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Steinberg The Grand 2 Virtual Piano

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Steinberg The Grand 2 Virtual Piano

It's easy to forget with the ubiquity of virtual instruments that Steinberg invented the whole idea and, when the original version of The Grand came out a few years ago, it was ahead of the curve. The Grand had one of the first large sample libraries that streamed directly from your hard drive and worked as a standalone instrument.

Grand 2 incorporates all of the advances of the HALion 3 engine (Steinberg's full VST sampler) and now provides two concert grand models, an ECO mode for improved performance (by reducing CPU load) while composing, a RAMSave™ function which will unload unused samples to conserve RAM, Rewire support, and an enhanced ambiance and surround reverb page.

The additional new grand piano instrument is brighter than the included darker original model--sounding closer to a Yamaha than a Steinway. Grand 2 has a much more open sound than before, improved stereo imaging, and excellent dynamics with full user control.

We launched the Grand on a 3.4 GHz P4 machine running Nuendo 3.1 and everything went well although the instrument is a major resource hog. A fistful of notes with the ambience on at low latencies quickly had our machine screaming. The aforementioned ECO mode allows you to strike a balance between system performance and playability. Once the part is set, turn off ECO mode, increase latency, and bounce (or freeze) the part in its full sonic glory.

The Grand runs under all formats like AU, VST, DXi, and Rewire for use in Pro Tools. The Grand 2 is available in the US for $299.99. Existing customers can update to the new The Grand 2 version for only $99.99. For more information, please visit www.steinberg.net.



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