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An "Extended technique" is a term to describe playing a musical instrument in an unconventional way, to coax new timbres from a traditional instrument. Since the early 20th century, the piano has been at the forefront of this trend, with many composers from John Cage onwards finding innovative, unorthodox ways of generating sound:
Curtis Curtis-Smith and Stephen Scott have both developed piano works in which the performers bow the strings of the piano using specially designed bows. Our bowed piano includes three articulations, two made with very long bows which are sustained (and the samples are looped), and also a short bow made from a tongue depressor and horsehair, which produces a short staccato sound.
Notably originated by George Crumb, Mute piano is a technique in which you lightly touch the finger at a nodal point on the piano string and play the key to produce a harmonic; Crumb generally used the 3rd harmonic, so it sounds a 12th above the fundamental (an octave plus a fifth). It is one of the few easily produced harmonics which the performer can actually reach while still being able to play the keys, and so this is what we used for the Xtended Piano instrument.
Henry Cowell first presented a technique (among others) in which the piano notes are plucked, either with the fingers or a plectrum of some sort. We used a guitar pick and recorded plucked notes with both the piano dampers down and up.
A piano has mallets itself (made of hard felt), but you can also hit the strings with foreign mallets to produce a different timbre. For this collection we recorded hitting the strings with a wooden mallet, and with a marimba mallet. The wooden mallet has a timbre reminiscent reminiscent of honky-tonk or "thumb tack" pianos, like those used in ragtime during the 20's (or Nancarrow's player piano).
The classic freestyle technique of simply reaching inside and scraping the strings, knocking the frame, strumming across the strings - all producing a huge soundscape drenched in piano resonance.
Here you can select your piano type from a choice of five instruments | Apply creative custom effects such as diving Glissandos, or strum the entire piano using a MIDI controller of your choice.
Add filters from a wide range of 18 types | Shape your sounds with 2 ADSR envelopes | Additional modulation via LFO
A completely user configurable FX chain: choose from 16 different effects in 6 insert slots - in any order you like. The Space processor offers everything from straight rooms and halls to ambient convolution effects.
The Tuning panel offers powerful control over scales and individual notes. Choose from over 50 preset scales including pentatonics, African, Chinese & Mesopotamian setups, or create your own unique tuning.
Featured on all Xtended Piano instruments, the latest evolution of our generative arpeggiator - Hold a chord, and let it evolve - or loop a section and jam between 12 sequences. Record your patterns with the MIDI recorder, and drag and drop into your DAW..
This is a Kontakt Player instrument. This means that you do not need to own the full version of NI Kontakt to use it. It will run as a plug-in instrument in any VST/AU/RTAS/AAX/WASAPI,compatible host program or DAW eg: Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, DP, Reaper, Pro-Tools. No extra purchase necessary.
Windows 7 or higher (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2, 4 GB RAM (6 GB RAM recommended)
Mac: OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM
Requires KONTAKT 5 or KONTAKT 5 PLAYER version 5.5 or later