PreSonus Blog

Free! Three Primo Piano Presets

Let’s transform your acoustic piano instrument sounds—with effects that showcase the power of Multiband Dynamics. Choose from two download links at the end of this post:

  • FX Chains. These include the FX part of the Instrument+FX Presets (see next), so you can use them with any acoustic piano virtual instrument. You may want to bypass any effects added to the instrument (if present) so that the FX Chains have their full intended effect. Then, you can try adding the effects back in to see if they improve the sound further.
  • Instrument+FX Presets. These are based on the PreSonus Studio Grand piano SoundSet. This SoundSet comes with a Sphere membership, or is optional-at-extra-cost for Studio One Artist or Professional.

Remember, presets that incorporate dynamics will sound as intended only with suitable input levels. These presets are designed for relatively high input levels, short of distortion. If the presets don’t seem to have any effect, increase the piano’s output level. Or, add a Mixtool between the channel input and first effect to increase the level feeding the chain.

CA Studio Grand Beautiful Concert

Before going into too different a direction, let’s create a gorgeous solo piano sound. In this preset, the Multiband Dynamics has two functions. The Low band compresses frequencies below 100 Hz (fig. 1), to increase the low end’s power.

Figure 1: Compressing the low frequencies with Multiband Dynamics imparts power to the piano.

The HM stage is active, but doesn’t compress. It acts solely as EQ. By providing an 8 dB boost from 2.75 kHz to 8 kHz, this stage adds definition and “air.” The remaining effects include Room Reverb for ambiance and Binaural Pan to widen the instrument’s stereo image. Let’s listen to some Debussy.

CA Studio Grand Funky

Although not intended as an emulation, this preset is inspired by the punchy, funky tone of the Wurlitzer electric pianos produced from the 50s to the 80s. The Multiband Dynamics processor solos, and then compresses, the frequency range from 250 Hz to 9 kHz (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Dynamics settings for the CA Studio Grand Funky preset.

The post-instrument effects include a Pro EQ3 to impart some “honk” around 1.6 kHz, and the RedlightDist for mild saturation. X-Trem is optional for adding vintage tremolo FX (the audio example includes X-Trem).

CA Studio Grand Smooth

This smooth, thick piano sound is ideal when you want the piano to be present, but not overbearing. The Multiband Dynamics has only one function: provide fluid compression from 320 Hz to 3.50 kHz (fig. 3). This covers the piano’s “meat,” while leaving the high and low frequencies alone.

Figure 3: Compressing an acoustic piano’s midrange frequencies with Multiband Dynamics creates smooth piano dynamics.

The audio example highlights how the compression increases sustain on held notes.

Hey—Up for More?

These presets just scratch the surface of how multiband dynamics and other processors can transform instrument sounds. Would you like more free instrument presets in the future? Let me know in the comments section below.

Download the Instrument+FX Presets here:

Download the FX Chains here: