contenu en anglais
tarrtime 20/02/2013

Native Instruments Alicia's Keys : l'avis de tarrtime (contenu en anglais)

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Alicia's Keys can be purchased as a stand-alone software library, or as part of a software bundle like NI Komplete (this is how I received my copy). From owning Komplete, I also have access to all the other piano libraries from Native Instruments. My opinion is that AK's is much better than any of the old libraries. The detail of the samples and playability has been improved in this newer library. I think AK's is much better than any of the other grand piano libraries from NI. It is much more versatile for different styles of music, and sits better in a mix. I suppose the Upright Pianos library provides a different flavor compared to the grand piano in AK's. If your song really calls for an upright piano, then that would be the only reason not to use AK's.
Compared to other sampled piano libraries not made by Native Instruments, there are better libraries than AK's but they are also more expensive. EastWest Pianos and Synthogy Ivory are probably the 'standards' to compare it to. I think AK's is better than the Digidesign "Mini Grand' library and the sampled pianos from IK Multimedia SampleTank. But Synthogy Ivory is superior to AKs. If you don't want to spend too much money on a piano sample library, Ivory has a few options to just purchase a single piano. Again, these are more expensive than AKs, but you get what you pay for.

This software can be used with Kontakt 4 or 5, and also the free Kontakt player. It is pretty simple to use - just load it and start playing. You can adjust some controls like reverb and velocity. For the most part I haven't been very impressed with the effects inside the library. I think the samples by themselves sound really good. If I want to eq, or add reverb, I find that it is better to do inside of my DAW rather than inside Kontakt.
The hardest part about using the software is getting used to Kontakt if you haven't used it before. Otherwise it is pretty much 'plug-and-play.'

Alicia's Keys is a sampled piano library for NI Kontakt. It includes detailed sampling of Alicia's own Yamaha grand piano. The piano way recorded in a nice studio with nice microphones and nice amplifiers. It is pretty much the 'dream' setup most of us would wish to have.
The piano is really fun to play. It sounds great, and can easily trick into thinking you are hearing a real piano. Some sampled libraries don't include enough velocity layers that make the difference between a 'realistic' sounding performance and a 'fake' sounding performance. Both soft and hard velocities are included in this library so midi performances with a lot of dynamics will come across as if you have really hit the keys harder or softer.
The samples sound very clean and pristine. They are well suited for r&b (obviously thanks to Alicia Keys), but are also great for pop music too. In some cases, this piano does not provide enough 'attack' on the notes for more rock music where the piano needs to hit hard to cut through a dense mix.