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OK. We could have picked any late ’80s-early ’90s house anthem (try Starlight’s Numero Uno for even more pronounced evidence) but the house piano sound that defined the Italo house genre of the time definitely deserves a mention.
The ‘Piano 16’ and ‘Piano 8’ presets of the Korg M1 pretty much are the house piano sound. Both sounds are actually based on the same sample set, being essentially the same (thanks to the limited ROM memory of the Korg M1 keyboard). However, the subtle difference comes with the different filter curve on the ‘8’ preset. Need it soft? Go for the ‘8’. Need it harder? Go for the ‘16’ and whack every note at 127 velocity.
These days (and soon after the house explosion in the late ’80s) practically every synth has a bright, hard, almost fake-sounding piano preset, but back in the day, the only way to get the genuine article ‘plinky-plonk, dinky-donk’ sound of the Italian house tunes was to stump up for a Korg M1. You could pick one up for about £100 these days or check out the Korg Legacy Collection Digital Edition soft synth for a perfect recreation of the M1, with all its costly cards already on board.