Become a member
Become a member
Continuer avec Google

or
Log in
Log in
Se connecter avec Google

or
review

Tonehammer Pianos Review

Pianos Like No Others
Agrandir
Add this product to
  • Mon ancien matos
  • My current gear
  • Mon futur matos
Tonehammer Bowed Grand Piano
Images
1/2
Tonehammer Bowed Grand Piano

Virtual Acoustic Piano from Tonehammer .

Write a user review

The launch of the Montclarion Hall Piano gives us the opportunity to present to you the full range of Tonehammer pianos, characterized by the same original approach of all the other instruments by the manufacturer.

Granny, This One's For You...

 

Tonehammer Old Granny Piano

Chronologically, this was the first piano presented by Tonehammer. The manufacturer decided to sample an old brandless upright piano (the booklet says the piano was 60 or 70 years old) which had had no maintenance in years and was in a rather poor condition. Granny is really detuned and has no strings for the high notes. In fact, you can clearly hear noises when you hit and release the keys. Just listen to the following sound sample:

 

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

 

Tonehammer Old Granny Piano

In spite of being out of tune, the instrument is appealing. The manufacturer provides several presets, available in Untuned and Tuned versions. The piano is available in soft and bright versions. It includes a tone setting controlled by the wheel. You also get several programs with different impulses like tunnel, studio, stairwell, alley, garage, and subway, as well as Kotankt's convolution reverb. You can change the settings using the edit functions. Since the impulses are provided in a separate folder, you can also use them with other Kontakt instruments — a very nice detail. You'll also find three (sound design) presets whose aim isn't authenticity.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

If you do soundtracks, the different pianos are ideal to illustrate nostalgic scenes or childhood feelings.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

What a Strange Sound...

 

Tonehammer Bowed Grand Piano

Well, here's something totally different. Bowed and Plucked are two libraries created from the piano used for Emotional (see below). The goal is to provide only one piano that you can play in three different ways, instead of two or three separate instruments: traditional (Emotional), plucked strings (Plucked) or bowed strings (Bowed). Without being truly innovative, this concept is interesting and guarantees sound consistency that can be valuable in some cases.

 

Below you can hear the basic piano, knowing that we have three basic programs available (Bowed Grand Piano, Staccato and Short Release).

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

The manufacturer also offers 24 Drone programs (excellent idea since the sound material is perfect for such things) and nine FXs including several glissandi, loops, pickings, etc.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

 

Tonehammer Plucked Grand Piano

 

Below you can hear a Plucked Grand accompaniment while the Dulcimer plays the lead melody; and then the same but with the Hammered Grand. I didn't do it for this sample but, the best thing you can do is assign a MIDI controller to the repetition number and vary it depending on the part you play.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

Tonehammer Plucked Grand Piano

The Reverb & Tone section provides a three-band EQ with bypass and Kontakt's convolution reverb fed with 45(!) impulses from classic spaces to sound design effects. The impulses provided have a very good quality and the special impulses are quite surprising. It's a pity that you cannot use them in another context, but this limitation is due to the locked Kontakt libraries format.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

What a Nice Sound...

 

Tonehammer Emotional Piano

Let's go on with Emotional. This piano, used as the foundation for the two pianos described above, is presented as an instrument for cinema and emotion. The manufacturer says its main qualities are its softness, roundness and full and warm sound.

 

 

 

Tonehammer Emotional Piano

 

 

 

In the following sample, you'll hear the Master preset first, then the same preset with one of the Mystery impulses.

 

 

 

 

 

00:0000:00

 

Tonehammer Montclarion Hall

What more can the manufacturer offer us beyond Emotional? The answer is: another approach. The Montclarion is a piano recorded in a chapel with very special acoustics. Actually, the acoustics were the main motivation behind the concept (this chapel had been previously used for other sound banks of the manufacturer). The piano was sampled with three different mic positions, which you can use in multiprograms.

 

You'll hear the three mic positions separately and then grouped.

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

 

Tonehammer Montclarion Hall

 

 

But the library is not limited to classic programs: the manufacturer also included plenty effect programs, percussions and sound effects created using the instrument, as well as chapel and outdoor ambients and sound design...

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:0000:00

 

 

Conclusion

 

Tonehammer has a reputation for going off the beaten path with its sampling products by offering rare and home-made instruments or using special recording situations for ensembles (see the Epic series). However, it also succeeds in offering more classic choir and piano samples while keeping a special approach to them. Among the special products, the Bowed and Plucked libraries are very original and even though you can find similar libraries out there, none of them reaches this sound quality. Besides their excellent audio quality, both include numerous extra features like an arpeggiator, sound design programs, impulses, etc.

 

Among the more traditional sounds, Emotional is a unique product because no other virtual piano currently provides this particular quality and roundness. This is one of my favorite pianos. Montclarion offers special acoustics with very interesting multimodes if you want to create particular ambiances. As for the cons, we noticed some slight phase problems, especially with Emotional and Montclarion. To solve the problem just narrow the stereo image a little bit (the changes are so slight that they won't alter the sound). Also notice that you'll need a powerful computer system with enough RAM and/or fast hard drives.

 

You can consider this series as several single instruments, but also as a comprehensive bundle offering almost everything in terms of piano sound (perhaps missing only a prepared piano) with an impeccable quality (Montclarion at 24 bits, no audible loop points on releases except in FX or Drone programs, no tuning or layer problems, etc.), which can complete (or not) the more "traditional" instruments other manufacturers have to offer. In any case, the full bundle costs only $389 — a very appealing price, considering its quality.

 

this one's for you...

Pros
  • Sound quality
  • Programming quality
  • Originality
  • No audible loop points except on special effects
  • Numerous traditional programs
  • Numerous effect and drone programs
  • Bowed Legato
  • Plucked Dulcimer
  • Uberpeggiator
  • High-quality original impulses
  • Originality of the FX impulses
  • Interface and settings of Bowed and Plucked
  • Price
Cons
  • Locked Kontakt format of some libraries
  • No access to Kontakt editors in Emotional
  • No external access to the Bowed and Plucked impulses
  • Watch out for phase problems with certain programs
  • Powerful computer and enough RAM required

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies

We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.