Yes. A robot. Really.

Meet Keybot.

How do you ensure the absolute most accurate samples of a keyboard instrument possible?

You build a custom robot from the ground up of course! Or at least that's what we did...

  • How precise can our process be?

    This is the question the skybox team set out to answer when building the Keybot, our autonomous keyboard sampling robot.

    Sampling pianos can be an arduous and difficult process. Hours and hours of recording add up to tens of thousands of individual samples. In the end the final response curve is typically decided by the engineer based on the loudness of the individual samples.

  • How does it work?

    Keybot was designed and manufactured entirely by skybox Audio. It can take a completely automated high resolution “sonic snapshot” of an entire grand piano in 48 hours with a level of consistency impossible to achieve by hand.

    After calibrating itself to any keyboard by scanning across the keys and “listening” for the softest possible note that can be played by each key. The two fingered robot then plays the keyboard one note at a time at 16 different loudness levels while capturing thousands of individual recordings. Proprietary software automation then edits and labels all the samples to be loaded into the playback software. The end result is a stunning sonic replica of the original instrument.

  • Is there a better way?

    Using precise robotics we are able to determine the velocity zones based on the force applied to the key itself, not an estimation based on amplitude. The result is a playing experience that is freakishly true to the feel and response of the original instrument.

    On an acoustic piano the relationship of force to amplitude is not exactly linear. One note might have a slightly different response than the note right next to it. With our approach the integrity of the response curve of every note is maintained. That leaves the interpretation up to the player, not the recording engineer. Just like when you sit down at the actual instrument.

  • Feel It For Yourself.

    Hear what all the hype is about. Try Hammers + Waves now to experience the advantage of robotic precision.

    Experience our results