The "Famous E Electric Piano" is a sample library with all the beautiful sounds from the original "E" vintage piano often
referred to as "the HOLY GRAIL" among electric pianos. The owner of that piano, George Mamalakis, and I have been
sampling the sounds of the "E" for many years and finally the program is available via our business partner Greg Schlaepfer of
Orange Tree Samples.
We will post news and updates about this program on our websites, so keep hanging around if you are interested in
getting the genuine unique legendary "E" sound. George and I will note full details as things progress, which
will be educational!
The History of THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO
Here is the history of THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO. I know this to be fact as I was a big part of what transpired! When
you look at a picture of THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO, the odds are good you know it has a different name, BUT we
can't mention what the instrument is actually called, since some person has copyrighted the name and is suing every
company, that uses the descriptive word of the instrument!
With that in mind, we call the instrument - THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO, THE FAMOUS E, or simply THE E.
When doing record dates in the 1970s, and the instrument, whose name we are not allowed to use, ended up
on many sessions and they were typically rented from a rental company. I never really thought much about one being better
than another one until the discovery of THE FAMOUS E.
Andy Leeds was a friend of the Porcaro brothers. He bought a rental company from someone, who I can't
remember his name right now, but in any case it became LEEDS Rentals.
Andy knew that electric pianos were in demand, so he bought such suitcase models when they showed up for
sale that were used, as Andy figured out those pianos from the early 70s through around the mid 70s
seemed to be what keyboard players liked. I had bought one as well around 1973 but it was a stage model, and
at the time I didn't know the suitcase models included a preamp, that was so important to the sound. No matter
for now, as were talking about what would be THE FAMOUS E.
One day Andy was at a famous music store in Hollywood called Wallace Music City. He happened to go into the
back storage room with the salesman and noticed there were piles of equipment that had not been moved out
to the main room. At the bottom of the pile, Andy noticed a box, but no one could read the writing on the
box, so Andy and the sales person moved all other equipment off the box and what was in the box happened to
be a around the 1973 suitcase model of the piano.
Andy bought the piano and stenciled an E on top, as that is how he labeled his equipment, instead of using numbers. He
may have used numbers with other instruments, but I'm not sure and it doesn't matter.
So one day probably in late 1983 or possibly early 1984 DAVID FOSTER was on a session and the E was the piano that was
rented. After the session DAVID called me and said that this instrument was the best sounding electric piano he had ever
heard! I mentioned we had a session a few days later or so and I would rent that piano, because the session was going
to be in my studio. So that happened and when I was EQing (setting the tone controls on my recording console) and
the volume level, as I assumed I agreed with DAVID it was the best sounding electric piano I had ever heard!
I'm the kind of person that tells everyone when I find discoveries, whether it be musically, or equipment wise. Obviously
everyone that played or heard the E loved it! It got to the point when the E was booked all the time and since I must have
the E on every session that needed an electric piano, it got to the point where I could be a month or more defined a
day or night when it was available. If I had sessions for a whole week, it made it even more difficult but no matter
what, it was always about THE E first, and then I would book the musicians.
I should mention that as a studio guitarist, I was always known as the guy that had every effect available as well
as some custom pedals. Starting in the 70s when I bought the Boss chorus, I used it with the E plugging one output
of the piano into the Boss chorus and patched that into the console for one leg of the sound and the direct output
of the E for the other leg, giving me a stereo spread. Meaning, one side had the chorus and the other side was
dry leading to a great effect.
When DAVID FOSTER and I discovered what became the Famous E Electric Piano, Just like with all other electric pianos I
recorded over the years, I ran the two outputs into transformer passive direct boxes. The direct boxes suck as they
darken up the sound and cause a lack of "punch". The reason for running through the direct boxes is because I thought
the output was high impedance, such as guitar pick ups are, but recently just before we started the sampling work, George
discovered the impedance output is 5000 ohms. To me, that falls into the low impedance
category, as guitar pick ups can be 17,000 ohms or higher! Also, since I ran one output into the Boss chorus that has
to be high impedance, to match the sound, the chorus output and the non-chorused output were plugged into mike inputs
on my recording console.
With that in mind, George and I decided to use the line input mode on the analog to digital converters, since we knew
we would have chorus plug ins. We realized that the tone sounds much bigger than running through passive direct boxes,
so that was how the samples were recorded.
Let's back up to 1984 when I was using the passive direct boxes. Since the tone was so dark and small, I used all
four bands of EQ on my MCI 528 Console as well as five bands on the GEORGE MASSENBURG EQ (the best analog equalizer
I have ever heard).
