I’ve put multi-samples of my childhood piano up on Freesound.org. This is the piano that I first learnt music on when I was 6, it’s very old with ivory keys. I decided to sample it when I was back at my mum’s one holidays so I could take it anywhere I went. Now I share it with the internet for free.
Freesound.org is a database of sound files uploaded by the freesound community, all licensed under a Creative Commons license. This basically means you can download and use the sounds for free, you just have to attribute the source. I didn’t upload my samples to freesound because I care about attribution, but just to support and promote this great project. There’s thousands of sunds to download, from field recordings to synths and instrument recordings. Some are very professionally made, and others (like mine) are recorded using more modest set-ups.
My childhood piano, an old German upright. Recorded using a Studio Projects B3 condenser mic through a Presonus TubePre into an Akai MPC1000. Mic’d from the top with the lid up, closer to the bass end. The piano is old and slightly out of tune, with a crack in the soundboard. The only processing was with AnalogX AutoTune to tune the samples, which did a very good job. Sampled 3 notes per octave so each sample only needs to be tuned + or – a semitone to span the whole range (except for one octave where the key was busted). It is a dark and moody sounding, a lot of character but in now way “pristine”.
Download a MPC1000 PGM for these samples here. Note, freesound renames the samples so you will have delete the number from the start. A bit annoying, sorry bout that.
You can hear this piano in my track “I’ll probably Die Of Cancer” at my myspace page.
Or on this track I did with comedian Jobe: