THE SAMPLING PROCESS
Adam Monroe's Honky Tonk Piano was sampled from a vintage Chickering upright piano - exact age unknown - primarily through a Neumann TLM 102 microphone. The piano had undoubtedly seem some action, and although it could be tuned (one note at a time) the tone of the piano was a bit on the "honky" side. The piano was sampled close-miced with lid open in mono, but each note was carefully panned to creat a stereo effect. An AKG D112 was used initially in order to capture the lower frequencies, but the TLM 102 did a fine enough job on its own.
We attempted to sample this piano deeply (10 velocity layers, 2 note round robin) but in the end, round robin was only partially captured, while the velocity goals were met. Unlike most piano libraries that just record one or the other, the piano was sampled with both sustain pedal open and closed, increasing the library's size, but allowing for more expression while playing.
Once the notes were recorded, the laborious task of processing them began. Noise was removed and the piano was eq'd and compressed - yes, this is a heavily processed plugin. The end result is an EXTREMELY PURCUSSIVE and LOUD piano library that will cut through your mix. This is not a pristine, clean plugin, and the notes can be quite hard hitting! We feel this adds to the percussive nature of honky-tonk style piano playing. Although we've cleaned up the notes quite a bit since the VST's initial release, we feel that too much cleaning-up starts to destroy the sound and feel of the plugin.
This piano plugin can be a great addition to your collection, as it fills a nice niche in the world of sampled upright pianos. If you need to make demos or recordings of ragtime music, or just need a generally purcussive piano, this virtual instrument is ready to become the newest member of your VST, AU, or AAX arsenal.
The Kontakt version of Adam Monroe's Honky Tonk Piano is depreciated (12.16.2019). The VST, Audio Unit, and AAX versions are programmed by Adam Monroe Music. The goal in any sample library that is also a VSTi (virtual instrument), AU (Audio Unit), or AAX plugin is to attempt to match the performance of the Kontakt Player (or other third party players). With this library, we feel like we have done just that.
The VST, AU, and AAX versions include updated, high-performance algorithms that have been improving with each new virtual instrument released by Adam Monroe Music. For example, the buffering algorithm is double-buffered and multithreaded, which means that buffering performance is fast, even on slower computers, and even in lower latencies. Voices are held and iterated over in a pure, C-Style array. Memory use is comparable to the (depreciated) Kontakt version. Real-time sample rate conversion (through cubic interpolation) has been added to the AU, VST, and AAX versions in order to support sample rates of 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz natively. Because of the solid VST/AU/AAX code base and - and compilation of the code to not need external .dll's/objects/libs - you can feel confident that the VST, AU, and AAX versions will work just as well as the (depreciated) Kontakt version.
Why develop VST, AU, and AAX versions at all? Although a great piece of software, the Full version of Kontakt (required to run 3rd party sample libraries) is expensive. Developing VST, AU, and AAX versions that anyone can use does not add significant time to the development of a piano sample library - most of the time is spent sampling and processing the samples - so it's a real no-brainer.
Audio engineering is a large part of creating a VST, Protools, or Audio Unit plugin, and you will find some useful things like reverb, lo-fi, and chorus built into this plugin. The VST version is based on VST 2.4, and should work in nearly any modern version of 32 or 64 bit version of Windows and OS X 10.9 or later. The Audio Unit version is compatible with OS X 10.9 or later and is compatible with 32 and 64-bit DAWS. The Protools version is 64-bit and requires the full version of Protools 10 or later. The download size for all versions is 2.9 GB, and unzipped the library takes up about 4.2 GB. We use Amazon for file serving, so you can rest assured your download will be fast and smooth!
Release v2.71 12/10/2019
Improvements since last version:
*Mac Au/VST versions now conform to OS X Catalina code signing and notarization requirements.
*Mac versions are now installed via package installers.
*Resources for Mac versions and a config file are now placed outside of the amhonky.vst and amhonky component bundles. This is because Apple wants things code-signed now:
verifying resources in a bundle would take too long and the config can\u2019t be inside because it would invalidate the code signature. If you don\u2019t like it, complain to Apple!
*Mainting 32-bit mac versions (must install after 64-bit versions).