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

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How Does It Sound?
In short, Ivory sounds wonderful. The three pianos are well chosen, and I have always been able to find something that suits the track I’m working on. I’m a dedicated Steinway guy. I play Steinways, I own a Steinway, and I love their sound. So for me, my first choice would always be a Steinway. But in Ivory I find myself pulling up a Yamaha C7 or Bosendorfer when I least expect. And of course the Steinway too. It’s a real luxury to have this many different tones at one’s fingertips, as you can customize the piano to the track in great detail.

The Steinway is a bit dark as one would expect, and has that nice tenor area that is one of their trademarks. The Yamaha C7 is brighter and extremely well suited to contemporary pop and rock tracks. Yet it’s not overly bright either, like many sampled C7 style pianos can be. This C7 has a wide range of uses, and is a very useful sampled grand. The Bosendorfer has the typical slightly “stringy� sound that they have. In all, the characters of the pianos have been captured and presented well. There is something for practically everyone here, an outstanding collection.

The Final Frontier: Pedaling

Ivory Velocity screen (click to enlarge)
It is impossible to discuss the piano without discussing pedal technique. As one of the great pianists of the 19th century, Anton Rubenstein said, the pedal is the heart of the piano. While the pedal may be a little less important in commercial pop arrangements or in recordings where the piano is just one of many instruments, the pedal is still a vital part of how the piano sounds and responds.

It is the pedal where any softsampled library simply cannot properly emulate a real piano. Techniques like half-pedaling and feathered pedaling are simply impossible. Shaking off some of the sustain with the pedal, but not all of it, is not possible. A typical synth sustain pedal is simply an on-off switch, very limiting compared to the pedal on an acoustic piano.

So while the pedaling in Ivory works exactly as you would expect it to, I feel that a custom pedal designed to work with the software is needed to take this instrument the final step toward complete realism. A pedal that would have something like 128 steps to it, allowing various levels of sustain and pedaling techniques is what is needed. That hasn’t been invented yet for use with a softsampled library, to my knowledge!

So consider this pedaling section of the review to be a wish list more than anything else.

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