This product has been replaced by the powered by Kontakt "Classic Piano Collection" which is part of Komplete 7 and Komplete 8 and as a seperate product works with the free Kontakt Player from Native Instruments. You can buy the piano's seperately for €69 or all four of them for €169.
The Steinway is the best Steinway I own, the sound is realistic for a top model; at the same time deep, clear and wide on its own and also fits in a mix without any tweaking. I have been playing on several Steinways at conservatories and I would go for this one any time for recording classical pieces because this model is in better condition, I must say the Chopin demo on the Native Instruments website was the first classical piano piece recording on a sampled piano that fooled me. The Steingraeber Upright has a great imperfect personality, it is the most realistic upright I have although I prefer an even more imperfect sound. The Bösendorfer and Bechstein are great piano's if you need something else then the standard Grand Piano sound of Steinway and Yamaha. The Bösendorfer doesn't seem to compete with the real thing and I can't compare the Bechstein.
To make Akoustik Piano sound good is the easiest of all the great piano samples. The default presets sound terrific immediately, and it takes only the slightest tweaking to compensate a little for your own situation and preferences. For some reason, it has been overlooked in favor of Ivory, but this is easily on the same level. In my view, Akoustik is a better, richer-sounding, more controllable, and more intelligently laid-out instrument than Ivory.
It has enough high-quality effects controls that you can be happy with it using only its built-in convolution reverb and EQ. The velocity curve function is no better than most, so I find myself preferring a third-part plug-in for that.
The four pianos are well-chosen as a group for a lot of versatility and interest. The excellent Bechstein and Steingräber upright are not so often seen as to be boring. And both are very swinging instruments. It's a relief not to have a Yamaha C7 included, that I have to ignore. I feel like I got more for my money without that thing.
At the moment, Akoustik Piano is selling for $99 on specials. Seems to be selling well -- dealers seem frequently sold out. So I hope a lot of people are coming to be familiar with this excellent sample.
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