There are tons of electric piano synths / sample libraries available, both free and commercial. Most popular (random order) are:
– Andreas Ersson LazySnake (free)
– GSI MrTramp (free)
– NI Elektrik Piano (discontinued)
– AAS Lounge Lizard EP-3 (199 $)
– GSi MrRay Mark II (32 E)
– AcousticsampleS E-Pian (49 E)
– Scarbee Eletric Pianos (69-109 E)
– Pianoteq Electric Pianos add-on (49 EUR)
– Motu Electric Keys (209 $)
Motu Electric Keys offers stunning 40 GB sound library, which translates into 50 keyboard instruments (electric pianos, organs, clavs etc.) but other products usually offer just one (or two) electric piano sampled / synthesized. CFA Sound E-Play Divorce is an exception here – it brings 25 electric pianos on the table.
What does Electric Piano mean ? Unlike a synthesizer, it’s not an electronic instrument but electro-mechanical. It produces sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electronic signals by pickup devices. The earliest electric pianos were invented in the late 1920s but the popularity began to grow in the late 1950s, reaching it’s height during 1970s. Tone production method varies from one model to another. For example tone production in all Wurlitzer electric pianos comprises a single steel reed for each key, activated by a miniature version of a conventional grand piano action and forming part of an electrostatic pickup system using a DC voltage of 170v.A mechanical sustain pedal similar to that of a conventional piano is fitted [wikipedia]
Do you need some real world examples ? The first one is typical and popular Wurlitzer EP-200A piano. The song is: Queen – You’re My Best Friend
The other example comes from Fender Rhodes piano and it’s: The Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down
Let’s get back to the main topic, which is: CFA Sound E-play Divorce.
The whole package weights 1.99 GB. It contains a rompler unit (VSTi) with 25, 32-bit Mse piano multisamples (1,1 GB) and 25 NKI Kontakt files, so you can use Divorce as a Vsti synth/rompler or as Native Instruments Kontakt Sample Library. I like this concept a lot. Not everyone has NI Kontakt (ie. I don’t have) and on the other hand Kontakt users will (probably) prefer to use Divorce NKI files instead of rompler.
Ok, so first – the rompler unit. It offers pretty basic stuff such as ADSR envelope, panning options (modulation + speed) and reverb. Not much to be honest but … I like it. It’s not CPU hungry, I could easily insert 4-5 instances of E-Play Divorce and ie. route them to my “effects” channel with custom (DAW) effects such as EQ, Reverb, Delay. One more thing – scrolling through different pianos is very fast – samples are loading instantly.
How does it sound ? It DOESN’T recreate standard electric piano sounds, it’s not an emulation / recreation of famous electric pianos. Instead, it really tries to bring something new, unique. There are 25 (which is quite a lot for one product) different pianos:
– so called “Lo-Fi” pianos (8-bit, Lo-Fi, Bit crushed, Degraded).
– pianos passed through the tubes, amps etc.
– “weird” pianos passed through the phaser unit for example
– gentle, warm sounding pianos.
I can see at least three ways of using Divorce:
Rompler is low CPU hungry so it’s perfect for layering. Just load three, four Divorce instances and play with presets a little bit. You can achieve some unique sounds (ie. by combining “preamp” piano (nice lowend) with brighter one, you can produce quite “big”, “full” sounds).
Demo – shows bells-like pad with 4 layered instances of Divorce (+ Ableton Live ping pong delay, reverb)
Divorce + other Products
I love playing Divorce along with my TruePianos Grand Piano. It turns out that all these “Lo-Fi” pianos add some very nice harmonics to the default sound. On the other hand “Tube” / “Amp” pianos can bring additional “air” or some nice low-end flavour. Of course, it’s totally recommended to experiment. For example, you can layer it with guitars, pads, strings, as well as short, plucky sounds (bells, marimbas etc.)
Demo – first Truepianos virtual instrument dry then Truepianos + one Divorce instance
Just follow your creativity. It’s suited for many genres, from Jazz to Electronica. I can even imagine sidechaining Divorce (plus layering it with err some pad 😉 ) just to create Progressive House tune similar to Deadmau5 – Ghosts N Stuff
Tons of possibilities…
Official mp3 demo:
E-Play Divorce is a great addition (addiction ? 😉 ) to my arsenal. I love to layer it and overall I’m impressed. You can’t compare it to another product because the sounds are pretty much unique. It consumes low CPU and the price is very fair. As far as I know, demo version will be available very soon…
PRICE: first 100 copies are discounted and cost 25 EUR (standard price is 40 EUR)
More info: CFA-Sound E-Play Divorce VSTi