Sound Magic has made a big splash in announcing its new Imperial Grand software and VSTi versions for Windows.
Based on a rich, dark Bosendorfer grand piano, it uses a patented NEO Hybrid Modelling Engine and Artificial Intelligence Assistance Tool in an attempt to go beyond what many digital pianos (both hardware and software based) can offer.
The AI tool is supposed to help pianists to shape the sound and style of piano they want, without using a lot of technical sound engineer jargon that tends to lead to confusion and frustration.
AI tests the connected keyboard, recording its velocity response and pedal support, and then makes suggestions on how the sound can be shaped to the player’s liking.
The Imperial Grand software includes HD Velocity Layers, claiming to be 500 times more sensitive than the 127 velocity steps commonly found on MIDI controller keyboards. It includes features like adding subtle nuances to notes repeated at the same velocity, helping to remove the ‘flat’ feeling sometimes associated with digital pianos. Notes are melded more accurately during legato passages, improving realism.
Other features include the ability to virtually move microphone positions to achieve a different sound. The 264-string Sympathetic Resonance System adds harmonies to pedal up and down notes. True Staccato Mode more accurately reproduces these notes when played, while a built-in professional reverb engine simulates resonances found in a real soundboard.
Here’s the product page. It costs €99 and comes with €50 worth of add-ons.