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Cassette Piano

The broken cassette piano is a virtual instrument made in the free DecentSampler plugin that combines the sound of a upright piano with the lo-fi charm of a broken cassette tape. It is a sampled C. Bechstein piano deliberately destroyed by recording onto an old cassette tape that got exposed to too much moisture and sun over the years, then published as a sample pack onto the Pianobook sample pack sharing website.

You can mix the clean signal with the one from the cassette to dial in your preferred tone, from a thin, wonky and noisy tape warble of a tone, to a sound which has a bit more body. The combination of the two also leads to a subtle phaser like effect, due to the inconsistencies within the cassette recording creating intermodulation with the dry signal. A shimmer reverb has been added as well for a more dreamlike sound. The thing that was especially interesting to me about making this instrument is the fact that each sample and in effect each note captures a different impurity at a different time, unlike for instance when using a reel-to-reel to record an entire arrangement or putting a tape emulation on your instruments bus.