MODARTT Pianoteq Virtual Instrument
What is Pianoteq? Pianoteq is issued from an academic research and results in what is called the fourth piano generation. This is the very first, and only, piano available that belongs to this generation.
First generation: acoustic piano (1698)
Second generation: electro acoustic piano (1929)
Third generation: sampled piano (1984)
Fourth generation: modelled piano (2006)
The first generation of pianos began with Cristofori's pianoforte in 1698 which came to maturity at the end of the 19th century with the acoustic grand pianos. It was followed in the 20th century by the second generation electro-acoustic pianos and the third generation sampled pianos where each note is a recording of how it sounded during a specific moment in time, not taking into account the complexity of the instrument.
Pianoteq is the first and only piano belonging to the fourth generation, developed in order to go beyond the limitations of the third generation and to become a versatile and innovating tool. It is in fact the first virtual piano factory — it can produce new brands as well as copies of historical instruments. Pianoteq is available for Windows XP/2000/Vista, MacOS X 10.3.9 and up (Universal Binary), and is compatible with Receptor.
The Pianoteq sound:
The piano creates the sound in real time while you are playing and takes into account all the complex factors that makes the piano a truly vivid instrument, such as the interaction between strings, the use of pedals, the cabinet resonance and the position of the hammers. It will feel like you had a real piano in front of you... as if you could just lean over and touch the strings!
Pianoteq introduces new possibilities to adjust the piano sound just the way you like it! Things that until now were dedicated for piano tuners are now possible directly from the interface. Within seconds you can adjust the sound to a particular type of music or playing style. The many choices can be saved as a customized setting which you can share with other Pianoteq users.
All the detailed variations of the timbre are there, from the weakest pianissimo to the strongest fortissimo! What you express on your keyboard will also be what you actually hear. The sound of even the weakest pianissimo is absolutely pure without any audible quantization noise.
Thanks to its rather modest system requirements, Pianoteq is suitable to run on a modern laptop, convenient for the travelling musician. The extremely small size (8 MB) and the fast interface means no loading time. Just a few mouse movements to start playing.
Characteristics of Pianoteq
- The piano sound is constructed in real time, responding to how the pianist strikes the keys and interacts with the pedals
- It includes the entire complexity of a real piano (hammers, strings, duplex scale, pedals, cabinet)
- No quantization noise (32-bit internal sampling at 192 KHz)
- Real progressive variation of the timbre (127 velocities per note)
- Adjustable hammer hardness (voicing) and other similar parameters
- Adjustable unison width (tuning) and other similar parameters
- Adjustable piano size (soundboard) and other similar parameters
- Adjustable spectrum profile, based on the first 8 overtones
- Progressive sustain pedal, allowing partial-pedal effects
- Sostenuto pedal, harmonic pedal and Una Corda (soft) pedal
- Microtuning with Scala format
- Lid position (open, half-open, closed)
- Stereo width slider
- Key release velocity
- Very fast to install and initialize
- Total size is about 15 MB (MegaBytes)
- It can be used successfully with a laptop (low hardware requirements)
- Adjustable optional samples of acoustic noises (pedal and key release)
- Built-in graphic equalizer with freely adjustable key points
- Built-in graphic velocity curve with keyboard presets
- Built-in reverb unit with presets
Why a sampled piano is insufficient
The very best sampled pianos of today are the result of many hours of careful recordings associated with complex solutions designed to provide a valuable piano sound. MODARTT respects the work of these high class competitors who manage to develop sampled based pianos of this quality. However, it is since long well known that the sampling technology as such has some inherent disadvantages.
To give you an understanding of the reasons why MODARTT chose to develop Pianoteq they find it necessary to describe the shortcomings of using samples to create a digital piano:
- The sampled piano contains static recordings of each note, how it sounded during a particular moment in time. It does not take into account the influence of other strings vibrating, cabinet resonance, pedal interaction and hammer position.
- The sampled piano can not alter the existing piano samples when it comes to parameters such as hammer hardness, unison tuning, cabinet size, overtones spectrum etc.
- The sampled piano has several technical limitations such as audible quantization noise and uneven variation of the timbre (from ppp to fff).
- Despite many recent attempts to enhance the sampled piano sound by adding convolution reverb and other post processing effects, the technology as such has too many limitations when it comes to achieving a truly vivid and convincing piano sound.
The many adjustable parameters make it possible to not only adapt the existing adapted piano model but also to create new piano sounds. This is one of the advantages of a truly modelled piano — it opens up new possibilities for the creative musician.
Pianoteq gives you all the possibilities to do several tuning improvements which are usually done only by piano tuners. Example: diapason (414-467 Hz), different kinds of temperaments (from equal to well tempered), microtuning, unison tuning (for changing the timbre or colour of the sound), octave stretching and direct sound duration.
Another task for a professional piano tuner is to "shape" the piano sound according to the pianist's taste. By adjusting hammer hardness it is possible to adapt the piano sound from mellow to bright in great detail. There is not just one adjustment, mellow to bright, but a very detailed slider for each major velocity: pianissimo, mezzoforte and fortissimo.
The next feature is something that not even a piano tuner can do — changing the soundboard impedance. You will get a total control of overtones. This makes it even possible to change the size of the piano, from A size to D size, even up to a 10 meter (33 feet) grand! It can be used as a stand-alone player and with any VST or AudioUnit host such as Cubase, Logic, Nuendo...