Eastern Pennsylvania-based virtual instrument creator Whole Sounds has released version 1.1 of 1954 Baldwin Parlor Grand, the first sampled Baldwin grand for the virtual instrument market, available for UVI Workstation and UVI Falcon.

Baldwin has long been considered second only to Steinway among American piano manufacturers, preferred by artists like Philip Glass, Ray Charles and Liberace. Now the “Baldwin sound” is available for the first time in a virtual instrument with Whole Sounds’ 1954 Baldwin Parlor Grand sampled instrument.

“The idea behind my approach is to present the whole sound to the user”, says Dan McKinney, creator of the instrument. “I avoid the temptation to tinker with the instrument’s natural tone, and trust that what best tells the piano’s story is what’s captured by the mic.”

The sample library was collected from a 5’8” Baldwin “R” series grand recorded from four different perspectives at varying distances. Vintage condenser & new ribbon mics were paired with top-of-the-line mic preamps and AD converters in the recording process. The alternate perspectives allow for a broad range of sounds, from crisp, clear and distinct to softer, more ambient and evocative tones.

The user interface features a four channel mixer to blend the mic perspectives, along with custom-tailored eq and compression modules that can be applied separately to each of the four channels. Two convolution reverbs, “Air” and “Wood”, allow the user to dial in more or less of the piano’s unique sonic characteristics, along with two separately controllable layers of key release samples, “hammer fall” and “damper drop”.

Sustain pedal sounds help round out the instrument’s realism, as do sustain resonance samples that mimic the naturally occurring reverb effect of a piano note ringing across the open strings when the sustain pedal is depressed.

The “scene” feature allows the user to save and load all controllable settings within the instrument, and A/B, copy, paste and reset buttons throughout allow for an efficient workflow . A polyphony slider controls the number of samples playing simultaneously, and the touch knob controls the velocity curve.

The 1954 Baldwin Parlor Grand costs $79 USD. For a limited time only, you can get a 35% discount with coupon code V1135 at checkout.

A fully functional free demo is available for download.

More information: Whole Sounds