How it sounds

The sound of this Steinway, even in the scaled-down version, is full-bodied, three-dimensional, massive. It is not the soft and slightly fuzzy piano, more suitable for New-Age styles than for working together with a virtual classical or epic orchestra. The on-board settings allow you to create any sound, but this is basically a classical concert piano capable of being heard very clearly over the orchestra. It’s so bright that it can work well even in less classical situations, where a clear-cut sound is required.

This example, taken from the famous Second Piano Concert by Rachmaninov, shows the brilliance emerging even in a lyrical passage. The settings are those of the Concert preset, with the dynamic range slightly lowered for a smoother response.

The beginning of the same piece shows one of the strengths of the instrument very well: the huge dynamic range, varying smoothly between pianissimo and piuccheffortissimo. However, the pianissimo seems to be the lowest dynamic, under which it doesn’t seem too easy to go further.

Another strength of this piano, perceivable in the various examples, is the pedal, which responds very well. Easy to control pressed down and release up, it is also easy to graduate (a half pedal that works well is rare in the world of sampled pianos).

This excerpt from Prokofiev's third concert should instead reveal how sharp and effective the bass range is, and the extreme fragility of the trebles, rich and somewhat piercing, but fading away a bit too quickly. Once again, the preset is Concert with attenuated ambience.

The resulting sound is penetrating, with a prevalence of the condenser microphones pointed toward the hammers. Missing from the full version of the piano is the openness of the microphones in front of the curve of the piano, the diffuse sharpness of the ribbons, and the soft and fat slowness of the valve microphones. Nevertheless, the sound is big and rich. Accurate, but with a soul.

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