, instrument plugins
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on Mar 13, 2012 - 0 comments
Toontrack has released EZkeys Grand Piano, a plugin and stand alone instrument that combines a world-class piano player, songwriting partner, arranger and a meticulously sampled grand piano – all in one package.
Complete with an extensive drag and drop MIDI library, a groundbreaking smart transpose functionality that allows the user to change chords and add harmonic color on the fly as well as introducing an intuitive interface with a streamlined workflow, EZkeys is not just an amazingly sounding instrument, it’s a songwriting palette that sets a new benchmark in creative music software.
EZkeys Grand Piano features
- The songwriting & MIDI — EZkeys comes with an extensive MIDI library performed by a professional session pianist. Played with increasing complexity in full eight bar song sections and covering all major genres such as Rock, Pop, Country, Gospel, Blues and Funk, this library is not only a creative boost, it’s an untapped source of inspiration for your yet unwritten songs. Drag, drop and lay down the foundation to a track in no time!
- The smart transpose functionality — When you drag and drop MIDI in the timeline of the song browser, EZkeys will immediately analyze and separate all chords. If you click any of the blocks, an intuitive chord circle will open. This allows you to transpose or alter any chord or full song on the fly. This works just as well with the included MIDI as any user imported files.
- The timeless sound — EZkeys comes with a mint condition Steinway and Sons model D grand piano, sampled to perfection in a world-class recording studio using only the best of the best in vintage and modern recording gear. The model D grand piano is the undisputed industry standard among performers and producers worldwide and has over the past century and half had an overwhelming amount of musical history and heritage created on it. The sounds were mixed to sit perfectly in a production environment without any additional tweaking. There is also a selection of ready-made and user controllable presets available, making your sound options seem almost endless.
EZkeys Grand Piano for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone) is avaialble to purchase for $179 USD / 139 EUR.
More information: Toontrack / EZkeys Grand Piano
Sound Magic has updated its Supreme Piano virtual piano instrument plug-in to version 2.1.
Supreme Piano 2 starts with a revolutionary concept: “A single virtual instrument can not solve all of the problems in the entire music production process, or fit every musician’s unique need. We need a whole solution for this, a flexible system which is easy to operate, that follows our changing needs.” Supreme Piano 2 is not a bundle of pianos but an entire system that focuses on solving problems. Supreme Piano 2 has the power to handle many different situations – and you will find a solution for your problem. Supreme Piano 2 will let you choose up to 4 piano modules from our database. There are currently 6 piano modules — with more on the way – including four of the world’s most stunning and finest grand pianos.
From the famous dark, rich Bosendorfer tone to that fantastic and sexy Fazioli sound, From well known brilliant steinway to Yamaha. Supreme Piano 2 recreates the unsurpassed authenticity and complexity that has long been a standard in concert halls around the world.
Changes in Supreme Piano v2.1
- CPU usage decrease.
- New Half Pedaling algorithm.
- Neo Hybrid Modeling Engine updates to Version 2.1.
- Add Scala Tuning System.
- Several minor changes.
Supreme Piano 2 for Windows (VST/Standalone) is available to purchase for 299 EUR.
More information: Sound Magic / Supreme Piano 2
Cinesamples has released Piano in Blue, a grand piano sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
We were provided a unique opportunity to preserve an important piece of musical history in its final days. Word had come to us that the historic Clinton Recording Studios in midtown Manhattan was forever closing its doors, destined to be transformed into a modern condominium complex.
One of the many treasures contained therein was this particular Steinway Model D Concert Grand which used to live in the Columbia Records 30th Street Studios. The CBS 30th Street Studio, “The Church” was perhaps the most influential recording studio of the 50’s and 60’s producing dozens of legendary albums in various genres.
Of those recordings this piano played a critical role in two albums which are still considered among the finest recordings of all time. First being the original Glenn Gould “Goldberg Variations,” the most critically received classical album of all time. Four years later came Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” which forever altered music.
In 1981 Columbia closed its doors and this piano was brought to Clinton. In addition to the grand two of the original Columbia Nuemann U49 microphones made the journey also. These were two of the five (or six) microphones originally used on the Kind of Blue date. We were fortunate enough to sample this special grand using these two original microphones.
