Cinesamples Keyboard in Blue Review

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Cinesamples recently launched a new sample library called Keyboard in Blue. This library features the sound of an electro-mechanical piano sampled though a vintage tube guitar amp cabinet in the Hollywood scoring stage. Unlike other electric piano libraries, the sound is very organic and contains the classic analog warmth. Additionally, you can further manipulate the sound using character knob, fx controls, and few other options.

The center of attraction on the GUI is the character knob which controls the harmonic distortion. According to Cinesamples, if you turn the knob towards the right (aggressive), it gives a blend between “keyboard in blue” and “piano in blue” sound. Towards the left (intimate), it provides a clean soulful sound. Just below that, there is a Dynamic Range horizontal slider that acts just like a MIDI dynamic compressor.

The four knobs on the left control release volume, sample start, pedal noise, and release noise. “Release Volume” controls the loudness of note release samples whereas “Release Noise” controls the loudness of physical key release noise. To add even more physical key noise, you can adjust the “Sample Start” knob that adds the keystroke noise before the beginning of the note. Lastly, the “Pedal Noise” knob, it simulates the physical noise of the pedal.

Keyboard in blue offers both long and short patches which you can either control by the keyswitches G1-G#1 or by the blade below the four knobs on the left. Towards the right of the character knob, there are five audio mix output options with different mic positions. You can either bypass/enable the output or control the volume levels by adjusting vertical faders. Following are the functions of each mix option:

  1. MIX – controls the output of full mix
  2. Ribbon- controls the output simulation of mono ribbon mic close to the amp
  3. FET- controls the output simulation of mono FET mic close to the amp
  4. MID- controls the output simulation of stereo mics near the amp
  5. ROOM- controls the output simulation of stereo mics far from the amp

With the help of Tremolo and Phaser switch, you can achieve very impressive depth, panning, and feedback effects. Both options feature speed and depth options but the main difference lies in the third knob of each switch. For Tremolo, it controls the panning effect whereas, for the Phaser, it adjusts the feedback. On the bottom right, there are PAN and FX buttons that provide additional functionalities.

In the PAN tab, you can adjust the amount of panning of the keyboard as you move from lower to higher register. Also, you can control the divergence point from where the keyboard will switch from left to right channel. In the FX tab, you can fine-tune the EQ adjustments along with the attack time and CRUNCH settings. The CRUNCH knob simulates the characteristics of classic tape saturation loved by audio engineers.

Cinesamples Keyboard in Blue also offers a Reverb which defaults to Small Hall setting. To bypass all the FX at once, there is a “Global FX” switch on the middle right which you can toggle On/Off.

Following are the 12 presets that you get from Keyboard in Blue:

  • default
  • staccato
  • close and dark
  • close and bright
  • mid
  • room
  • just the way you arent
  • just a few of us
  • riders on the rain
  • atmosphere
  • glass
  • i can tell you why

In terms of compatibility, this library from Cinesamples works only with full version of Kontakt from 5.6.8 or above. Although the size of this sample library is 7GB, you need to have at least 14GB of free space during installation. If you’re on a Mac, you must ensure you’re running OS X 10.10 or higher. Keyboard in Blue from Cinesamples comes in VST, AU, AAX formats for both Mac and Windows.

So if you’re looking for an electric piano sound with a vintage organic character, you must try Cinesamples Keybaord in Blue. You will be impressed by the depth of the sound it offers against similar libraries. Moreover, you can further control the sound according to your taste. It is great library currently selling for $99 USD.

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Ishaan Sarna
Ishaan Sarna

Founder of AUDEMPIRE (Pro Audio Equipment Store), SOUNDELICIT (Music Industry & Pro Audio Blog), TECHNOISER (Tech blog), and ISOLAPSE (Motion Industry & Photography Gear Blog). Music Producer by profession and also a Tech Enthusiast.