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An outstanding virtual instrument with 1,200 recorded samples per key, and up to 100 velocities per key of a Bösendorfer Imperial 290-755.
The Vienna Imperial virtual grand piano features the sound of the venerable Bösendorfer Imperial 290-755 that the Vienna team hosted at the Silent Stage for two months. It was equipped with the famed piano manufacturer's CEUS technology, which allowed for precise and extensive piano sample recordings. The 1,200 recorded samples per key represent a large magnitude of sampling detail.
The innovative implementation of meticulously recorded pedal-up and pedal-down notes in up to 100 velocities, comprehensive sympathetic resonances, and multiple release samples help make the Vienna Imperial virtual instruments one of the most realistic sampled pianos ever created.
No less importantly, the Vienna Imperial is easy to use. The Basic View of the user interface lets you choose between three recording positions (close, player, and audience). The Advanced View gives you quick-and-easy access to more control options such as convolution reverb, EQ, pedal noises, sympathetic resonances, stereo width, MIDI sensitivity, and more. But don't get fooled by the slick interface—lunder the hood is a proprietary piano engine that has been specifically designed to drive this massive amount of sample data and processing power.
The Vienna Imperial Collection is not divided into Standard and Extended Sample Libraries like other Vienna Instruments Collections. The Standard package includes the full set of samples along with the software instrument/engine. The Library contains 500GB of uncompressed sample data in 44.1kHz/24-bit. Due to a specifically developed optimization process, the Vienna Imperial engine decompresses the samples in real time, so that they take up only 50GB of space on your hard disk.
The CEUS computer grand is capable of recording even the most subtle key movements and positions using microprocessors and highly sensitive optical sensors. It plays those recorded notes absolutely identically using solenoids installed under every key. Far exceeding the limits of any other system, the CEUS measures the velocity of the hammer on its way to the string just before striking it (a distance of just 0.15") with an accuracy of 0.0001 milliseconds, and even records and exactly reproduces the key movements after every strike.
The CEUS technology made it possible to exploit the velocity range of the MIDI protocol to an unprecedented degree. Up to 100 velocities were recorded per key and playing technique, i.e., with and without pressing the sustain pedal, and alternatively with the soft pedal down. There are simply no audible steps between the singular velocity layers, and every single key has its own authentic velocity curve. These precise recording techniques would have been impossible without Bösendorfer's CEUS technology. No human pianist, no matter how skilled, would be able to play 100 evenly spaced velocities from pianissimo to fortissimo, not to mention playing them consistently across all playing techniques such as sustain pedal or soft pedal down.
Bösendorfer's computerized grand also allowed for another innovation—the recording of perfectly timed release samples, depending on the length of the note played by the user. In particular, the releases of very short notes, with lengths between 100 and 1,000ms, were recorded in subtly gradated steps, because in this range the length of each held note mostly affects the volume and sound of the release. Therefore the Vienna Imperial can reproduce release sounds very authentically, most audibly when playing short staccatos in the lowest range.
The virtual instrument's dedicated piano engine supports sympathetic string resonances. There are two variants—sympathetic resonances of individual strings (pedal-up) and of all non-damped strings (pedal-down). The first case covers the overtone resonances of each individual string reacting to other keys being played. An algorithmic solution recreates what happens in a real piano, based on a bank of carefully tuned resonance filters. The amount of this resonance can be adjusted with the Sympathetic Resonance parameter. In the pedal-down case, the sound of the whole piano with all its resonating strings reacting to a given key has been captured.
The elaborate positioning of microphones allowed for the sound to naturally evolve and spread, but minimized capturing the sound of the room. Therefore the Vienna Imperial virtual piano remains flexible and can be placed easily in any virtual environment you may choose. You may select between three microphone positions, resulting in three different sonic basis points and lending the Vienna Imperial well to orchestral music, romantic ballads, contemporary pop and rock tracks as well as jazz performances.
Each of the three positions is a different mix of several microphones, carefully positioned to provide a well-balanced, phase coherent, and accurate overall sound.
Distant - Audience Position
The audience position exhibits the most room ambience, as is needed when recreating the sound of a concert recording. The sound of the Bösendorfer Imperial develops naturally and is well balanced throughout.
Middle - Player Position
This position recreates the sound a pianist would be hearing when playing the instrument. The perspective offers a present and broad sound that can be mixed superbly into contemporary productions and modern tracks.
Close - Microphones placed in the body
This microphone position, with its clear, distinctive, and voluminous tone, is suited for all modern applications that need a direct and focused sound.
Sustain pedal up
Sustain pedal down
Soft pedal (una corda) down
Repetition tones for sustain pedal down (hitting the sounding string)
Repetition tones for sustain and soft pedal down (hitting the sounding string)
Release samples in different lengths
Release samples in different lengths with the soft pedal down
Sympathetic resonance tones of individual keys (sustain pedal up)
Sympathetic resonance tones of the whole piano (sustain pedal down)
Enjoy playing a Bösendorfer Imperial 290-755 without having to rearrange your furniture. Order today!