FOUNDATIONS Piano By Heavyocity
The old adage ‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’ is one that still holds true, especially when the gift comes from Heavyocity in the form of a free piano, in fact it’s the first from their new foundations series of giveaway libraries.
Heavyocity are widely respected within the sample library industry, with their signature cinematic sounds having inspired a generation of both composers and other developers alike, if you have seen only a handful of action movie trailers in the last decade, then the odds are you will have heard their wares, products like Gravity & Damage are now considered legendary in the sample libraries hall of fame, and still very much in use.
First up in the new Foundations series is a very serviceable piano library.
Foundations Piano runs in either the full version of Kontakt 6.6.1 or the equivalent free Kontakt Player, and has NKS support for use within Komplete Kontrol.
The library will occupy 1.12Gb of disk space after installation, making it ideal for using on an ultra portable rig as a sketching instrument, the size is not a reflection of quality, as it is equally just as comfortably at home among a full studio setup.
There is one master Kontakt NKI file, with a further 9 NKSN snapshot based presets to be found within the Komplete Kontrol browser.
Download & Installation
Download and installation is taken care of via the bespoke Heavyocity Portal application, which is accessible via both MAC & Windows, although I did find that I needed to take a few guesses within Windows due to unlabelled buttons, but certainly achievable without sighted assistance.
The provided serial code is used both within the Heavyocity Portal as well as in Native Access to register the library for each stage of the authorisation process.
In Native Access it is the standard procedure of registering the serial, and then adding your by now already downloaded library folder from the ‘not installed’ tab.
Loading up Komplete Kontrol in either standalone or as a plugin will finalise the process.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plugin Edit NKS Parameter Mapping
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type: Piano/Keys
Knob 6 – Sub Type: Grand Piano
Knob 7 – Character: Acoustic, Lead, Melodic, Processed, Sample Based
Knob 8 – Presets x 10
Plugin Edit NKS parameter Mappings
Page One – Mixer/Envelope
Knob 1 – Channel 1 Volume
Knob 2 – Channel 1 Pan
Knob 3 – Channel 2 Volume
Knob 4 – Channel 2 Pan
Knob 5 – Envelope Attack
Knob 6 – Decay
Knob 7 – Sustain
Knob 8 – Release
Page Two – Punch/Delay
Knob 1 – Punch On/Off
Knob 2 – Punch Amount %
Knob 3 & 4 – Not Allocated
Knob 5 – Delay On/Off
Knob 6 – Delay Amount %
Knob 7 – Delay Time: 1/1 to 1/32 (including triplets)
Knob 8 – Not Allocated
Page Three – Reverb
Knob 1 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 2 – Reverb Amount %
Knob 3 – Reverb Time %
Knob 4 to 8 – Not Allocated
There are three pages of NKS parameter assignments, although as you may have observed not all of them are fully occupied.
I do not feel that I can be hyper critical with the choice of NKS parameters given that this library will cost you nothing but download and installation time, however a few more controls over certain elements would not have gone amiss.
There are no NKS mappings for the Arp section of the user interface, so we are unable to turn on or off, or make alterations to this section.
Other than this and a sample start offset and random control setting, our interface experience is actually the same as sighted users.
There are a couple of oddities, Delay for example has on/off, time and amount, yet no feedback to adjust the length of delay repetitions.
Similarly the ADSR controls are configured to work globally for both available source channels in parallel, meaning we are unable to alter the attack of the main piano sound independently of the channel 2 sound source, which would have perhaps offered more flexibility.
Other than this, the essential control elements are here, and you can easily make the Foundations Piano dry and simply add your own FX to slot 2 within Komplete Kontrol.
Foundations Piano – Lifting the Lid
The Foundations Piano is a modern sounding grand offering soft dynamics along with a complimentary sound design layer, making it ideal for adding hybrid cinematic melodies to a score or music track.
There are not a mass of presets to explore, however as a general taster for the Heavyocity sound there good examples of the performance, arp, rhythmic and sound designed patches we typically find within their product line.
The arp and rhythmic selections could perhaps have been expanded a little more, particularly as we have no means of changing the play rate via NKS, and an absence of keyswitches as a solution means we are kind of stuck with what we have.
The standard playable piano is actually rather nice to play, as mentioned it provides that melancholy ambient piano timbre which works well as an expressive and emotional delivery mechanism if scoring for film.
The playable range extends across the full 88 keys, right from the ominous sounding low notes, to the pleasantly appeasing tinkles of the high upper register.
What can I possibly say bad about a free piano from a developer like Heavyocity, sure, access to there arp section would have been great to have included in the NKS mapping, and a few more presets would have been a welcome bonus.
As things stand though, as an introduction to the excellent Heavyocity portfolio, Foundations Piano scores very highly, it succeeds in delivering a usable and pleasant sounding piano that everyone should include in their compositional toolkit.
The Foundations Piano gift horse not only brings you a present, it also invites you to jump into it’s saddle and take it for an enjoyable and hopefully creative ride.
We are already looking forward to the next instalment to the Foundations series.
Heavyocity Foundations Piano can be obtained from the Heavyocity Website at no cost.
Foundations Piano Product Page:
Foundations Piano Talkthrough:
Foundations Piano Preset Playthrough:
Foundations Piano User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
March 22nd, 2022
The author can not accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this review,or Any inaccuracies found therein. All opinions and product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied product manual.
About the Author
Based in Buckinghamshire, England, Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review author and contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.
He has also worked extensively in, and been associated with music, recording, film Soundtrack, Game & media, the creative arts, publishing and investments since 1982 under his own name and various other pseudonyms.