Atmospheric Pianos Review

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After the human voice, and possibly the violin, the piano is one of the most emotionally charged musical instruments, capable of making grown men and women cry with its vast dynamic range, rich harmonies and layered melodies. Atmospheric Pianos is a new pack from Loopmasters that features 129 emotionally charged piano loops and riffs in WAV, MIDI and REX formats, with an Apple Loops version available separately.





Manufacturer Loopmasters
Price £29.95
Contactinfo@loopmasters.com 
Webwww.loopmasters.com





The pack has been written and performed by musician, producer, songwriter and musical director Sarah DeCourcy, who has worked with some of the biggest names in pop and has played the piano since the age of three. There’s around 570MB of 24-bit audio in total spread across four folders, with duplicate loops in separate MIDI and REX folders. While there’s a fair amount of stylistic variety, the overall mood is fairly serious, with tempos ranging from 75–120BPM.

All of the samples were performed on DeCourcy’s top-end electric piano, which gives them a clear and relatively upfront sound. You could argue that the electric piano is somewhat colder-sounding than a real upright or concert instrument, but given the emotional and moody nature of the harmonies and the playing style, this works well.

DeCourcy’s playing is tight, but with a good sense of weight to add a human touch to the riffs. First up are the atmos and FX loops, which have been treated with a liberal dose of reverb, delay and reverse effects, giving them a modern feel. We then have the chords, melodies and riffs, which contain a range of rich progressions, arpeggiated phrases and strong octaves, with good use of inverted chords to create longer and less repetitive loops.

Our only gripe is that the tails on some are cut short to make them fit the bars, and some of the electric piano sounds are a little thin, although this may fit well in a fuller-sounding arrangement. However, all these things can be resolved by using the MIDI files and your own choice of instrument and effects.

It’s rare that a piano and keyboard pack avoids cheesy chord progressions and melodies, but nearly everything here is packed with drama, making it a perfect choice for media composers working on thoughtful productions or more mature pop and RnB artists looking for a song-starting riff.

Verdict

A beautiful and mature piano collection that’s packed with inspiring and emotional riffs for use in a number of genres. The addition of MIDI and REX files massively opens up the flexibility of the pack.






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