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Hello and a huge thank you for purchasing Alt Piano.
Your support is helping other creatives and families make a living through music, so we really appreciate it.
This user manual should give you all the information you need to learn about the instrument and get the best out of the controls.
Refer to this page for help on downloading
Because no one actually reads manuals (except you, you little rebel), there is a built-in manual available on the interface.
1. Ensure you have the Kontakt INFO panel open.
2. Hover over any control in the interface and a short helpful description will appear in the Info panel at the bottom.
Reset a fader or knob position to default
Reset any fader or knob to its default position:
MAC Command + Left click
WINDOWS Windows + Left click
Please note, this does not work on switches.
Using an external MIDI controller unit
To connect a fader or knob on the interface to an external hardware unit:
1. Right click the fader or knob on the interface
2. Select “Learn MIDI CC# Automation”
3. Move the control on the external hardware unit
Presets / Snapshots
Included with the library are over 40 presets (known as Snapshots in Kontakt). These have been created to get you into some good starting points, show you what’s possible, and demonstrate some more unusual ideas.
Selecting a snapshot
1. Click the Snapshot switch in the Kontakt menu (camera icon)
2. Select the first loaded snapshot to show the menu of all Snapshots
3. You can also use the arrow keys to scroll through all of the Snapshots
Saving your own snapshots
You can save your own Snapshots to use again in other projects and compositions.
1. Click the Snapshot switch (camera icon)
2. Click the Save switch (disk icon)
Use these four menu icons to access different parts of the interface.
Where you choose and edit sounds, change the dynamics and mix microphone signals.
Add various built-in effects.
Overall settings for the instrument.
Information about the library and version number.
Choosing articulations and sounds
Use these switches to choose which sound you want to play.
Hold down SHIFT on your keyboard to select or deselect more than one to play them at the same time.
The currently active sound(s) will be shown above the main menu.
Any active sounds will also have white frame around their switch.
Changing expression and dynamics
EXP – EXPRESSION
Controls the overall instrument volume via MIDI CC11.
DYN – DYNAMICS
Controls the natural dynamics of the sound via MIDI CC1. More commonly mapped to your keyboard’s modwheel.
TEX – TEXTURE
Changes the timbre and effects of the Texture layers. This will have a different and unique feeling on each Texture sound, so experiment to hear what they each sound like.
Controls the ‘Live’ pianist sounds, which are a combination of the piano stool, clothing rustle and some light room ambience. With this turned on, the pianist will naturally start and finish with your playing.
Controls the intensity and how animated the ‘pianist’ is.
The overall volume of the pianist.
Access all the microphone positions
Use the arrows and numbers to access all the microphone/signals.
A pair of Coles 4038s placed very close to the internals of the piano.
A balanced stereo position.
Microphones capturing the rear soundboard of the piano.
Microphones placed in another room to the piano.
Controls the volume of the piano keys only.
Controls the volume of the strings resonating which naturally happens when you press the sustain pedal.
Controls the volume of the ‘thump’ that the sustain pedal makes when pressing and releasing it.
Turns the channel on or off. This also purges these samples from memory.
The centre position is how the microphone was recorded and intended to be used, but you can pan each channel independently for creative purposes.
Changes the level of each channel. The default position is 0dB and the maximum is +6dB.
SOLO / MUTE
Solo or mute each channel. You can also use the SHIFT key to independently solo a channel and remove any other channels from solo.
SAVE & LOAD A MIX
Use the save and load icons to save a favourite mix and re-use it in a different session.
Read more details in this section.
Editing articulations and sounds
Editing sounds and articulations
All sounds have several options that can be edited.
Each sound can all be edited independently of each other, so you can adjust them exactly to your preference without affecting the others.
Please note the available settings will be different or not available depending on on what articulation or sound you are editing.
How to open and close the edit panel
Any active sound will have an edit icon in the top right of its switch. Click this to open or close the edit panel.
Close the edit window using the ‘X’ button in the top left of the edit panel.
Once a sound is in edit mode, you will see an orange box around its switch to confirm which sound you are editing.
This setting changes how different dynamic layers are played.
MODWHEEL – Use your modwheel (MIDI CC1) to change the dynamic level. Use this setting for most continuous sounds like synths and long string sounds.
VELOCITY – Access different dynamic levels by playing harder or softer on your keyboard. Use this setting for percussive and naturally decaying sounds like Pianos and short strings sounds.
This section controls the Attack, Release, Tightness and Level of the sound
ATTACK – Change the attack time of the sound
RELEASE – Change the release time of the sound
TIGHTNESS – Increasing this control will cut into the start time/transient of the sample. This improves playing responsiveness but reduces realism, as the initial natural sounds at the beginning of the samples are lost.
LEVEL – Changes the level/volume of the individual sound. Use this control to create the desired balance of sounds when you have selected more than one at a time.
In this section you can control how round robins are controlled. Round robins are different versions of the exactly same sample, recorded to recreate the natural variations in a performance.
When more than one round robin is available for the selected sound, you will see a range of numbers (e.g. 1 2 3 4 5 etc). Under each number is an indicator to show you which round robin is currently being played.
Turn on and off specific round robin samples by clicking the appropriate number. We would typically recommend choosing a number that does not match your time-signature. e.g. when playing in 4/4, choose an odd number of round robins – 3, 5 etc) You can also turn off specific round robins if you do not happen to like the specific sample for any reason.
RESET ON TRANSPORT
Set to ON to reset the playing position of the round robins every time you stop/start playing in your DAW.
Changes the order of round robins are triggered.
CYCLE – Each note will cycle through the order of round robins in sequence
RANDOM – Will randomly play a round robin
Our unique Transpitch control allows you with one click to pitch shift the samples down, whilst transposing them back up by the same amount.
With the samples playing back at a slower speed, this creates a darker and moodier tone. This effect doesn’t respond to all sounds in the same way, so expect some sounds to be have a bigger change than others.
Available in 2 semitone intervals, up to a full octave.
Please note that the higher range of available notes will reduce by the setting you use. e.g. A setting of 6 will remove the top 6 semitones.
A basic and broad EQ for quickly adjusting the sound of the instrument. Cut or boost the Low, Mid and High frequencies.
Detunes all the keys of the piano is various directions. Use a very small amount to create a sense the piano has been left for a few months. Higher values will evoke an eerie and forgotten effect.
Introduce noise into the signal using this control to replicate a more lo-fi recording. Use the Tone to create a darker or brighter pitch and use the Level to control the overall volume of the Noise.
This control reproduces the natural tonal shift that happens when the wooden panel covering the strings on the front of a piano is either in place or has been removed.
A powerful and transformative delay engine that’s capable of a huge range of sounds.
Please note this effect can be quite CPU intensive, so if you are working on an older computer with less power you may notice a dip in performance.
Choose one of the 5 delay types: DIGITAL, ANALOGUE, TAPE, VINTAGE and HAZE. They all have their own unique character and sound. The controls will change depending on which delay type is chosen.
We have created a set of custom presets for the delay engine which you can use to get some instant starting points. Some are more conventional, others are more experimental and unusual.
To access the presets, click the menu switch which will show a pop-up box containing all the presets. Simply click a preset to activate it.
Use the ‘Note’ switch to turn on and off synchronisation option. If this switch is turned on (orange), the delay engine will synchronise with the BPM of your composition.
Set the time of the delay. This control will change depending on how the BPM SYNC switch is set.
If the BPM SYNC switch is turned on, the time can be set in beat divisions including dotted and triplet rhythms and will perfectly synchronise with the tempo set in your DAW. If the BPM SYNC switch is turned off, the engine will default to setting the delay time in milliseconds and will no longer be synchronised.
Adjust the amount of signal sent back into the delay engine. Increasing this control will add more intensity to the signal and if pushed to the max will begin to self-oscillate and feedback without more signal being applied.
Turn this control down to remove the high frequency content from the delayed signal.
