C. Bechstein upright piano built in 1904
Recorded at Stage B of Synchron Stage Vienna
Eight microphone positions for a multitude of timbral variations
Advanced release sample technology
Pre-configured main presets, signature and FX presets
This C. Bechstein upright piano was built in Berlin Kreuzberg in the early 20th century. Its distinctive vintage character, owing to its generous proportion of resonating wood, was captured with a multi-microphone setup at Synchron Stage Vienna’s Stage B.
The upright’s very smooth action allows the finest gradations from pianissimo to fortissimo. In the main playing range its sound is more reminiscent of a small concert grand than of an upright piano. With its clear and accurate tonal development it conveys the intimate atmosphere of a small concert hall. The instrument’s mid range is very pronounced and focused, while its ageless character clearly asserts itself in all registers.
Brought to Stuttgart by pianoforte maker and dealer B. Klinkerfuss, Württemberg’s sole representative for C. Bechstein and J. Blüthner, the instrument has always been in residence with families in the Stuttgart area. It was played by pianist and film composer Mick Baumeister, co-creator of the Hornberg breath controller, at different stages of his life. The upright was owned by Martin Friz who taught a young Mick improvisation on this instrument. Decades later, Mick purchased the piano from German actor Holger Daemgen’s family, and – as he puts it – it never ceases to inspire him and to find “the truth”.
In order to capture the sound of this marvelous instrument, our recording engineers used multiple high-end microphone arrays, affording an abundance of options for creating your individual sound.
Close 1 – Condenser (Neumann KM184 Sphere, X/Y)
Close 2 – Ribbon (Royer SF24 Blumlein)
Close 3 – Condenser (Neumann U87 Ai Cardioids)
Mid 1 (Sennheiser MKH 40 ORTF behind the piano)
Mid 2 (Schoeps KFM6 over the piano)
Main/Room Mic – Decca Tree Stereo (DPA 4006)
Main/Room Mic – Decca Tree Mono (DPA 4006)
Main Surround – Stereo (Sennheiser MKH 800)
Customize Your Personal Sound
The German Upright 1904 comes with the free Vienna Synchron Pianos software that offers multiple options for shaping your sound and your playing experience. In addition to the multitude of options from mixing various microphone signals, the player provides a full-blown mixer with a broad range of effects, such as EQ, compressor, saturator, algorithmic reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, rotary, and many more. You may also adjust the volume of body resonances, sympathetic strings and pedal noises right in the main Play window. In the Edit window you can even tweak EQ, volume, tuning, dynamic range, and more for each individual key.
A host of mixer presets offer a wide variety of characteristics, directly accessible in the main player window, from concert and intimate settings to pop, ambient and vintage sounds. Various signature and experimental FX presets round out the preconfigured sonic gems the German Upright 1904 has in store.
To capture the sound of the instrument with all its subtleties, our engineers deployed a highly precise motion-control system based on a solenoid that controls a noise-free “robot finger”. The micro-controller moves the finger with super-human precision, providing flexible curvatures for down-strokes and release movements, the latter corresponding with the preceding note length and various release speeds.