Warm, Fragile Upright Piano (VST AU) Plugin
Download Method: Kontakt Hub
An intimate upright piano, recorded imperfectly through vintage analogue kit for maximum character.
Lekko [le•ko] is a beautifully recorded upright piano played as softly as possible and captured with a collection of hand-made tube and ribbon mics through hand-made valve preamps for that warm, almost fragile sound.
Besides the soft sustains, you’ll also get characterful shorts (going from a hand-muted sound to full ringing) and irregular, unsynced tremolos as well as sound design patches created by processing the sounds through tape and vintage outboard. Among these, you’ll find sounds slowed down by playing the tape at half speed and textures modulated by rain.
Lekko is now supplied as a plugin for Mac and Windows (VST and AU). The Kontakt version is still available but future updates will all be for the plugin version. Here's what's new in the plugin version:
- Lekko now supports MPE! That's right. You can now perform the Afterglow patches with a Roli Seaboard or similar controller, adding an unique expression on per-note basis. Personally, this has always been a dream for me so I'm really excited about this feature. I think I'll do a version for the Expressive E Touche in the nearest future as well. Stay tuned!
- There's now a beautiful articulation browser right on the interface. Simply click on the patch name on the top left, select an instrument you want to play and enjoy the sonic bliss;
- On the computers I'm using to test everything, the 1.2 version uses up to 30% less CPU. Hopefully it will be lighter for your machine, too;
- After a month of playing with Lekko, I've decided to tweak the top layer of the 'Yellow Dreams' patch a little. I like subtle stuff but I honestly feel like this one was just too subtle to hear. The change is more dramatic now and in general, more in line with the original intention;
- Some of the 'Afterglow' patches were re-balanced to make the sound more cohesive and performance-friendly;
- The interface is now Retina-ready. This basically means sharper graphics and text;
- The knobs' ranges have a wider range now so you can tweak the instruments in more detail;
- There's now an effect highpass filter knob added to the Detailed Tweaks page. I felt like adding a lot of reverb and delay could end up muddying the sound a bit so the idea here is to remedy that;
- I've decided to do some subtle tuning for a few of the tremolo notes;
- The sustain pedal bug is now fixed. And now the sustain pedal noise has round robin repetitions.
- All parameters are available for automation in your DAW
If you own a MPE device, such as the ROLI Seaboad, you can perform the ‘Afterglow’ patches using a multi-dimensional polyphonic control, shaping the textures on per-note basis.
Raw, beautiful, inspiring
This is not your standard, polished piano. It’s not about versatility, either. It has a particular sound that I happen to love. And I hope you will, too.
Both sustains and shorts have 5xRR (repetition samples) per every sampled note. I feel this really adds to the realism of the instrument, not only when playing repeating patterns.
When recording things this quiet, some noise is unavoidable. Just listen to Nils Frahm’s seminar ‘Felt’ album. These samples are nowhere near that hissy, but I’ve decided not to noise-reduce them to death in order to preserve the raw character.
The acoustic piano is only half of the story, though. What you’ll also find is a collection of sound design ‘Afterglow’ patches, created by processing the piano using a variety of techniques and tools, including tape echoes, BBD delay and BBD reverb, lo-fi-ish early digital reverb, cassettes and tape.
Inspired by modern sound design of soundtracks like Hildur Guðnadóttir‘s ‘Chernobyl’ and Geoff Barrow’s and Ben Salisbury’s work on ‘Annihilation’, the result is a collection of bespoke patches that evoke that dusty, analogue vibe, ranging from fragile and soft to dirty remains of the original signal.
- VST / AU plugin for both Mac OS and Windows.
- Piano sustains (5xRR). Three dynamic layers (one recorded, two simulated).
- Characterful shorts (5xRR), going through finger-muted samples to full ringing. Three dynamic layers.
- Irregular tremolos performed at two intensities (freestyle, not synced to tempo or anything).
- All acoustic patches include key release samples, recorded across the entire keyboard (5xRR).
- 6 sound design ‘Afterglow’ patches, created by processing the raw samples with a selection of outboard equipment and tape.
- MPE ready.
- 6GB download (compressed from 11.6GB original content).
- Beautiful, Retina-ready interface inspired by 20th century avant-garde design.
- Lifetime free updates.
love it !
This instrument is incredible. It has a very delicate character and the effects are perfect and atmospheric. The interface is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use/understand. I love sample based instruments and this is definitely in my top 3 I have ever used.
Fantastic and full of character
Felt Instruments has been added to my list of favourite devs. Love the character of the instrument and the simplicity of the UI!
Demo - Nothing is Real Part VII - Album Showcase
All the tracks on this album were made using the lekko piano to some degree, some in a major sense being the primary sound of the track, other as accenting. lekko is so unique however it is very easy to hear it thru everything else happing. Love this product. wasn't sure about it as first because of how incredibly nuanced it is, but it's my new main piano now. Great work felt instruments, an outstanding product full of amazing emotion and sense of human. will be using from here on out.
Demo - Theme of the Wandering Soul
This was entirely created using Lekko. I used Ableton Live's EQ to cut out the low end of most of the sounds. The only other aspect not from Lekko directly is that I used a sample created from Lekko in Live's Simpler to get a bass sound that sustained indefinitely. I also limited this sound to get the dynamics even throughout the range and also to disguise the sample's loop within simpler.