Our flagship piano instrument is not just any piano. Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 is an exceptional recreation of the Steinway 9-foot CD 327 grand piano. Meticulously sampled and expertly voiced, Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 provides every composer, pianist, and musician the opportunity to infuse their compositions, recordings, and performances with the breathtaking realism of this truly world-class grand piano. The recording philosophy employed in creating Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 was based on using a simple signal chain, the finest A/D converters, and exceptional microphone preamps. The result is some 1500 sample recordings, with 16 dynamic levels captured and preserved for every key.
Even with all this painstaking attention to accuracy, Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 provides plenty of opportunities to customize the sound to match the project—or your taste. The four-band EQ allows the timbre of the sound to be easily refined. An improved limiter offers enhanced dynamic control. Even the level of the sustain pedal and hammer release elements that help define the character of the piano can be individually controlled. Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 also adds a new robust reverb section. The high-frequency damping and room size parameters can add just the right ambience to your performance.
As the name implies, there is more to Eighty Eight Ensemble 2 than piano. Combination patches come in two flavors. Layered combinations, or Pads, add a second instrument that sounds along with the piano. These layered sounds include strings, synth pads, and choral pads. Split Combinations, or Combis, introduce a second sound—or even a third—played in a specified range of keys. Setting a lower split adds a bass sound—such as bass guitar—playing below the piano. Setting an upper split adds a solo accompaniment instrument playing above the piano. Solo sounds include flute, clarinet, acoustic guitar, etc. Combis can have both an upper and lower split. The zones, or range of keys where each instrument will play, can abut or overlap as you desire. The velocity response can be set to make the most of your keyboard and playing style.
Turn and Learn
In addition to the onscreen controls, Eighty Eight Ensemble features a brilliant MIDI Learn Mode. Simply adjusting a parameter and then touching an external MIDI control creates a link between the two. This intuitive MIDI mapping system allows Eighty Eight Ensemble to quickly integrate with your favorite MIDI hardware controller. In fact, Eighty Eight Ensemble can save and recall your MIDI Learn presets and use them with any patch, so you only need to create them once.
Eighty Eight Ensemble features an integrated patch browser that makes it easy to store, sort, and find exactly the sound you are looking for. Patch attributes such as Class, Genre, Character—and of course, Name—allow your sounds to be stored in a musically meaningful way, as opposed to just indexed as numbers. Any and all attributes can be removed or re-assigned as your sound collection grows. Best of all, Eighty Eight Ensemble comes with over 100 professionally programmed sounds to get you started. Each one can be endlessly tweaked and modified to rapidly build your customized Eighty Eight Ensemble sound collection. So get started now!