Native Instruments on Friday introduced Akoustik Piano, sample-based software that features three well-known grand pianos -- the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial, Bechstein D 280 and Steinway D -- and an upright, the Steingraeber Model 130. The developer said that all four pianos were recorded "using a special technique that completely minimized room ambience." All four pianos were captured in 10 velocity levels and with full sustain phases.
Akoustik Piano features settings that enable users to allow for soundboard resonance characteristics, key and pedal noise and even the position of the piano lid. It also offers representations of concert hall, recording studio, cathedral and jazz club environments, with the option to fine-tune the ambience. In addition, it includes a MIDI file player, a two-channel performance recorder with render-to-disk option and a metronome that eliminates the need for a separate music sequencer.
The software is compatible with the major host sequencers currently available and can also be used in a standalone mode. Akoustik Piano also offers direct-from-disk technology that reduces RAM requirements, with an optional ECO mode that can be turned on when used on less-powerful computers.
Native Instruments will ship Akoustik Piano in September with a US$349 price tag. System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3, a G4 800MHz processor (G5 1.8GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1GB recommended) and a DVD drive.