DEPTH (DIGITAL, ANALOGUE AND VINTAGE ONLY)
Adjusts the amount of modulation applied to the delayed signal.
RATE (DIGITAL, ANALOGUE AND VINTAGE ONLY)
Adjusts the speed of the delay time modulation
AGE (TAPE ONLY)
Enhances the characteristics of aging tape.
FLUTTER (TAPE ONLY)
Increases the effect of mechanical imperfections in an old cassette desk
AMOUNT (HAZE ONLY)
Adjusts the amount of Haze applied to the delayed signal creating a washy reverb effect. Higher settings may feel like the effect is out of sync.
SIZE (HAZE ONLY)
Adjusts the size of the delayed signal creating an impression of different sized spaces.
Controls the final amount of effect mixed into the main output.
Width & Swap Channels
Control the stereo width of the entire instrument. The default position or when this control is turned off, is how the instrument was recorded.
Increasing this control will create a more wrap-around and immersive stereo perspective. Be careful that with certain mixes, the final sound may not translate to mono with this control set too extreme, so ensure you check!
Decreasing this control will push the sound towards the centre and eventually at the minimum setting will create a purely mono signal.
Please note, this effect is placed before the DELAY and REVERB effects, so these may further change the stereo field.
This control can be used to swap the stereo image of the entire instrument. What’s coming out of the left speaker will come out of the right speaker and vice versa.
You can use this to switch the perspective of how the instrument was recorded, for either creative purposes or matching other instruments in you composition.
Use this built in effect to add a convolution reverb to the master output of the instrument. All the controls to this effect are available on both the HOME page and the FX page.
The power switch turns the effect on and off, and the level knob changes the amount of reverb added to the master signal.
Use the menu to choose one of the 8 completely bespoke reverb impulses we have recorded and created. Designed to give you a spectrum of high quality and very useable spaces to immediately create an inspiring sound.
FIRESIDE – Small, warm and close. Like a cosy living room in the winter.
VINTAGE – An understated small recording hall that is full of character.
COILS – A custom spring reverb we created that’s ideal for that classic sound.
STEEL – A plate reverb that will add natural depth and shine.
STUDIO – Lively and upfront. Created to compliment and augment the natural acoustics of the studio we record in.
HALL – A large, warm hall that’s become one of our favourite reverbs to use on all scores that need a creamy, rich sound.
HORIZON – Dark and moody, this is a 10-second reverb that that feels mysterious and otherworldly.
ECLIPSE – Bright, shimmery and epic. A 20-second reverb that will transform simple sounds into an ambient wash.
On this page you can adjust some global settings of the entire instrument.
You can turn on or off all of the keyswitches here. Do this if the keyswitches clash with any other MIDI information.
Drag the keyboard icon left or right to change the default position of the keyswitches on the keyboard.
Alternatively use the left and right arrows to shift the selection one note at a time.
Click the keyboard icon to reset to the default position.
With this control set to ON, when a microphone fader is moved to the minimum (bottom) position, it will automatically turn off and purge the samples from memory. As soon as the fader is moved, it will reload and turn the channel back on.
If you do not want this behaviour, set this control to OFF.
PURGE UNUSED ARTICULATIONS
When the instrument first loads up, it will load all the articulations and sounds into your computer’s memory. This makes it quick and simple to start exploring and playing with all of the sounds.
However if you’re running low on RAM and system resources, you can click the PURGE NOW button to remove any articulation/sound that is not currently selected. Kontakt will then purge these samples from memory and free up the space for other things.
On the HOME page you will see that these switches are now greyed-out. If you wish to reload them, click on any of the sound switches and it will load everything back up again for you to change your selection.
If you external MIDI keyboard has a particular sensitivity bias, you can adjust the response curve of the incoming velocity data here.
LOW will make it easier to play quieter velocities
LINEAR will be make velocities equally playable
HIGH will make it easier to play louder velocities
On this page you’ll see credits relating to the production of the library.
There is also the version number of the library which is listed near the top.