It seems as though every legendary artist has their own sound. Ever wonder how that happens?
To be sure, a lot of it comes from years of experimentation and experience. Renowned keyboardist Chick Corea is a perfect example.
Back in 1984, Chick worked with Harold Rhodes to create the Stage 73 Mark V electric piano. Over the next decade, Chick and his team developed what they called the “Number One” – replacing hammers, developing custom electronics and creating an instrument that reflected the singular talent and innovation of its owner.
In 2009, after enduring years of pounding, the keyboard became too fragile to take on the road. Before being shipped into storage, Chick and his tech team painstakingly sampled every note at Mad Hatter Studios in Los Angeles. After months of searching for the right technology platform, Chick took the massive amount of data to the Yamaha sound design team, who turned it into the Chick Corea Mark V Sample Library for the MOTIF XF, the predecessor to the MONTAGE.
Chick’s direct involvement made this sampling session unique. A specially developed “Vorsetzer” player-piano mechanism helped capture perfectly balanced velocities across the entire keyboard scale. The resulting Chick Corea Mark V Sample & Performance Library contains all the original samples recorded in the meticulously engineered sessions, and consists of 12 unlooped velocity layers, with the full, natural sustain of each note carefully maintained.
Part of what makes this collection unique is the custom hammer and preamplifier configuration of Chick’s original instrument. At F# above Middle C, Corea and his team modified the hammers from the standard neoprene to wood, and sent the signal from those keys to a separate preamp with a specially designed EQ. This creates an almost split keyboard effect, letting the treble notes ring with a clarity and punch unavailable on a standard Mark V.
The Chick Corea Mark V Sample & Performance Library is available as a free download from the Yamaha Downloadables website and loads directly into the MONTAGE integrated flash memory. It features 16 all-new Performances, each programmed using data sampled from Chick Corea’s customized Mark V electric piano. A Yamaha MONTAGE synthesizer running MONTAGE OS v1.51 or higher is required.