The crowded virtual piano arena has a new entry, and this time it’s a big name: a few days ago Bechstein Pianos announced the establishement of C. Bechstein Digital GmbH and availability of their first virtual instrument, the C. Bechstein Digital Grand.
Why a sampled Bechstein Piano? In the company’s words, “the concept behind the C. Bechstein Digital Grand represents a completely new and modern approach to the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) oriented digital grand piano. All the existing solutions and concepts on the market have been completely put to the test and questioned before only the first note was recorded.
This resulted in a kind of reversed process, as between the DAW and the classical grand piano the developers did not start their product design with the actual instrument, they started with analyzing what the modern music producer and musician expects from a professional grand piano for his DAW based music productions.”
The piano The acoustic role model for the software incarnation of a C. Bechstein grand is a carefully selected C. Bechstein D 282. With its ability to highlight and emphasize even the most subtle melody lines through its unparalleled richness of tone colors, the D 282 belongs to the best modern concert grand pianos in the world.
A different approach to sampling a grand piano Bechstein spent over 3 weeks in the acclaimed Teldex Recording studio in Berlin. In contrast to the common approach recording a grand piano for sampling the C. Bechstein team preferred a rather minimalistic method. Instead of recording dozens of microphone signals, which usually are mixed together at the postproduction stage much later in the process, they decided to focus on recording from just 3 classic listening positions.
These were captured with only 5 microphones (24 bit/ 192 kHZ, Swiss made Merging Technologies converters). An additional stereo signal capturing the direct and close “aura” of the grand piano also can be dialed in fully in phase from the software instrument.
System requirements The C. Bechstein Digital Grand relies on Native Instruments’ proven KONTAKT sample player (available for macOS and Windows PC). It also supports the Native KONTROL Standard (NKS) including Native Instruments’ innovative Light Guide technology for visualizing string-based sound shaping.
Price & Availability The C. Bechstein Digital Grand is available worldwide as of October 1st, 2016 as a download product for Windows and macOS for the price of €249. In addition, the Digital Grand is also available on a “ready to play“ USB SSD flash drive at the price of €349. Delivery to most countries without additional shipping costs.