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In-depth Feature:  Emagic EVP88 Vintage Piano
Trevor Curwen writes: .

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The control surface of the EVP88 is well laid out and functional with the virtual knobs placed in clearly defined sections. The 12 basic instruments are selected by the large rotary knob as starting points for creating sounds with parameters nulled. Alternatively there is a drop down menu from which you can choose edited versions and store your own edits, Emagic provide 30 different presets ranging from classic EP sounds to some highly edited fantasy sounds.

The main adjustable parameters relating to the overall sound of the piano are those relating to it's virtual sound generation mechanism. The real thing works by the vibration of metal strips known as tines which are damped by (usually) felt dampers when the key is released. The EVP 88 has controls to adjust the decay and release time of the notes simulating the action of these dampers and governing sustain. In addition there is a 'Bell' parameter, simulating the closeness of the tines to the pickups, which gives each note more of a bell-like character, and there is a 'Damper' parameter which simulates the level of the damper noise caused by the damping felt hitting a vibrating tine. There is also a stereo width control to put bass notes in the left channel and treble to the right. The remainder of the EVP 88's adjustable parameters relate to effects and amp simulations for those who's EP sound is not complete unless played through a valve amp with a touch of phaser or tremolo. The Phaser and Tremolo both have a couple of knobs to control the effect plus a 'Stereophase' knob for a stereo feel to the effects which used to extreme on the Tremolo results in autopanning. Chorus can be dialled in with a single intensity knob.

EQ is provided in the form of treble and bass knobs that are optimised for each of the basic models own frequency range. More tonal tweak is available with a further 'Tone' control that is used purely to EQ the sound before it hits the 'Drive' knob which turns up the crunch factor simulating the sound of overdriven valve amps for the flavour of the Rhodes Suitcase piano or that of a Stage Model or Wurlitzer EP200 played through a Fender Twin. All parameters are MIDI controllable so you can automate any changes made to the sound.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • EVP88 At Emagic's Site
  • Win EVP88 @ Sonic (ends June 10th)
  • Email the author
  • More virtual instruments @ Studio

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