Help identifying instrument

I’m trying to emulate a very characteristic piano sound but I’m not knowledgeable enough to identify it.

It’s the piano sound in the latest Rosalia song “Despechá”. It sounds like a piano but notes stop abruptly .

This is the song. Any suggestion?

Hi Pau!

Great song. I love it. You know i love tumbao, acere!!. Well, it’s more like a kind of plena :nerd_face:
It sound like a kind of piano “staccato”, but the natural piano reverb has been removed/shortened. Perhaps you could try to tweak the Pianoteq parameters from the GUI.


A useful starting point is Audacity where if you find a clean note you can get parameters like attack decay release, which help selection. It’s a superb tool for simply manipulating sound in such pursuits, and it cost exactly the correct amount!

getting audio wav from youtube is the job of youtube-dl

For instance the line below fetches the track above and converts it to a local wav file that audacity can process.

youtube-dl -x --audio-format wav

A spectrum analysis Spectral analysis - Audacity Support will give indications of the spectral content and these are both useful points for comparing and contrasting sound characteristics as they are altered.

Audacity is also useful for seeing how individual components in the mix are altered during a track, for instance how an instrument centre front on a intro is ducked for the vocal and such like.

I tend to adopt a very mechanical engineering approach which is frequently why I don’t get very close, but as with anything it improves with practice.
The people I’ve seen do it well tend to be more organic in their approach, possibly hearing what is there rather than carrying an idea of what they expect the change to do, but I’m speculating.

Anyone the has experience of doing this with DX based operators needs great admiration and the occasional burnt offering.


I tried with Steinwey NY/Jazz, disabling the reverb & delay and increasing mute action to maximum:

The natural reverb from the steinwey is still there because i’ve Stage version i can’t tweak these parameters. Perhaps someone with PRO version could try to modify the model.

A different approach to get a more staccato sound could be some kind of MIDI staccato effect. We have a MIDI choke effect, but it doesn’t work like staccato, but choke the note when next note is played. I think we don’t have a specific staccato MIDI FX, but perhaps with moony.lv2 it could be programmed easily?

If not, it could be a nice “my first LV2 plugin” exercise :wink:


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I just tried with moony A1xA1 (MIDI FX) and it look promising. I never wrote a single line of LUA, but i will try :wink:

When i click “send” on Moony GUI, it closes and plugin dies. Someone using moony by here?

I am embarrassed to say how long I’ve been messing around with audio files and synths, and this never occurred to me. Tip o the hat!

It sounds to me like the piano is playing in two octaves. It was not obvious to me at first so I thought I’d mention it in case it helps, in addition to all the great advice given here already.
I imagine this can be achieved with a MIDI effect that plays chords (I don’t remember what it’s called on Zynthian, haven’t used a lot of MIDI effects yet). Set it to play an octave and play the chord yourself, for example.

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I’ll try this approach, thanks @jofemodo !!

I have the same impression, I’ve tried the chord midi effect but Im’ not really sure that the result is good. But playing in two octaves at the same time sounds more convincing. I’ll keep on trying.

Totally agree! I’ve tried and i’m pretty convinced of this too. You can use the MIDI chord plugin for that, or moony A1-A1 chord preset :wink:

It’s a double voice one sixth below, confirmed.

Hi @pau !

I found the “felt I” preset from “Steinwey D (NY)” and it’s very close to what you want. When combined with the 6th chord, it sounds like this:

Yessssss! :ok_hand: Almost there …

The snapshot, including the basic pattern, with maraca + kick in the stepseq :wink:

006-rosalia despecha.zss (25.9 KB)

The modified preset for pianoteq, based in “felt I”, but disabling reverb & delay and increasing mute action to maximum:

Rosalia-Despecha.fxp (12.7 KB)

And it sounds like this:



To me it looks like a piano with short strings… upright type, without the slightest reverb… naked and raw with few basses that make the already metallic sound of the upright, even more metallic and then the keys must be struck quickly and released immediately, like the (wonderful) South Americans usually do in fast pieces.