Software Instruments

Electric

by Ableton

Electric offers the sounds of classic electric pianos through physical modeling synthesis, allowing you to dive inside and play with the guts of the instrument.

In-depth

Electric offers the much sought-after sounds of classic electric pianos. Electric is an advanced physical modeling synthesizer, allowing you to dive inside and play with the guts of the instrument–the mallets, tines, pickups and more–to achieve just that right amount of melancholy or bark and bite.

Electric: Piano Dreams

Electric is a synthesizer that reproduces the authentic sound of the Rhodes® and Wurlitzer® electric pianos. Electric was created in collaboration with Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS) and is based on the same advanced physical modeling synthesis technology found in their acclaimed Lounge Lizard instrument. Physical modeling synthesis uses complex mathematics to reproduce the behavior of the individual physical components of an instrument–in this case the mallets, tines, pickups, dampers and other parts that interact to produce the unique sounds of electric pianos–all in real time. Because the sounds are synthesized, not sampled, it's possible to quickly tweak each component and customize the instrument to your personal taste. You can also go far beyond the capabilities of the originals and create amazing new sounds while still retaining the warm qualities of an electric piano. Electric integrates beautifully into Ableton Live's workflow and brings the unmistakable classic sounds of these instruments to Live users.

Ableton Electric Screenshot

Ableton Electric Screenshot

Electric Piano Anatomy

Electric pianos have several components that interact to create the sound of the instrument. When a note on the keyboard is struck, a mallet hits a fork. The fork has two parts: the tine and the tone bar. The mallet strikes the tine, causing it to vibrate, which causes the tone bar to resonate at a specific pitch. The sound of the resonating tone bar is then amplified by a pickup and sent to the output. Once the fork is activated, it will continue to resonate on its own for a long time. But releasing the key applies a damper to the fork, which mutes it more quickly. Electric faithfully reproduces these dynamic interactions through synthesis, allowing for an amazing degree of customization and experimentation.

Key Features

  • Integrated perfectly into Ableton Live's workflow and intuitive user interface.
  • Expertly programmed presets ranging from a wide selection of popular classic electric piano sounds to creative inventions that explore the outer realms of Electric's sound design potential.
  • Physical modeling synthesis allows real-time tweaking and customization of Electric's individual components and parameters:
    • Two pickup models: electromagnetic (Rhodes®) and electrostatic (Wurlitzer®). The physical location of the pickups in relation to the tines can be adjusted using the Symmetry and Distance controls. The Input knob controls the input sensitivity of the pickup and the Output knob adjusts the output of the pickup section.
    • In the Mallet section, users control the hardness of the mallets via the Stiffness parameter, resulting in a brighter or mellower sound. The Strength knob controls the impact force of the mallets and a Noise control adjusts the impact noise of the mallet and fork.
    • The Fork section features a Tine component with Decay and Level parameters, and a Color control that determines the amount of high and low partials. The Tone Bar component allows adjustment of Decay and Level parameters. The Fork section also has a Release parameter.
    • The Damper section has a Tone knob that controls the hardness of the dampers, for a brighter or mellower sound. The Attack/Release knob determines how much damper noise is present when the dampers are applied and/or released, and the Level parameter adjusts the overall amount of damper noise.
  • Many parameters can be modulated via key tracking and velocity for expressive, dynamic playing.

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