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In-depth Feature:  Synthogy Ivory 1.5
Albert Potts writes: .

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Opening the Lid

Ivory main screen (click to enlarge)
Ivory (distributed by Ilio) is a multi-platform virtual instrument in VST, RTAS, and AU formats. It includes 40 gigabytes of samples of a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial Grand, a Steinway German model D, and a Yamaha C7. Be prepared to spend some time installing all those samples to your hard disk. Synthogy’s excellent installer makes the task simple.

All the keys of each piano (including the extended range of the Bosendorfer) are recorded individually in stereo at up to ten dynamic levels. There are no loops, as each note was recorded with its full-length decay to silence. The original recordings were 32 bit.

The level of attention to detail does not stop there. Each key of each piano also has a release sample. The sound of the key release was recorded at different velocities and different times after the initial note-on. So when you release a note in Ivory, the software triggers the corresponding release sample appropriate to both the velocity and time of the original note-on. This wonderful feature adds to the realistic sound and feel of the pianos.

Separate samples are provided for una corda playing (soft pedal), also sampled at multiple velocities. Both the una corda and release sample features can be disabled to save on your CPU and RAM resources. Also included in Ivory is a reverb ambience processor, which is tailored to this piano library and is an easy way to put the piano in a realistic space without having to use other plug-ins or outboard processing.

In addition, Ivory provides a switch for selecting the listening perspective, re: Performer or Audience. In performer perspective the piano pans left as you go down the keyboard and pans right as you go up the scale, just as if you were sitting at a real piano. This performer perspective effect is often overdone in sampled pianos, but in Ivory it sounds natural. The Audience perspective obviously puts the listener straight away from the piano, as if seated in a concert hall. This perspective feature is important, as it allows the mix engineer to more easily tailor Ivory to simulate pop style close miking or classically oriented distant miked techniques.

Another favorite feature of mine is the Stereo Width control. Seems like you’d always want the piano as big and wide as possible, right? Well not always! Sometimes that can be too big for a track when you want the piano to sit in a smaller space and not take over. I’ve found myself using the stereo width feature more than expected.

There are many more ways to customize each piano, including selections for type of soundboard and amount of key noise. Once your piano is set up you can then save it, naming it whatever you wish. Once saved, your custom pianos are easily recalled from a drop down menu.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
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