Q Up Arts has announced the availability of California Keys which is compatible with Native Instruments’ KONTAKT (5.5 full version or free player) platform as a sampled suite of instruments centred around a Fazioli 10ft grand piano presented in stereo and surround, scripted and designed for expressivity and playability to fit every style of playing, partnered with a set of vintage keyboards.
California Keys’ centrepiece Fazioli 10ft grand was apparently the actual instrument that American jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Herbie Hancock uses to tour with. It was recorded by Q Up Arts Director of Audio Engineering Robert Abeyta in CounterPoint Studios in Salt Lake City, Utah in surround with 10 different microphones — one mono Audix SCX25 studio condenser close mic over the hammers and two more of the same model mic over the hammers for stereo; one Neumann U87 under-mounted bass mic; two side Peluso CEMC-6 solid-state pencil mics in a classical ORTF configuration and two matched pairs of Earthworks Omni QTC1 room mics at both ends of the recording room.
The sampling instrument itself is served up as eight fully discreet channels, with fully user-adjustable Volume and Pan per channel complete with 7.1 Surround presets, including a choice of two different side mic types, with fully discrete, user-adjustable channels and 5.1 Surround presets with fully discrete, user-adjustable channels.
Produced by Q Up Arts Founder Douglas Morton, California Keys is designed to deliver maximum expressivity and playability fit for every style of performance, thanks to KONTAKT programming and scripting by Michael Scott. The dashboard-accessed Microphones control allows anyone to customise the piano for almost any musical application and sound type with pedal sounds, key let-offs, and sustain pedal also controllable.
California Keys also captured classic keyboards — comprising a vintage Rhodes E-Piano electric piano, vintage Wurlitzer W-Piano electric piano, Vox Continental organ, Farfisa organ, Clavinet® D6, and Hammond A100 tonewheel organ. Curated from performer Arlan Oscar Schierbaum’s collection, carefully restored by master keyboard technician Ken Rich Californian vintage vibe abounds as Douglas Morton recorded everything at 24-bit/192 kHz resolution to capture the character and uniqueness of each instrument into a Pro Tools HD system.
California Keys’ set of Clavinet D6, F-ORGAN combo, H-ORGAN A100, R-EPiano, V-ORG Super Continental, and W-EPIANO cutting-edge KONTAKT sample instruments are also compatible with Native Instruments’ NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD) functionality programming, allowing anyone to browse and control real-time parameters such as Mic levels, TONE, REVERB, ENVELOPE ADSR, and much more. Meanwhile, Q Up Arts’ advanced KONTAKT script and dashboard provide access to directly dial in VELOCITY curve, FILTER, ADSR, several REVERB choices, MIC level, and TONE to brighten or darken the instruments. Indeed, all instruments can be configured in many different ways to suit playing styles and genres.
Good vibrations abound as Q Up Arts’ California Keys captures a serious suite of keyboards for professional keyboardists and composers alike. As to their final musical destination, their extreme playability and inspiration can clearly lead to anywhere... as California’s very own Beach Boys’ surf songs showed only too well!
Price And Availability
California Keys can be purchased and digitally downloaded (as around 8,000 samples needing approximately 40 GB disk space) for a time-limited promo price of $199.00 USD until the end of March 2018 — rising thereafter to $499.00 It is also available on a surfboard-shaped USB memory stick as a collector’s item.