Piano in Blue features
- 1949 Steinway D via Neve 8078 Console.
- 8 Velocity Layers Sampled Chromatically.
- 9300 Samples.
- 3 Microphone Positions.
- Close/Vintage – 2x Neumann M49 near the lid.
- Mid – 2x B&K 4007 at the tail of the piano.
- Far – 2x Sennheiser MKH20′s in the hall.
- 2 Processing Paths (Tape; Direct in).
- Studer A800MKIII 24 Track Analog Tape Machine.
- Programmed by Sam Estes; scripted by Greg Schlaepfer; recorded by Tim Starnes.
Piano in Blue is available to purchase for the introductory price of $99 USD (regular $129 USD).
More information: Cinesamples / Piano in Blue
8DIO Productions has announced the release of Legacy 1928: Scoring Piano, the first in a new series of “Legacy Piano” sample libraries.
Welcome to 8DIO Legacy Piano series – a collection of deep-sampled world-class pianos. Legacy Piano series marks the next evolution in piano sampling and first virtual piano series to ever have round robin (repetition samples) on both sustains and staccato, which means you get a more varied, fluent and expressive piano.
We are launching our Legacy series with the release of one of the most precious and sought after pianos in the history of pianos, namely a specific series of ivory covered Steinway grand that were produced in Germany in 1928.
8DIO Productions features
- Deep-Sampled 1928 Legacy Steinway Grand Piano.
- 2 Microphone Positions (close/internal & ambient/player perspective).
- Round Robin Sustains (x 3 round robin pr. note & velocity layer).
- Round Robin Staccato (x 6 round robin pr. note & velocity layer).
- Advanced Release Triggers.
- Pedal Noises and Pedal Noise Volume Control.
- Custom Convolution Reverbs (+40).
- Bonus: 6 Piano Morphed Instruments: Alien Drum (aka Hang Drum), Ambient Guitar, Bells, Metal Bowls, Pipe Harp, Propanium (aka Milltone).
- Several Custom Convolution Reverb(s) / Impulses.
- 11.287 samples, 12 GB installed.
- 24 bit / 44.1 kHz stereo .NCW Compression Format.
- Important Note: Native Instruments Kontakt +4.2 full retail versions required for this instrument.
The Legacy 128 library is available to purchase for the introductory price of $149 USD until 15 February, 2012 (regular price $199 USD).
More information: 8DIO Productions / Legacy 128 Scoring Piano
Sound Magic has released Piano Thor, a virtual piano instrument for Windows and Mac.
The sound of the piano “Thor” developed from the most famous Steinway piano – perhaps the most famous grand piano – in history. This is the Steinway D numbered CD443, the piano that Vladimir Horowitz loved most. The CD443, Mr. Horowitz’s last piano, was selected by the artist for his own personal home use. When he was first introduced to this instrument, Mr. Horowitz had reservations about the piano’s action (which was rather heavy) but came to love the instrument so much that, when he briefly considered concertizing in 1989, he planned to take the CD443 with him. This piano was used for recording sessions made at his home in both 1988 and 1989.
Piano Thor featured an amazing dynamic range which other pianos were hard pressed to compete with. It had more “bite” when it was played really hard but it produced a soft, singing tone when played softly. And Steinway’s famous singing tone and bell like sympathetic resonances made it a truly great piano. This vast dynamic contrast and its lighting fast response won this superb instrument the name “Thor”, the Norse god of storms and thunder.
Piano Thor features
- Piano Thor gives you absolute control over every aspect of a piano. You can adjust hammer actions, microphone positions, sympathetic resonances, dynamics and more. You can even design your own piano!
- HD Velocity Layer Ver.2 supports up to 65,536 Velocity Layers! and CC#88 for High Definition Velocity.
- Multi-microphone positions enable users to mix between different microphone positions and create new sounds that easily fit into a mix.
- Real Piano Legato make the legato passage so real with a sustaining tone.
- Scala Tuning Sysytem enable users to select different temperaments for their music.
- Powerful Add-on System.
