Wrongtools forthcoming Bell-Tone Toypiano Kontakt library is available for FREE pre-order.
Bell-Tone Toypiano will cost €29 when released on this year’s Piano Day, 29th March 2022. But, to mark the occasion in advance, you can pre-order it for FREE using the code pianoday2022 at checkout.
Toypiano requires the paid version of Kontakt 6.4.2 or higher.
The instrument library comes from a sampled bell-tone Michelsonne Paris toy piano. Wrongtools points out that the sampled piano has wooden mechanics and no ugly-sounding plastic. Vintage Michelsonne toy pianos in good condition can be rare and pretty expensive, so it’s a good starting point.
Bell-Tone Toypiano has 2185 individual samples offering fifteen velocity layers, three round robins, release sounds, and mechanical noise. This 1.63 GB library captures more detail and nuance than we might expect from this kind of product.
Here’s how the developer describes the freebie:
“We’re giving away our new and pretty massive Bell-tone Toypiano sample library to celebrate Pianoday. This is an homage to the instrument that has started many piano careers, sampled to deep depths with sensitivity and grace. Vintage Toy Pianos vary greatly in personality. This piano has wooden mechanics and softened hammers. No ugly sounding plastic!.. It has a mellow naturalness and full-bodied personality. It has been treated like it was the most valuable Stradivarius.”
Toypiano comes with 61 patches, a collection of built-in IRs, and a scalable interface.
The main instruments are the bell-tone toy piano, dictaphone tp, and les jardins de la Villette.
The first recreates the physical instrument accurately, while the dictaphone tp is less clean/pristine.
Les jardins de la Villette builds on the atmospheric quality of dictaphone tp, although cleaner and more spacious.
Despite the playful nature of a toy piano, they do hold a certain cinematic quality. With preset names like hallway spirits, imperial thorn, and winter storm, you can imagine many of these patches draw on that cinematic quality.
Toy pianos are the starting point for many future pianists. But, for me, if I had to describe the sound in one word, I’d say creepy.
I know that sounds odd for something that starts its life as a child’s toy, but I mean it in the cinematic sense.
We could take a toy piano and play some contrapuntal music, like one of J.S Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, and it would sound joyous, in an 18th century kind of way. But, cinema loves irony, like the use of calming music during a gunfight. A common and effective technique often used to highlight the protagonist’s unnervingly calm state of mind during the chaos.
Similarly, a child’s toy piano is often used to create anxiety, as if things aren’t as innocent as they first seemed. In other words, it reminds me more of the kids from The Shining than the Von Trapp kids.
Try Spitfire Audio’s Glass Piano from the LABS collection if you are looking for a slightly different cinematic piano.
Bell-Tone Toypiano (pre-order for free with coupon code pianoday2022)