The kind of piano sound that is in vogue at a given time in musical history changes and is always interesting. Obviously at any given time essentially every kind of piano sound will be popular among some community/ in some genre. However there are changes that occur that move in and out of Vogue.
I produce quite a bit of cinematic music and solo piano emotional music and what is in vogue currently is the Felt Piano. Obviously there are exceptions, but generally the incredibly quiet and gentle beautiful sound of the Felt Piano seems to be the most popular choice among quiet moments in cinema today.
I love this sound personally, I love playing/ recording and producing with this sound
and love writing music for this kind of piano. The mixing can be a bit rough sometimes but the sound is intimate, beautiful, and heart-warming. More times than not I find myself using Felt Piano Libraries much more than even closely miced standard piano sounds and even if I am not using Felt, I am using a close intimate sound.
Recently I worked on a project where I scored short film using a clean grand set in a hall. This is the first time I have used such a setting/ arrangement in as long as I can remember. I was struck by the beauty, the clean, crisp pure sound, it was beautiful and composing with it felt great and the project turned out fantastic, however I found it so fascinating that this was such a shock to me, that this was so rare.
How different styles and different types of sounds and particular settings go in and out of vogue and how we tend to move in different directions regarding what we prefer in our piano choice is interesting to me. We are clearly in a strong Felt Piano phase and I am not sure when we will move out and into something a bit different. I suspect we won't move toward a clean grand in a large room for quite some time, but I do think we may back off a bit in the next 3 or 4 years and move towards maybe a more clean yet close and intimate sound.
Who knows, its impossible to tell, but as for me, I am not complaining about the demand for quiet, beautiful, organic intimate sounds.
/ Uri Avi