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Last edited by edteneyck on 15th March 2012.
I was drawn to Endless Series v3.1 because it it can produce different sounds from any other plugs I've tried. That being the ability to modulate Shepard tones. I've used it to create layers for scapes, or as an effect in my chain. Even by itself it makes interesting sound. There are six effect modes. The first two "tone" and "am sine" produce synthesis while the other four are effects to process incoming audio. One of effects is "am input" mode (amplitude/ring modulator) which I've had a lot of fun with, especially on drums. If you download the demo, I highly suggest that you try this. The last three are phaser, flanger, and filter.
One of the nice things about Endless Series is the "midi step" mode. This allows you to step through the cycles each time a note is pressed. One note is reserved to "reset" the cycles (C). This comes in very handy for sequencing, in any of the modes. You can get some great effects this way.
Bottom line - If you're into trying something different, give Endless Series a try. I'll bet you get some interesting results.
Imperial Grand3D uses a combination of physical modeling, samples and synthesis which gives it the sound and feel of playing a real piano. In my opinion it does this very well.
The user interface looks good. It has a good color scheme that is easy on the eyes and is quite easy to read. There are seven sections for editing the sound to your liking as follows:
Here there are sliders to adjust both minimum and maximum volume to match your playing dynamics. There are ten choices of velocity curve and another slider to adjust the difference of volume at highest velocity between A0 and C8.
There is an overtone on/off button here which selects which harmonic is to be adjusted by the harmonic dial. The harmonic dial lets you find a darker or brighter sound to your liking. There is a staccato button as well which switches staccato mode on and off and a soft pedal slider for adjusting the amount of influence the soft pedal has on the volume. A release dial, ten choices of timbre curve, a dial called 'Board' for sustain and decay and a 'Lid' dial for for adjusting if the lid is open, closed or somewhere in between.
Here there are three sliders. Close, Distant and Room. This section is also where you set your midi controllers for sustain pedal, sostenuto, soft pedal and staccato.
This unique feature adds harmonies to pedal up and pedal down notes. There are five adjustment sliders in this section. One for the volume of the Sympathetic Resonance. Four for adjusting the volumes for each of the four harmonics and one for release volume of the tail sound.
This is an important part of creating a realistic piano. Besides having two sliders to adjust the amount of the hammer noise and the pedal noise, you also have three sliders to adjust the hammer hardness while you're playing soft, moderate or hard.
The environment is essentially a reverb section with eight reverb types. You have control over room size, damp, spatial, predamp, decay, diffusion, reverb type, spacial type and density.
This allows you to choose tuning between 415Hz and 466Hz.
Imperial Grand3D comes with a separate plugin for 7.1 surround sound. I did not have surround sound hardware to review this.
I have compared this to other piano instruments in my arsenal and this one will be my 'go to' piano. With great realistic sound, responsive feel, lots of editing features and small footprint (147mb installer) I highly recommend trying out Imperial Grand3D if you're thinking of buying a piano.
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