Review: Augmented Piano – Creative piano workshop with 24 preparations

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UVI’s latest virtual instrument library brings the sounds of a 1909 Pleyel grand piano.

As its name implies, Augmented Piano offers not only the traditional piano sounds of the Pleyel, but it takes the concept of prepared pianos to another level with no less than 24 complete preparations.

UVI Augmented Piano screen

With Augmented Piano we wanted to go beyond traditional prepared piano sounds and offer something both new and inspiring, providing a way for musicians to easily craft and explore new tones and expressive possibilities with an instrument they already know and love.

The recordings were captured with a stereo Royer SF-24 ribbon mic, a stereo-pair of BK condensers, and a mono pressure zone microphone (PZM).

With more than 23,000 samples, the instrument aims to give you a detailed, expressive and natural sound. Each source was recorded with multiple velocities and round-robins for each single note, for both the sustain and release sections of the sound.

From the main interface you can control each mic signal, so you can shape the sound to your liking. For more control, the edit page offers controls for release and pedal volume, as well as sympathetic resonance.

UVI Augmented Piano screen edit

Here we also find a multi-mode filter (LP/BP/HP) and envelope sections for amplitude and filter.

The Tone knob allows you to change the color of the sound based on adjacent samples. Negative values give a sharper, brighter sound, while the opposite offers a more muffled, warmer sound.

A portamento pitch control is included with mono/poly modes, glide time and pitch envelope depth. Lastly, you can route tremolo, vibrato and filter to your modwheel for more dynamic playing.

Augmented Piano includes an effects page with a customizable IR (convolver), Drive, Equalizer, Thorus (chorus), Phaser, Delay and Sparkverb reverb.

UVI Augmented Piano screen fx

Augmented Piano comes with a total of 164 presets, divided in 12 categories.

These presets make use of the following 24 recorded preparations:
Bow, Brush Slide, Brush Tap, Caps, Coin, eBow, Finger, Finger Muted, Harmonics, Key Noise, Metal Foil, Metal Sticks, Muted, Normal, Pick, Pick Muted, Rubber, Screws, Structural Effects, Tack, Tacked Muted, Una Corda, Wallet, and Wood Stick.

Mixed preparations are also included. These presets come with dedicated mix controls on the main page.

UVI Augmented Piano screen preparations

Of course you can also create your own layered sounds and custom keyzones with multis in UVI Workstation and Falcon.

All these preparations make for an extremely versatile instrument.

As dedicated instruments they each have a unique character, from the soft accents of the Brush Slide to the bell-like tones of the Tack, metallic rasps from the Screws to the infinite sustains of the eBow.

With Augmented Piano, UVI has created a creative piano that offers a large collection of ready-to-play presets, as well as ample tools to create your own unique sounds.

Check out the showcase video by Louis Couka below to get an idea of what sounds this instrument offers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7UzZFHOTR8

So what do I think?

In short, I love it!

Augmented Piano is truly a unique instrument. The preparations are really inspiring, and browsing the many included presets I just get lost in that happy place where my creative juices keep flowing.

And that was kind of what I was expecting, because I like sounds that are a bit different and quirky. But what really struck me is how much I like the normal preparation. At low velocity levels this piano sounds so intimate, I just adore it.

I reckon Augmented Piano is a great choice for cinematic work and experimental sound design.

Augmented Piano costs 149 EUR/USD. UVI is offering the piano for only 99 EUR/USD until March 26th, so make sure to check out the audio and video demos at UVI!

More information: UVI Augmented Piano

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