Bitsonic’s Keyzone Classic is a virtual piano plugin with a variety of controls for adjusting sampled piano and keyboard sounds. It includes five instruments with clear user interfaces, each with 12 velocity layers per note for more dynamic and rich results. Moreover, ADSR envelopes can be used to change the sound’s characteristics.
We will examine the features and advice in this post to help you get the most out of your Keyzone Classic virtual piano.
Five sampled keyboard instruments are available in Keyzone Classic, including:
- Rhodes Piano: it’s characterized by its bell-like tone and mechanical key action.
- Yamaha Grand Piano: it has a bright and clear tone.
- Wurlitzer Piano: an electric piano that is known for its bright and percussive sound. It was popular, particularly in soul and R&B music.
- Steinway Grand Piano: known for its rich and warm tone.
- Hammond Organ: is a classic electric organ, often associated with the sound of 1960s and 70s rock bands.
Each of the five sampled keyboard instruments in Keyzone Classic has 12 velocity layers per note, meaning that the plugin is capable of producing highly realistic and expressive performances based on the velocity at which the keys are pressed. This feature allows for nuanced and dynamic playing.
The ADSR section of the Keyzone Classic is an essential component that allows you to shape the instrument’s sound intuitively By adjusting the attack, decay, sustain, and release, you can produce a dynamic and expressive piano sound.
- Attack: it controls the note’s quick volume increase after a key press.
- Decay: it controls the note’s volume decrease time after the peak.
- Sustain: it maintains the note’s volume while the key is pressed.
- Release: it controls note fade-out after key release.
The built-in reverb and delay effects in Keyzone Classic are useful for adding depth and texture for a richer sonic result. By adjusting its level, you can play with a perfect balance between the dry and wet signals.
Try starting with a low level of reverb and delay, then gradually increase it until you find the right balance with the dry signal. Lastly, consider using automation to create dynamic changes in the level of reverb and delay throughout your composition.
With this parameter, you can play with pitch variations, create a chorus-like effect that adds a sense of depth and warmth to the sound, and more. You can also recreate the natural tuning discrepancies ocurring in acoustic pianos, adding a touch of realism to the sound.
The velocity curve feature in Keyzone Classic allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the keyboard to your playing style. By modifying the curve, you can make the keyboard more or less sensitive to changes in velocity, providing greater control over the instrument’s dynamic range.
The LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) is a modulation tool that can add movement and variation to your sound. The Rate parameter determines the speed of the modulation, while the Depth controls the amount of modulation applied. When the Depth is set to zero, remains static. As the Depth is increased, the LFO will modulate the sound more strongly, creating effects such as vibrato, tremolo, and filter sweeps.
In Keyzone Classic, the Type parameter refers to the sample playback mode, which can be set to one of three options: Pitch, Expression, or Pan.
- The Pitch is useful for creating realistic melodic lines.
- The Expression mode allows you to control the sample playback speed and duration using MIDI expression messages.
- The Pan mode plays the sample back at a fixed pitch and duration.
The main Pan parameter, on the other hand, controls the stereo positioning of the sound. By adjusting the Pan, the user can place the sound anywhere along the stereo spectrum, from the hard left to the hard right. This parameter can be used to create a sense of space and depth in the mix or to create interesting stereo effects.
Tips & Tricks
- Experiment with different instruments to find the one that best suits your style and the type of music you are producing.
- Use the ADSR section to shape the sound and create dynamic and expressive performances.
- Adjust the reverb effect to add depth and texture to the sound, but be careful not to overdo it as this can lead to a muddy mix.
- Use the detune parameter to create pitch variations and add warmth to the sound, or to recreate the natural tuning discrepancies of acoustic pianos.
- Adjust the velocity curve to make the keyboard more or less sensitive to changes in velocity, providing greater control over the instrument’s dynamic range.
- Use the LFO to add movement and variation to the sound, but be mindful of not overusing it as it can quickly become distracting.
- When using the Pan parameter, consider using automation to create dynamic changes in the stereo positioning of the sound throughout your composition.
Overall, Keyzone Classic is a powerful and versatile virtual piano plugin that offers a range of features and parameters for producing rich and expressive piano sounds. Its intuitive interface and five sampled keyboard instruments, each with 12 velocity layers per note, allow for nuanced and dynamic playing. The ADSR, reverb, detune, velocity curve, LFO, and Type parameters provide further control and flexibility over the sound, allowing you to shape and modulate the instrument in various ways. With these tools, you can create realistic and natural piano sounds or explore more experimental and creative possibilities.