When mixing, I even used more EQ to get sounding as good as possible. I used a compressor as well to tame the high
frequencies. With that in mind, now that we have multi band compressors, such as the Fab Filter MB, I have done a
video showing how I am mixing The E using the multi band compressor. Other than Fab Filter MB Compressor, Waves has two
such as the C4 and C6. Other companies make good multi band compressors as well. Of course, these are all plug-ins.
We suggest using such compressors as the Native Instrument Kontakt effects are old and don't react like the mentioned
compressors. The same goes for some of the other effects, but we love the choruses on the main page, as Greg modeled
those and did an incredible job so we feel you will really like those choruses.
Somewhere in time a few years later, the Yamaha DX7 showed up on the scene and it became the new electric piano
sound using two of them together. To give the chorus type of fact, one of the DX7 this was tuned slightly flat and
the other one was tuned slightly sharp. Then a few years after that the TX rack showed up which is 8 DX7s.
So obviously nobody was using an E, or similar piano, anymore. As the years passed, I wondered who ended up
with the E piano. I found out a guy named GEORGE MAMALAKIS had bought the E from LEEDS. We communicated over the
years and then 3 years ago I told George we must sample the E as that piano sound started showing up on records again.
I also mentioned to George that when we sample it, we must rebuild the piano electronically. Further, George is very
good mechanically and he kept the piano in excellent shape and rarely took it to gigs. It was like he had a shrine
for the E, which it deserved!
Since I had experience from sampling over the years, I wrote out complete details and George followed the details
perfectly. I mentioned we needed something to strike the keys that would allow us to be accurate every time when
the key was struck. I also noted that the E needed to be struck at a minimum of .3 dB when striking, so we could
adjust to get all the dynamics possible from the E. Again, since George is great with mechanics, he built what
he calls the VERA and it worked perfectly.
So after 3 years of working on this, partnering with Greg Schlaepfer, who owns Orange Tree Samples, we are finally
ready to release the Famous E Electric Piano sample program!
I have done a bunch of tutorials and you will see the links below to learn how to navigate THE E and do tricks
with THE E using outboard gear.
Greg Schlaepfer also did tutorials and his are excellent, where mine are more like the street version. Ha ha ha ha.
So that's the basic story and we hope you will love THE E as much as we do! Anyone that loves this sound will
have the best electric piano sample program ever!
Further, we are going to be doing updates adding more effects and other options as we think of them!
Get ready to have fun creating and recording music with this incredible instrument! Please go to the
Orange Tree Samples site and let
us know if there are any options you would like to have added. We will do our best to accommodate
your requests. - JAY GRAYDON
Testimonials, Videos, and Reviews, of THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO
Videos and testimonials will be posted here as they become available ...
First off, a quote from Harvey Mason Jr. (who has had many hits as a producer and writer).
Jerry Hey's son Andrew is an outstanding engineer and most of his work is with Harvey. Andrew and Harvey loaded the E and compared
with their previous favorite Rhodes, which is Keyscape. After a few minutes of playing the E, Harvey said,
THIS IS OUR "GO TO" RHODES FROM NOW ON!!!!
This Electric Piano Sample Library Is IT!!!!
It is by far the BEST electric piano plugin I've ever played. It's clean, even and without artefacts. It is also very inspiring
to play which is an important factor! This thing is going to be really useful to me personally and to many others. Congratulations
on a great product, I'll do my best to spread the word!!!
Been testing it for about a week and this is the real thing. Super clean and even, it plays perfectly!! Sounds like the
classic albums. Jay, George and Greg have done a tremendous job!
On Jay's request, I made a video presenting this amazing instrument in a few tunes. (Music starts at 1:43)
Here is one more video presenting the stunning sounds of the Famous E Electronic Piano. A medley with some good old Al Jarreau
tunes played on the Famous E Electric Piano. Drums by Peter Olofsson.
November 2020 update - The Famous E Electric Piano (Jay Graydon settings) - Al Jarreau Medley
The same Al Jarreau medley with Jay Graydon's settings. Drums by Peter Olofsson.
February 2021 update - The Famous E Electric Piano - Steely Dan Intros Medley
Some famous Steely Dan and Donald Fagen intros played on the Famous E electric piano. Drums by Peter Olofsson.
Stefan Olofsson - musician & producer (STATE COWS)
Outstanding Dynamic Response!!!
I used to think that the sound of any of these pianos is only a matter of doing the right adjustments. Today, I know better.
Adjusting these electric pianos for maximum dynamic response is done by moving the pickups closer to the tines. This usually
results in two things:
Uneven response note-to-note
Unpleasant, unmusical harmonics
The Famous E has none of these problems, and the dynamic response is outstanding! Every key sounds sweet and musical. This
particular piano is a truly unique instrument.
