Why not make a VST of pre-release-samples?

Thought about this after one of Christian’s last videos.

We sample the tone of the piano, and then the release of the key, but we don’t sample what happens before: The touch of the finger on the key and the first movements of the piano action. Of course, including this part in the actual VST of the respective piano would result in a delay of the note, but if we made a VST of only “pre-release samples” we would be able to do this:

Copy the MIDI data of a piano recording into a second track (maybe 10ms ahead of the original performance), where we use the pre-release VST, and then (together with the notes and the release triggers in the first track) we’d have the whole picture.

Of course it would be mad to do this for every piano, but to tell you the truth, this wouldn’t be the first time I use the release triggers of one piano with another piano. Would love to try it myself, but in my current situation I could only make a mono recording of my MIDI keyboard action. Anyone up for this?

A few things:

A lot of sampled piano instruments out there already do include samples for the activating action of the piano, like key presses and hammer sounds. Since usually they have independent gain controls for these sample sets, you could theoretically just mute the regular string / note and release samples for a kit with just those attack sounds.

Though it sounds like you maybe want a sample library (or plugin) that is just that attack. I think that would be interesting (and maybe I’ll make one) but you would need to consider that different sounding pianos are going to have fairly different sounding actions, like grand vs upright vs digital piano vs midi controller vs melodica vs etc etc etc

As for a sonic standpoint this would certainly be interesting to hear in different perspectives, one time I recorded myself playing an electric piano part via midi as well as through a pair of SDC mics (digital piano clicking sounds) and blended them together and it was quite fun, I’ll dig it out if I can find it. Beyond this novel use, it might be a nice touch of intimacy on a cozy upright piano or something

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Right, and I think considering the unique-sounding actions of different pianos will open some great possibilities. And not only that, but also different playing styles. Christian talked about his excitement when he hears his fingernail (from the felt piano sample) in film scores. So for an extreme application, imagine if you could dial in a “long-fingernail action”. And as you say, there would be much subtler applications to add a bit of character and much weirder, experimental choices you could make. Just thought I throw the idea out there.
Might make a test run recording the action of my Kawai VPC and see where it takes me.