Overall: 36 30 36
30-Day: 47; 7-Day: 59; Yesterday: 60
The Sound of Piano One comes from the Yamaha C7 concert grand, a true workhorse in the professional piano world, appearing on famous concert stages, in international competitions and in prestigious music events throughout the world.
By utilizing the Sound Magic Hybrid Modeling Engine, Piano One offers both the Realistic Sound of Sampling and the Playability of Modeling. Hybrid Modeling provides an instantaneous feeling - no delay - and a truer and richer sound than can be created with either sampling or modeling alone.
Piano One is also designed to be extendable or upgradable in future. If the user is a serious musician, he/she need to consider better sounds and features. Sound Magic also provides this opportunity. When they feel the sound is not enough for them to use, then they can choose other pianos inside Piano One. What's more, there are instructions inside Piano One to help its users to choose.
Gotta say, I wasn't that impressed with this one. Of course it's free, so the value for the price is excellent. Kudos to Sound Magic for giving it away, and I hope it's brought some customers to their full products. But - I find the sound quality pretty strange - so I'll talk about it from that standpoint.
Like others have said, the release sound is unrealistic - there's an optional "REL VOL" setting that actually plays a different sample upon release of a note, a sort of higher pitch flutey squeak, which when you boost it to the point that it's audible sounds really strange to me. When I first heard the plugin I thought something was wrong with my system. If you turn that off by setting reduce "REL VOL" to 0, the notes still sound strange when they end - the volume cuts off very abruptly. You can set "RELEASE" to be longer, which controls the volume envelope, but you lose expression and control of when the notes stop - and still it tapers off unrealistically. Even when you don't release the keys, the notes don't sustain very long - e.g. if you play a chord and hold it, after about 6 seconds the notes will all abruptly end at different times. It's like the volume envelope just abruptly jumps to zero once it's below a certain threshold.
Aside from that, the actual sustained body of the notes sound warbly - it's not a smooth note, there's some pulsation and a bit of a bubbling effect, maybe from compression in the samples, or noise reduction on the original recordings - not sure.
So overall, when it's dry, the sound comes off really strange to me. You can bury that in reverb to cover it up, but to me that's just sort of sweeping the sonic problems under the rug.
Aside from sound quality, the UI is a little plain. I had a lot of bugs and display glitches with the 64-bit version. The 32-bit one functioned correctly though (this was using FL Studio 10).Read Review
This plugin is the "Zebralette" of the piano market. When companies produce these cut down freebie versions of their products we all win. The company gets goodwill and familiarity with it's products, and we get free stuff!
I've been using Piano One for all my practicing, improv and composition needs for the best part of a year, and the sound is on the whole very satisfying. Now, you can practice and do bare-bones composition on polysynth sounds, but for some reason, you just can't beat the experience of sitting at a piano when it comes to teasing ideas out of your subconscious.
This piano is even good enough to be used on professional tracks semi-naked, with one caveat - the release - as has been pointed out in the other review, is pretty unrealistic. You can fix it a bit by dragging up the release slider, giving a more realistic release length, but the *shape* is still wrong. Mostly you can fix this with reverb (using the reverb that comes in the plugin or an external one), but still, it's the fly in the ointment of an otherwise near-perfect freebie, and the reason I'm giving 9 instead of 10.
The look of the plugin is pretty janky, but the interface has some good controls (velocity curves for example, very useful for extracting different piano styles from your playing). Their paid plugins have much nicer atmospheres to them and it seems fair that they'd cut back on this a bit in the free version.
I'll definitely be checking out their other piano products with the hopes of buying them if they can build on the quality of this one.Read Review
One of the best free pianos around, probably better than many commercial piano plugins or sample libraries.
Sound - it has an excellent open and clear sound. Many modeled pianos miss a certain "brilliance" of the sound as well as some sampled pianos (probably recorded with darker microphones). This one sound like a real good piano, how you would hear it from near (while playing on a real piano).
Interface - a simple interface with very self explanatory controls. You can tweak the sound, add some impulse based reverb, open/ close the lid, control dynamic response (velocity curve), etc...
CPU and RAM usage - as mentioned by developer, low usage of both. Can run on slower or older computers without chocking your projects.
On the downside:
- the release is a little unrealistic and can be a turn off for people who are used to play real pianos. You can fix it a little with the release slider, but not make it good. In a project you can hide the problem by using the sustain pedal. Still, if you care more about the sound than response, this is the free piano you'll ever need.
- interface could use a more inspiring design/ colors/ better knobs and sliders graphics.Read Review