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Studio Piano

Studio Piano

J Chris Griffin

  • • Close, “Jazz”, and Room Signals - Simultaneously!
  • • Multiple Note, Mechanical, Lift and Pedal Layers
  • • Vintage And Modern Effects Processors Included


So I’m sitting around one day thinking about another product under development, and realize it needs a piano keymap to make it complete. It also becomes clear that I need to go all-in and sample a particular Japanese Grand Piano known for its bright sound and piercing attack when played hard (it’s 7‘6” long if that helps).

I found a great instrument through NYU Dolan studios on West 4th Street here in Manhattan. I’ve been an ajdunct Music Production Professor at NYU (Steinhardt) for over 12 years, so after a few calls and a fresh tuning, I went in for a session. 1500 samples later I had some great sounds to work with.

When I started processing these samples, it became clear there was something special happening. This was far better than simply a ‘piano keymap’ for another product. These sounds deserved a release of their own.


When setting up, I already decided to record more than was needed - a close stereo pair right over the hammers each side of Middle C, and a spread pair in typical NY Jazz position facing the strings from overhead. Then one of the engineers brought out a set of Coles 4038s that worked well, so we set these up in the room and recorded three full positions. Studio Piano is the result. It’s the most realistic acoustic piano VI I’ve ever played. No lie.

Most piano emulations focus on one thing - the “weight” for example - and forget about bite or warmth. I understand why this is, but still hate the way these instruments sound, even if they are best-sellers. I set out to solve this problem and develop a versatile, playable, affordable, authentic instrument that sounds like the ones on records I admire. Why the Rack Extension format and not others? Well, that’s a great story, and there are things brewing here, but Reason is an integrated part of my production workflow and I like the platform.

It’s For Me… And You

As with all of my Rack Extension offerings, I made this for myself first, though I know you will want it too. Try it! Play it! It will play and feel like the acoustic piano you always hoped others would be, especially if you’re a good player. I spent a fair amount of time voicing this instrument for feel and speed; I hope you enjoy the results.”

Mac OS compatible Windows compatible