Interview with the driving force behind Reason Pianos - Kristoffer Wallman
Hi Kristoffer, what's your title at Propellerhead Software and what has been your role in this project?
My title is Content Manager, in lack of a better one. It means I am product manager for everything that concerns synth presets, rex files, samples etc. My role in this project has been to come up with the idea, to develop it and to be the driving force behind the execution:). I haven't been alone though, there has been a number of talented persons involved and that includes people both inside and outside of the Propellerhead company.
What would you say has been the most challenging part of making the Reason Pianos ReFill?
What we have done has never been done before, so on a larger scale I would say that the most challenging has been to believe in every step and be positive and find ways to convey the idea to people involved and people in the company who need to know where all the money goes, so to speak. The most difficult part with the development has been the programming of the patches. That actually was a surprise to me, I thought it would be more flaws in the technical process, like the looping or recording of all these mics etc. But we were very thorough and meticolous so we managed to work it out pretty well, even though we had a few mishaps in the early stages of development.
There are tons of multisampled pianos out there, what would you say to someone to explain why they need the Reason Pianos?
Here we go again:). This set of pianos are unique in that you have all the mics that are recorded at the same time, all samples are represented in each mic, so you can mix and match the mics however you want. This gives you a level of control over the sound that you just can not get from any other product. There are other advantages, like the price, the size (not 8GB) etc, but the flexibility and sound quality are the two main arguments here.
Can we expect to see a future update for Pianos, like there was with Reason Drum Kits?
I hope so. I'm not directly involved in application development, but I beat my head against Mats' door really hard in order to get the features I want:). There are a few items on my wish list, and once I get get them we'll start working on an update.
Can you reveal any future plans for the Reason ReFill Collection series?
Hm, no. I just came back from vacation, give me a break :)
Any fun facts about "the making of..." that you'd like to disclose?
When we were going around studios to hunt for the perfect instruments and locations we found that Swedish Radio was the place and they had a very nice Steinway Grand that we wanted to use. People working there, the piano tuner and engineers, told us we shouldn't use this instrument. They thought it sounded too bright and hard. We tried to explain to them that it wasn't meant to be used for classical music primarily and that a little brightness didn't hurt, but they repeated over and over that this wasn't a good choice. But we persisted and booked the instrument, well in advance too since we needed it for so many days and the studio for a week straight.
Two days before we started they called and said we couldn't use the instrument we had selected. The elevator was broken and it would take them two months to fix it. We had to use another instrument, a much better Steinway Grand than our choice anyway. At that point there was really not much we could do but accepting the situation and go with the other, "better" instrument (also a Steinway Grand). We worked hard and finished the recording with excellent result. We thought the initial Grand had more bite but we were very happy nevertheless.
When chatting with the piano tuner that had helped us out the whole week, a very nice man by the way, we found out that we could easily have gotten the piano we had initially selected. It was only a matter of taking the legs off and put it on it's side on a trailer and roll it in. I still to this day don't know why nobody told us that. I can only speculate and this is not the place so I leave it to you...