Back in the early 1990s I remember checking out one of the incredible new sampled piano instruments at E.U. Wurlitzer in Boston. It was also really expensive, but as the salesperson noted – if you need the incredible sound quality and attention to detail, it is well worth it … but if you are OK with piano sounds on your other sample playback synths, there is no price that will make sense. That was something I loved about the Kurzweil K2000 – it had an incredible (to me) sampled piano but didn’t break the bank.
Fast forward twenty years and most software synths on the iPad have a reasonable piano, and things like SampleTank have a very good piano. But where are the EXCELLENT pianos? Well, there were none – until now! IK Multimedia has just released on the app store for $19.99 … and based on playing around with it for a while last night I can attest that this is BY FAR the best sounding mobile piano, and rivals the best sounding digital pianos available in terms of sound quality as well as features and functionality.
Here is what IK has to say:
IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music-creation apps and accessories for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, is pleased to announce the release of iGrand Piano, a concert-quality piano app for iPad that features 17 different world-class sampled pianos, available now on the App Store.
iGrand Piano offers a virtual gallery of sampled pianos including grands, baby grands, uprights and specialty pianos such as a detuned saloon piano and a vintage gramophone piano. All the pianos were meticulously captured via high-definition sampling across multiple velocities, and offer true-stereo sound, extremely low latency, and a level of playability and expressiveness that’s on par with the best sampled pianos on the Mac and Windows platforms. iGrand Piano is the premiere iPad piano app, unparalleled when it comes to sound quality and variety.
Each of the 17 pianos can be adjusted via seven different real-time parameters including Volume, Ambience, Lid (positioning), Brightness, Transpose, Tuning and Release. These parameters can also be mapped to external MIDI controllers. iGrand Piano supports Virtual MIDI and MIDI program change.
IK Multimedia offers two excellent options for playing and controlling the instruments in iGrand Piano, including iRig® KEYS, a portable 3-octave MIDI controller for iOS and Mac/PC; and iRig® MIDI, its CoreMIDI interface for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Also, registered owners of iRig KEYS or iRig MIDI get to unlock an additional bonus piano inside iGrand Piano instantly.
In addition to its world-class sounds, iGrand Piano provides an onboard recorder with overdubbing, punch-in, quantize and a large visual metronome with a tap tempo feature. Recordings can be exported as WAV or m4a audio files using file sharing, e-mail and copy function.
For onscreen playing, the app features two keyboard views: one zoomed out, showing the entire 88-keys; and one zoomed-in, showing a 2-octave keyboard with larger keys, which slides to cover different ranges.
As noted, on the app store for 8 great sounding pianos (7 plus one you unlock by registering), and you can get the other 9 pianos with a $9.99 in-app purchase. There is a free version with a single grand piano that you can check out as well.costs $19.99
There is more info at the official iGrand Piano for iPad page at IK Multimedia.
Here is a cool video from IK Multimedia:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRm9sFxnw48&list=UU8udFoQvN6aIfN519RPO3YQ&index=1&feature=plcp]