SAMPLE LIBRARY REVIEW AWARDS 2023
VIEWER'S CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST PIANO

ALT PIANO

Play Video

Play Trailer

An upright piano with stories to tell

Alt Piano is an old, humble and character-filled upright piano from the 1960s. Recorded with and without felt, this piano has two very different personalities; soft and beautiful or bright and lively.

The original recordings have also been transformed into a series of inspiring textural layers. These can be used to create a subtle background ambience to the piano, or made into their own atmospheric organic sounds.

There are dozens of other unique controls, making this piano impressively versatile and allowing you to easily create an extensive range of sounds for any genre.

User Interface Alt Piano Westwood

Highlights

An upright character piano
Recorded with and without felt
4 microphone positions
“Live” player controls
11 unique textures
Over 40 presets

Kontakt

Uses the free Kontakt PLAYER
Works in all major DAWs
Compatible with NKS

WALKTHROUGH

See it in action

Play Video

EXTERNAL REVIEWS

The reviews

MUSIC DEMOS

Listen to Alt Piano

REVIEW

“A lovely piano that you can modify in all sorts of ways very quickly.
It has a nice warm tone to it and this instrument can be used in quite a few applications. 
Need an intimate piano? Done. Need a distant pad? Done.”

Twin Composers

Natural or felted

(or somewhere in-between)

We recorded the piano twice. With and without felt which provides you with two very distinct characters. Both are full of subtle imperfections and individuality.

The natural sound of the piano without felt is bright and lively, whilst the felted recordings are soft and gentle.

But best of all, you don’t have to choose. We created a control which lets you blend between the two recordings to dial in a sound that suits you.

TEXTURES

Subtle ambience or full blown vibe

The original session recordings have been transformed into 11 textural layers. Add a subtle ambience to augment the main piano or use them on their own in the front and centre of your music.

We used a combination of vintage cassette decks, time-stretched reel-to-reel, boutique guitar pedals and other experimental techniques to create a range of distinct sounds, full of character and soul.

To add even more interest, the sound of each one can be changed in its own unique way using the texture slider.

SOUNDS & SIGNALS

What's included?

Sounds

Piano

Felted and Unfelted

Textures

AIR
GRAIN
EARTH
ASH
RESIN
HEARTH

Textures

WILLOW
SIGNAL
ARBOR
HIGHWAY
DRIFT

Signals

Close

Super close and dry. A pair of Coles 4038s placed inches away from the insides of the piano.

Room

A balanced perspective with more room to breathe and less focus on the mechanical sounds of the piano.

Rear

A flatter sound recorded from the soundboard at the rear of the piano.

Ambient

A diffuse and unfocussed sound recorded in an adjacent room to the piano. Use sparingly to add some natural depth.

Piano

Individual controls for:
Key noises, String resonance and the sustain pedal.

"All the best characters in films have flaws.
I believe the best pianos do too."

Rob Hill
Founder, Westwood Instruments

ADDITIONAL CONTROLS

Wait, there's more?

"Live" Pianist

Create a more real and authentic performance by adding the sound of a “Live” player including gentle piano stool creaks, clothing foley and some subtle room ambience.

Transpitch

Create a darker, moodier sound, unachievable any other way. A powerful, but simple control which pitch shifts and transposes with just one click.

Untune

A really precise control which allows you to make the piano sound like it’s fallen out of tune. You can make it sound anywhere between a day and a decade out of tune.

REVIEW

“If you need a piano that is an amazing ‘go-to’ for multi purpose then this is the one. I’ve found it’s possible to get everything from intimate to epic from it very quickly.”

Lex Shellard

PRESETS

Two clicks away

With so much control to get to know, we curated a set of over 40 presets to provide you with some excellent starting points. These will give you a wide variety of inspiration (if you need it) and also show you some interesting combinations you may not have thought of. In two clicks, you can jump from a battered Tom Waits style piano that’s just right for a heartbroken ballad, to a deep textural sound that’s perfect for the start of an apocalyptic road movie.

 natural piano
  highway
lost in reykjavík
 rob’s felt piano
as real as it gets
  drifted
 shifted felt
   bad signal
  epilogue

Explore the interface

User Interface Alt Piano Westwood

Dial in the "Live" pianist sounds including some light clothing foley, piano stool creaks and room ambience.

Control the level and balance of the 4 microphone positions. There are also faders for the piano sounds inlcuding the sustain pedal, string resonance and key noises.

8 high-quality custom reverb impulses, created to give you immediate an immediate feeling and transform the sound into a wide range of spaces.

Select and combine any of the piano sounds and textures. The level and various other controls can each be edited independently.

Blend between the natural piano sound and the felted piano sound.

The sound of each texture layer can be transformed in its own unique way using this fader.

Our unique Transpitch control create a darker and moodier sound by pitch-shifting the samples down and transposing them back up at the same time.

The Piano Front control emulates the subtle change in timbre that happens when you remove the front wooden panel from the piano.

8 high-quality custom reverb impulses, created to give you immediate vibe and transport the sound into a wide range of spaces.

This control changes the tuning on every single key in a slightly different way, emulating the piano going out of tune over time.

Introduce some subtle signal noise into the signal to create a more lo-fi effect.

A powerful and transformative delay engine which can be used to create a huge range of sounds from a clean uncoloured delay to more unstable vintage tape echoes to expansive and hazy washes.

RECORDING METHOD

Beautifully recorded

We recorded the piano in the crypt of a church. It’s lived there for the past 10 years since a band we know have recorded all their albums in this unlikely place.

We used an absolutely world-class pristine signal path, capturing everything at 96kHz through legendary Neve 1073 pre-amps and Burr Brown AD convertors.

The signal started with a matched pair of Coles 4038’s as close as we dare put them to the hammers, to capture a really detailed sound. A stereo pair of AKG 414’s made an excellent job of providing a more natural and open perspective. We used a pair of SE-2’s on the rear soundboard which gives you a boxy and bright sound. Finally we set up another stereo pair of AKG 414’s right in the furthest and vaults of the room to record a really distant and ambient perspective.

TECH SPECS

Good to know

System Requirements

Kontakt Player
Mac OS 10.13 or higher
Windows 10 or higher
All major DAWs supported
3.7GB download size
Downloads using the free Pulse app
Native Access is required for license activation.

Free Kontakt Player

This sample library works with the free version of Kontakt PLAYER 6.6.1 or higher and is NKS compatible.

Watermarking

Every copy of Alt Piano is automatically watermarked for each customer with unique identifying information which we use to track piracy.

Any questions?

I'm looking for a pristine concert grand piano, is this it?

Nope. This piano is old, has been well loved and had a very good life. If you’re looking for perfectly precise tuning and an absolutely perfect sound this is not the piano for you. But if you want character, a few flaws and a sound that is full of personality, then you’ve found the right piano.

Will this work in the free version of Kontakt?

Yes. Alt Piano works using the free Kontakt Player, version 6.6.1 or higher.

Many of our other instruments do need the full version of Kontakt, so please ensure you have the correct version before purchasing anything from us.

Can I use this in commercial releases?

Yes! What you can’t do is repackage the individual samples or re-release them as another sample library, but you can absolutely use them to make the next score to a film about making 500 million friends (and a few enemies).

REVIEW

“A very versatile, vintage sounding piano. It has, without doubt, a certain nostalgic character that will please modern composers, particularly those who are drawn to writing more intimate, Scandi styles of orchestral music.”

Adrian Banks – BANKS AUDIO THEATRE