Peter Olofsson - musician & vintage keyboard enthusiast
Possibly The Best Overall Sounding Electric Piano That Was Ever Created!
After having been a guitar sideman/ producer/ programmer in the Nashville music scene for over the past 4 decades I have
to say that not only is the "E PIANO" one of the most authentic sounding and feeling virtual electric pianos, but it
may possibly be the best overall sounding electric piano that was ever created! As soon as my hands hit the keyboard
I could instantly tell that someone went way beyond the call of duty to create a superior software based instrument! What
I love about the "E PIANO" is that it is thoughtfully simple in design, but very complex in tonal richness an authenticity.
Tom Hemby - Composer, Guitarist, Producer
Love How It Responds!
Video Testimonial from Urs Wiesendanger
Yo Jay Bro,
just did a short "E" teaser. Sounds fantastic! Love how it responds!
If West Coast had a sound, this would be IT!"
I used to have one in the seventies and I have been looking since then to find the exact sound and now, at last, The Famous E
In the seventies I was a member a of Swedish rock group called "Blue Swede", of course I played the Rhodes (!), the Clavinet etc.
We actually had a number one on Billboard 1974 - "Hooked on a feeling", which you might remember. We toured the states at several
occasions, we rehearsed in L.A. at Capitol Studios and had a great time.
The lead singer, Björn Skifs and I left the band a couple of years later, he hooked up with his solo career and I went on as
a session player, arranger, music director, producer here in Sweden.
Anders Berglund - Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Producer
Delivers BETTER Than Advertised!
Wow, the Famous E is great! It's a wonderfully sampled and delivers BETTER than advertised! The controller is also
a great choice. I like how the presets that come with it cover a wide variety of use scenarios but the E itself
is very easy to intuitively grasp. I immediately started using it in productions.
A Smooth Realistic Recreation Of The Most Iconic Instrument Of The 80s!
The Famous E has just become my "go to" piano. The intricate care and detail that went into putting this together absolutely
shows. There are none of the artefacts or trouble spots I find in the competing libraries. Just a smooth realistic recreation
of the most iconic instrument of the 80s! What a joy to add this to my arsenal. Thanks guys!
Timothy Hosman - Film and Television composer - TIMOTHY HOSMAN PRODUCTIONS
Amazing New Product!!!
Here's a little plug for an amazing new product from my old friend.. the legend.. Jay Graydon. After years of painstaking
sampling and even more tweaking the Famous E is finally on the market... it's an incredible realization of one of the
best electric pianos ever made.. the "E" and.. it's on sale right now at Orange Tree Samples.... go check it out!!
Jon Gilutin - Keyboardist-Composer-Producer-Audio Production
The Ultimate Electric Piano!!!
Of course you weren't exaggerating when you said it was the ultimate Electric piano!
The sonic detail and depth of parameter shaping is inspiring. I'm gonna have to spend some time with this one!
Ira Ingber, LA studio guitarist, recording artist, producer, arranger
The Best Electric Keyboard Software I've Used To Date!!!
My name is Clarence McDonald. I have been a Session Musician, Songwriter and Producer for over 50 years. This release of the E-Piano is the best
electric keyboard software I've used to date. Having worked with Jay Graydon for many years, I know him and his team's dedication in presenting an
The software easily sits in any track making the mixing so much simpler. Please watch the tutorials to gain a full understanding of just how great
this software is and how to best control it. If you haven't tried this product, I strongly suggest that you do.
I purchased the new E Piano plug-in. This is one heck of an R. Piano plug in!
You guys did an amazing job on sampling George's piano. I used to own an R. Piano and I'm even hearing that slight tine bell-ish sound
when you release a note -esp on some of the lower notes on certain pre-sets - it's incredibly authentic and "organic".
I actually like using your E Piano better than my original R. Piano - which had action that was not as good as my current 88 note weighted
keyboard. So this is really the best of both worlds. I really like some of the upper register sounds - when you dig in a little
harder - kind of a percussive "knock" - it really responds beautifully!
Great job on providing all the EQ and effect options as well. It's one thing to hear the great demos you created online — but to actually
play it is a whole other story. My old R. had a bit of noise and hiss, which I don't miss at all with your plug-in!
Anyway - thanks again! - Joe
Joe Goldberger - drummer/percussionist, keyboardist, composer & teacher
The Best Electric Piano Emulation Out There!!!
Besides being the best electric piano emulation out there, the Famous E offers extensive editing capabilities and an
intuitive interface. It also has a very rich and natural sound. Definitely a winner!
Danny Pelfrey - Emmy Award winning film and television composer
More Demos Showing The Beauty of THE FAMOUS E ELECTRIC PIANO