Expertly recorded in Studio Two, this piano was made famous during the ‘60s pop era at Abbey Road following its use on recordings by artists including The Zombies, Russ Conway and The Beatles, featuring prominently in Penny Lane and With A Little Help From My Friends. A 1905 Steinway Vertegrand full of character, charm and nostalgia, it offers a bright, metallic tone owing to its lacquered hammers, with a slight chorus sound.
Meticulously sampled and presented in Spitfire Audio’s award-winning, easy-to-use and affordable plug-in (£29 €29 $29), this truly iconic instrument and recording space is now accessible to musicians of all levels, all over the world.
The Story Behind The Mrs Mills Piano
Built in 1905, this Steinway Vertegrand has been at Abbey Road Studios since 1931. Its distinctive sound owes to 1950s engineer Stuart Eltham, who sent it back to Steinway to achieve an older sound: the hammers were hardened with lacquer to emulate the bright, slightly metallic tone of a tack piano, while certain strings were detuned to create a subtle chorus effect, for that distinctively old-time bar-room sound that cuts right through any mix. Still in use today, the piano has featured on countless records and film scores, but has been affectionately known for decades by Abbey Road engineers as the ‘Mrs Mills Piano’, in homage to British pianist Gladys Mills, the majority of whose popular music hall, singalong-style records were recorded on this piano throughout the 1960s and ‘70s.
Spitfire Audio's Original Series
This library follows the pioneering British music technology company’s recent releases made in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios. The Abbey Road One range features full orchestral sample libraries exquisitely recorded in Studio One, the home of blockbuster film scores.
Originals is a series of inspiring sample libraries that makes rare and classic instruments accessible to all for just £29 — meticulously sampled in authentic detail, with no compromise on recording quality. NKS compatible and lightweight at under 5GB, users can tailor the piano to suit a range of styles and genres — from pop, to jazz and cinematic scores — through a range of carefully curated signals, presets and controls.
Alongside the Close and Room signals, a Vintage signal, recorded using the original 1960s equipment — including the rare AKG D19 microphone recording using the valve J37 tape machine via the REDD.47 mic pre-amp — authentically captures the iconic Abbey Road sound and the character of the songs that made the piano famous. The five presets range from close and clean to spacious and reverberant, while the six effects offer even more control — Expression, Dynamics, Reverb — taken from Abbey Road’s 1950s EMT reverb plates and Tightness, as well as hammers volume control and sustain pedal volume control for extra detail and realism.