Spitfire Audio releases Autograph Grand, the latest addition to the free LABS collection.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts on LABS, chances are, you’ll already be sick of me talking about how good the collection is.
So, apologies if that’s the case, but as if my apology means nothing, I’m going to say it again; LABS is awesome.
LABS instruments are all free, and while they offer something for everyone, they are especially useful for those working on cinematic sounds.
Autograph Grand follows releases like Soft Piano and Glass Piano (the piano of composer Phillip Glass). It offers the sound of a Yamaha C6 grand piano, the legendary C6 from Woodshed Recording Studios in Malibu.
The Yamaha C6 is often said to have more personality than the C5 or C7 and is considered an incredibly emotive instrument.
This particular C6 is legendary because it has an endless list of famous and iconic, not to mention contrasting players, from Paul Simon to Korn.
People talk about the magic that history adds to certain instruments, and I think there’s something true in that. It’s not so much that they suddenly sound magical and like no other, but more how they make you feel when playing them, which can bring out the best.
It’s hard to imagine that magic transfers to a digital emulation, but, as always, Spitfire Audio has done a great job of capturing the character that made the original piano so appealing.
Autograph Grand is described as clean and rich, which is fair. It definitely has the richness you’d expect from a C6, especially in the lower notes. However, as clean as it is, it also sounds quite dreamy, and that doesn’t always have to mean sweet and lovely. Whether you are creating a light or dark mood, Autograph Piano is the type of sound that enhances or magnifies the mood.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get that dreamy sound with a VST piano without it turning to mud with even slightly aggressive pedaling. Autograph Piano has a nice sweet spot that’s easy to hold, and the ability to shift smoothly between that and sharp, crisp notes adds to its personality.
If you haven’t grabbed T-RackS EQ 81 for free yet, you still have time; go get it.
Autograph piano requires the free Spitfire Audio plugin, which comes in AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS 10-13-11 (M1 supported) and Windows 7/8/10.
Download: Autograph Grand
Sweet! Thx! BTW, anyone know what happened with Wurli? That’s one of the my favorite libraries and It just mysteriously disappeared from the list some time ago.
Unfortunately it looks like Spitfire turned it into a paid instrument. It’s only $29 though so it’s not overpriced imo.
Well, I thought that commercial version already existed at the time the free one was released. I may be wrong, though. Anyways, I zipped it and backed it up. That will hopefully do.
I feel you on that, I do the same when I have something free that later became paid. Thankfully I don’t feel left out here because I have a Wurli in my V Collection 7. My Komplete 13 probably has a thing or two for that as well.
Spitfire Audio has put out some seriously great stuff though, they’re one of my favorites for sampled instruments and have a huge free library that’s also very unique and has a lot of personality. I kind of miss the old format of trailers and whatnot for their monthly free LABS releases, but this is cool too.
This library *chefs kiss*
Alright I just used this in one of a 2hu jazz arrange and gosh its so lovely!!!!
Definitely best piano they have so far imo!
It’s lovely, indeed! Enjoy.
Matthew B. Carteron
Very excited to check this out! I’ve been waiting for more “normal” sample libraries from labs as I’ve felt like many recent labs releases have been too specific or limited in terms of scope of usability. What an awesome treat for producers. There are now probably 15 labs libraries that I would consider amazing.
Thanks James Nugent and BPB! We appreciate the quick updates.
I agree, many LABS releases are quite niche, but as a collection, it’s awesome, and sometimes the unexpected ones turn out to be gems.
This piano is great, I hope you get a lot of use out of it, cheers, Mathew.
Can I post to say thanks, without my comments being awaited for moderation
New favorite piano!
Matthew B. Carteron
Tested it out for an hour or so and was extremely impressed. Not bright like a Yamaha C7 but still has a bit of shine (especially when compared to the soft piano).
One thing that surprised me is that the dynamic range is EXCELLENT. Usually with small sample libraries they sacrifice the dynamics between layers and you have abrupt volume changes for slightly harder hits on the keyboard. This library doesn’t have that problem at all and can be very soft or in your face.
To anyone who wants to use this piano for practice or brighten up the sound for a mix, I would highly recommend a high shelf EQ boost at around 12Hz of 8-10 dB, a very wide high freq bell boost (low q) at 4kHz of 5 dB, a small, high q (notch) style bell cut at 306kHz (try 2 or 3 dB cut) to remove some overtone buildup that exists within the recorded samples, and some parallel compression (4:1 ratio, 40ms attack, .1 second release, 1 or 2 dB knee, 50% stereo link, get 3-4 dB of gain reduction and then 50% compression mix) to really level out the low and high frequency differences in the instrument.
(I did all of this on the Fuse Audio Labs VCS-1 Channel Strip)
This is a must have library in my opinion.
Thanks for the post BPB!
Personally i felt there was too much low-mid build-up in general. I could be wrong, but my guess is that this is due to each key being sampled separately (duh), hence when multiple keys are played, the recorded body resonance of the piano gets stacked multiple times & over-emphasized.