The Bösendorfer 290 Imperial was tuned and regulated by the piano manufacturer's best engineers and piano technicians. Its 54 GB sample set includes unlooped sustain samples in pedal up and pedal down variations, tone repetitions, real recorded sustain pedal resonances, multiple release samples and key noises. Each of the two listening positions totals at 4,675 samples.
The 290 Imperial is the only concert grand in the world to have nine sub-bass notes, extending downward to low C, and giving it a keyboard range spanning eight octaves. These extra notes not only provide added richness and depth to the instrument overall, but they enable the performance of works originally scored with lower notes, by composers such as Bartók, Debussy, Ravel and Busoni.
The Vienna Symphonic Library team succeeded in capturing the sound of the piano in its resonating state, with the sustain (damper) pedal depressed. 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 Vienna Instrument 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 during piano playing. The Vienna team has developed a recording process that adds to a single tone the exact sound that is created when the pianist presses the piano's sustain pedal, allowing other strings to vibrate.
Another innovation is the Repetition Performances. These samples take into account the sound created when a vibrating string is struck again. With Vienna Instruments' Bösendorfer Imperial, 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.