Charakter Pianos by Cinematique Instruments Second Review

Yet another piano collection rolls by – there are so many, it’s hard to keep track of them all, but I’ll be focusing on one that isn’t quite like the others here – Charakter Pianos from Cinematique Instruments.

Charakter Pianos Curbed Piano

Cinematique Instruments are known for their wide range of experimental and folk instrument libraries aimed at more eccentric styles of composing.  With Charakter Pianos they have provided 5 highly characterful pianos that each have a rather unique personality and sound.

Installation

The library is downloaded and the zip file is unzipped to your folder of choice.  No registration is required as it runs in the full version of Kontakt.

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Sound

This collection definitely puts the “character” in “Charakter Pianos”.  If you need a raw, wounded and warm piano sound, you’ll find it here.  The Curbed Piano (which is my favorite) is an over-compressed lo-fi sounding gem that will fit right into your next Silent Hill-inspired composition.  It has tons of flavor.

Charakter Pianos Practice Piano

The Practice Piano is my next favorite, which sounds like a mono recording with each note panned to sound like a stereo recorded piano.  It has a stoic, earthy texture.

Charakter Pianos Practice Piano

The Intimate Piano sounds ultra-close and warm and is suited to dark and emotive passages with minimal instrumentation.

Charakter Pianos

The Soundboard Piano has a quirky picked sound in the higher register and a beefy, super resonant tone in the lower registers.  It sounds like something Trent Reznor would have played on his experimental “Ghosts” album, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.  Finally, we get the standard Upright Piano, which has an unabashed, bold sound.

When compared to the other pianos provided, this one is neither here nor there – it sounds good in the mid to lower registers but is fairly neutral all said and done.

User interface & Usability

These pianos are provided with dead-easy interfaces that allow the user to dial in some unique reverb, noise samples and add some bottom or brightness to the sound among others.  The main focus here really is the sound.

Charakter Pianos Upright Piano

Of course, with these pianos having so much character, they won’t always fit in the music you’re making.  They have a lo-fi quality to them with a lot of mid-range frequency content, so they’re best used with minimal instrumentation or exposed for slow, emotive passages.

In this way, the library is kind of hit/miss, where you’ll reach for it instantly in certain compositions, then let it gather dust during others.  It’s certainly a niche product, and while it doesn’t provide an all-around use, those composing in the experimental, industrial and dark cinematic style will see it as a must-have.

Rating:  Four out of five stars

If you’re the sort of composer who desires that dark, fat, lo-fi piano sound, Charakter Pianos collection provides a handful of uber-characterful pianos at a price you simply can’t argue with.

Rating:  Four out of five stars

If you’re the sort of composer who desires that dark, fat, lo-fi piano sound, Charakter Pianos collection provides a handful of uber-characterful pianos at a price you simply can’t argue with.

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