Review Ships Piano³ from Sound Dust


Ships Piano³ is playful, strange & more fun to poke around in than perhaps any other kontakt instrument I have ever come across.


Written  Review of Ships Piano³

Demos of Ships Piano³

Videos of Ships Piano³

Sample Library Review Patreon Page

Ships Piano³ featured in 5 UNDER Peculiar Pianos

Sound Dust Offical Website

Ships Piano³ is available from Sound Dust and sells £30.


Ships Piano³ is the brainchild of Sound Dust‘s Pendle Poucher and comes in at £30. Ships Piano3 requires a full version of Kontakt 5.5 or higher.

[Compulsory Preamble: I am a classical pianist. A conservatory trained, Rach-happy, Chopin-practicing Bachophile. This no doubt colors both my investigations and conclusions when looking at sample piano libraries, and that being the case it is only fair that the reader be apprised of it. Forgive me my bias!]

The Ships Piano³ is actually three different keyboards sampled and presented in one nki for you to mix and mess with to your hearts’ content. There is a ships piano (or yacht piano) [which] was built for the cramped confines of Victorian pleasure boats. The perfect thing for a little sea bound entertainment in the good old pre-ipod days of the empire.

The second instrument is a school grand, recorded in the stone chapel where it resides.

The third is the upright sitting in Mr. Poucher’s home studio. The upright samples have been engineered in the following manner: reversed, fed through a high-end reverb, and then reversed back. Being a keyboard instrument, there are no articulations.

Ships Piano Sound Dust Main GUI

Ships Piano3 from Sound Dust Main GUI Panel

This nki is more playful and strange and fun to poke around in than perhaps any other kontakt instrument I have ever come across. The three instruments can individually

  • Be mixed, turned on, or turned off;
  • Have the sample start position adjusted (LOOK at the picture below: there is actually a picture of a waveform beneath the silhouette of each instrument, and you can MOVE that thing up and down in order to effect a curious staccato, a resonant reverb, or a whole infinity of in-betweens);
  • Have it’s attack, attack shape, sustain, decay, and release all modified;
  • Have it’s stereo width modified;
  • Have it’s vibrato (!) modified; and
  • Have it’s reverb (pre-effect reverb, that is) modified. There are 24 reverb options for you to choose from.

The possibilities would almost be overwhelming, if it wasn’t so much fun to play with.

Pretty much every parameter you can imagine is up for grabs with this sample library. You can adjust the velocities across the keyboard.

And there is an additional Master FX panel where you can indulge in your love of eq spelunking, transient addition, and filter experimentation. There are 36 pre-sets with names such as “drunk sailor,” “poppers,” and “three way.”

Master Effects

Shipd Piano3 from Sound Dust Master Effects Panel

Finally, Mr. Poucher has included a Satie-anator, which is a kind of key-triggered sequencer that is- of course- completely customizable. Change the notes, the time, the number of measures, the key, the mode, the rhythmic pattern, the quantization swing . . . the possibilities are truly vast.


Ships Piano3 Satie-anator Panel

The intention of this library was clearly to create new sonic landscapes with piano samples, and in this regard it succeeds. The three keyboards are not mapped subtly- the instruments were not meticulously recorded in acoustically pristine environments, and if you are looking for the most whispery of triple p’s or the most sonorous legato touch you are better off looking elsewhere. This library is for a sound artist looking for a very, very specific piano sound, one that might only exist in her mind’s ear. For an artist looking to explore the timbral boundaries of the piano, this is your instrument. And it is very inexpensive, considering the marvel of malleability underneath the hood.


The Facts

Ships Piano³ comes with three samples sets: School Grand, a Ships Piano and a Room Upright.
Each piano can be accessed through the main instrument interface with Individual controls for volume, sample start, pan, stereo width, attack curve, ADSR, vibato and &24 custom convolution reverbs.

The library comes with 37 instrument snapshots, downloads as 430MB and does require the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5.1 or higher.

Ships Piano³ is available from Sound Dust and sells £30.


Official Demos of Ships Piano³

Videos of Ships Piano³