- Meticulous Dynamic Response controls enable users to adjust the dynamics of the piano, change the keyboard response, and achieve both realism and playability at the same time!
- New! Our 264-string Sympathetic Resonance System adds beautiful harmonies to both pedal up and pedal down notes.
- Piano Thor is able to detect repeated notes and activate True Staccato Mode which precisely reproduces staccato notes.
- Built-in professional Reverb Engine simulates resonances with environment and soundboard, adding extra realism to the sound.
- Actual modeling and soft pedal samples vividly present the sound of four kinds of pedals.
- Treasure Map GUI.
- Customizing pictures/icons on GUI.
- Add-on data bank which makes getting a huge variety of sounds fast and easy.
- Faster load times. Smaller hard drive footprint, less memory and less CPU usage.
Piano Thor for PC and Mac (VST/AU) is available to purchase for 129 EUR.
More information: Sound Magic / Piano Thor
Synthogy has introduced its latest Ivory Piano virtual piano instrument, the Ivory II American Concert D.
Ivory II–American Concert D is a 1951 New York Steinway® model D lauded by some of the world’s greatest concert artists. Powered by the award winning Ivory II engine, Ivory II–American Concert D is a free-standing virtual instrument and the 4th product in the acclaimed Ivory II line.
This particular New York Steinway D has the designation “CD 121″ signifying that it was selected by Steinway & Sons for artist promotion and concert hall specification. The instrument has an exceptionally pure and clear tone, a remarkably expressive dynamic range and has been described by many artists as among the finest they’ve ever played. In fact, the plate of this particular piano is signed by pianists Glenn Gould and Rudolf Serkin, a testament of high praise for the instrument by two of the world’s great masters.
The piano was recorded in the Françoys-Bernier Concert Hall at Le Domaine Forget in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. This is the same hall where Ivory’s acclaimed German Steinway was recorded, and also by the same recording and technical team.
Ivory II–American Concert D will feature up to 20 velocity levels, will have the full compliment of Ivory II features, and run as a plug-in or standalone. For existing Ivory II users, Ivory II–American Concert D will install directly into the existing Ivory II library, giving access to all of Ivory II’s pianos and features from one great interface.
Ivory II American Concert D features
- New York Steinway D selected by Steinway & Sons for artist promotion and concert hall specification.
- The largest, most extensively sampled of all Ivory II pianos.
- The first of Synthogy’s pianos to feature up to 20 velocity levels, with Sample Interpolation Technology for ultra-smooth velocity and note transitions.
- Includes the Award-winning Ivory II piano engine .
- Harmonic Resonance Modeling for True Sympathetic String Resonance .
- Custom Soundboard Emulation DSP .
- Pedal Noise enhancements .
- Release samples triggered by velocity and duration .
- Timbre-shifting, Parametric EQ and new Synth Layer controls for powerful sound sculpting capabilities .
- World class digital FX including Real Ambience, Chorus and EQ.
- Customizable User Controls for Timbre, Stereo Width and Perspective, Velocity Response, Mechanical Key Noise, Lid Position and more .
- Tuning Tables.
- Optional synth pad layer for modern/pop combinations.
- Dozens of programs and effects presets.
The Ivory II American Concert D is scheduled for release in 2012, priced MSRP $199 USD.
More information: Synthogy
Sound Magic has announced the release of BlueStone Piano Convertible Version, adding support for Windows and Mac 64-bit, and the AU plugin format for Mac.
Convertible Version is the latest expansion of our world renowned Sound Magic piano sound. It brings our piano to more formats and platforms allowing more musicians access to these fantastic sounds. Convertible Version uses the core of the NEO Hybrid Modeling Engine and adds a new simplified interface – allowing “out of the box” performance without a lot of setup time. Convertible Version introduces an add-on data bank which makes getting a huge variety of sounds fast and easy.
For the first time in history, you can custom design the look of your virtual instrument, making it your own personal creation. Spice it up – cool it down – make it your own! Our Convertible Version is the first virtual instrument that allows users to customize the GUI by adding their own personal icons/pictures. Every Convertible Version is unique!
BlueStone Piano for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for 99 EUR.
More information: Sound Magic / BlueStone Piano Convertible Version