboard to create an instrument with a highly resonant sound quality. During the development of the ‘Una Corda’ pianist Nils Frahm played an integral role and his unique fabric preparation was integrated to give the ‘Una Corda’ new sound design possibilities.

The Interface

 

UNA CORDA’s easy to use interface gives full control over the instrument’s parameters. The Workbench page is used to sculpt the primary characteristics of the sound using a combination of different piano tones with additional noises and specific ambiences. The dynamic behaviour can be adjusted on the Response page and the sound can finally be polished with effect-chains, compression and reverbs as well as delays on the Finish page. The interface allows an easy transformation of a pure-sounding piano into a noisy and percussive instrument or an ambient soundscape.

Additional Sounds

 

Besides the pure piano sound, UNA CORDA also features specifically recorded piano harmonics, reversed tones and the resonant tonal depth of the instrument. All of those additional sounds can be played individually, making UNA CORDA a very versatile and comprehensive virtual piano instrument. In addition, these different sounds can be combined to form a mixture of piano-related sound components to be further altered within the virtual instrument. To explore the wide range of UNA CORDA’s sounds, over 100 Snapshots are included, from pure piano tones to ambient soundscapes, which are rather losely related to the upright piano sound.

Finish

 

UNA CORDA includes a wide variety of effects to process the piano sound and transform it even further, going into the realms of soundscapes and custom sound designs. Besides a comprehensive equalizer, transient processing and compressors with tape saturation, the Style presets are an integral part to further sculpt the sound of UNA CORDA, using effect-convolution, modulated filters and different forms of distortion. In addition, vintage reverb units such as plates, springs and early digital reverbs have been included in the Space section of UNA CORDA as well as echo effects and vintage delay units. All those features play a major role in UNA CORDA’s destinctive contemporary piano sound.

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Comtemporary Sound Signature

 

• Evocative tones from a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted upright piano

• Full range of distinct sound signatures, from soft and resonant to percussive and textural

• Sampled in intimate detail to deliver everything from up-close realism to resonant overtones

Trailer

Walkthrough

Creating Una Corda

Realism

 

UNA CORDA has unique features to increase the realism of the piano perfomace and enhance the sound characteristics of the virtual instrument.

Fabrics

 

The original instrument was modified so that the attack noise, created by the hammer hitting the fabric could be sampled without the sound of the vibrating string. This way, different felt, cotton and leather fabrics were recorded and can be added to the sound of UNA CORDA in order to change the piano’s attack sound - ranging from a soft plushy ‘felt’ touch to a hard ‘leather’ snap.

Atmo

 

The atmosphere of a recording brings a lot of life to the piano performance, therefore an ‘Ambient’ and a ‘Pianist’ section were incorporated into UNA CORDA. Different room tones and vintage equipment noises can be chosen as well as rather abstract soundscapes. The ‘Pianist’ features performance noises of a musician playing a piano like stool squeaks, rubbed clothes and key cracks.

Mechanics

 

The mechanical noise recordings were extended by sampling the noise created by the mechanics while hitting a key, in addition to the mechanical noise of releasing it. Using these note-on noises, a highly percussive attack sound with a ‘wooden’ feel can be added to the piano tone, resulting in a very organic and natural sound.

Comtemporary Sound Signature

 

• Evocative tones from a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted upright piano

• Full range of distinct sound signatures, from soft and resonant to percussive and textural

• Sampled in intimate detail to deliver everything from up-close realism to resonant overtones

Una Corda

 

The contemporary piano sound has faithfully been captured and transformed into a virtual instrument, introducing fresh sound elements unique in the digital world. UNA CORDA is based on a handbuilt ‚Klavins Una Corda 88’ modern upright piano, which has specifically been developed and optimized for sampling purposes.