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With the support of the venerable and renowned Viennese piano manufacturer Bösendorfer we have developed our first sampled grand piano software instrument, a true recreation of a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial that was tuned and regulated by the piano manufacturer’s best engineers and piano technicians. Bösendorfer Imperial makes full use of the Vienna Instruments sample player engine and performance algorithms including automatic repetition performances. Its massive 54 GB sample set includes unlooped sustain samples in pedal up and pedal down variations and in 7 velocity layers, tone repetitions, real recorded sustain pedal resonances, multiple release samples, and key noises.
The Bösendorfer 290 Imperial is the only concert grand in the world to have nine additional sub-bass notes, extending the instrument’s key range downward to the low C – for a total range of eight octaves. The extended key range not only provides richness and depth to the entire instrument, it also allows for the performance of works that have been originally scored with these lower notes, by composers such as Bartók, Debussy, Ravel and Busoni.
For heightened realism, the sound of the piano in its resonating state – with the sustain (damper) pedal depressed – has been captured. This results in the physically correct recreation of the piano’s resonant character in both pedal down and pedal up positions. With the Bösendorfer Imperial there are no sample manipulations, no fades between tones, and no DSP calculations, just an absolutely natural acoustic image of the actual processes that occur while playing the instrument. Our team has developed a recording technique that adds to each single note the exact sound that is created when the pianist presses the piano’s sustain pedal, allowing other strings to vibrate. Thus the virtual instrument acts just like the piano itself, creating the characteristic pedal tone sound which now for the first time is available in the shape of samples.
Another innovation is the Repetition Performances. These samples take into account the sound created when a vibrating string is struck again. Within the Vienna Instruments player, repeated notes of the same pitch are actually played repetitions, meaning that a new sample is heard with every keystroke.
Apart from the acoustic perspective of the pianist, the user is also provided with concert hall audience perspective, for proper imaging on the orchestral stage. Each of the two listening positions incorporates 4,675 samples.
The Bösendorfer Imperial collection was released in 2006. If you’re looking for an even more authentic virtual piano with a considerably higher number of samples, please check out our Vienna Imperial.
- Extended articulation list for the ultimate dynamics
- 9,350 samples
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Minimum System Requirements
- Windows 7 / 8 / 10 running the latest update, Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
- Mac OS X 10.8 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo
- 2 GB RAM
- ViennaKey / SteinbergKey / ArturiaKey
- 36.8 GB Free Hard Drive Space
Recommended System Settings
- Windows 7 / 8 / 10 64-bit, Intel i5 / i7 / Xeon
- Mac OS X 10.9 or higher, Intel i5 / i7 / Xeon
- 4 GB RAM
- SSD or 7,200 RPM or faster separate hard drive
- Host DAW that supports AU / VST / AAX Native / RTAS formats
- RTAS version requires Pro Tools 7.3 or higher
- AAX Native version requires Pro Tools 10.3.5 or higher
- 88 key master keyboard