Piano Reverbonance

I was trawling through some old photos and found this little gem from a session back in 2007 that Cam and I worked on for the very excellent Alex Clarke.

Alex's Vox amp stuck in the exposed back of the piano.The idea was to use a piano as a tuned reverb / resonator. I had done similar things done with drums, as a way to re-trigger/re-sample drum sounds, and acoustic guitars in the past (drums sound pretty different when “mic’d up” using an acoustic guitar), but never a piano.

The piano pictured is my old CP-60. A full ‘hammers and strings’ upright piano that has a pick-up in it for use on stage. Don Walker from Cold Chisel famously used the bigger CP-70 and CP-80 models. All the CP pianos have a trademark sound owing to design requirements (such as dramatically shorter than usual strings) in order to make them ‘portable’.

The back off the CP-60 was taken off and we stuck a guitar amp in nice and close, put a brick on the sustain pedal and played music through the amp. We fed whatever sound came out of the piano DI back into the mix.

It was quite a while ago now and can’t I remember just how much of it we actually used in the end. It did sound kinda spooky and I’m pretty sure it got a look in for at least one or two of the songs we were working on.