Review: Austrian Grand by UVI

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Austrian Grand is not merely an acoustic grand piano. Thanks to several effects and parameters you can shape the sound into very beautiful yet interesting playback.

The 23 presets are a very good point to start with to explore this library. It’s perfect to be used on classical music but also on several different genres, even funk, jazz, rock and film music.

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Review: Austrian Grand by UVI

Austrian Grand is the brand new Concert Grand Piano library by UVI, recorded at the Guillaume Tell sound stage in Paris. It runs in the free UVI Workstation (version 3.0.20 or above) and Falcon (version 2.1.4 or above). You also need an iLok account to run the license and you have 3 activations available per license on any combination of machines or iLok dongles.

Austrian Grand normally sells for €79.00 from UVI

Thoughts

The main window of the GUI is very  good looking, clear and elegant, with the picture of a beautiful Grand Piano that shows the name “Austrian Grand” written with a font that reminds of the Bösendorfer’s.

At the bottom of the interface, you can find three mic positions: Close, Cinematic and Mono C12. All of them have a very dry sound, feature that I particularly like since I love to put the instruments in a Virtual Sound Stage like Vienna MIR Pro and therefore I need the original source to be as dry as possible. The Close and Cinematic mics seem to be quite similar, but the Cinematic seems to have a more stereophonic and wider sound, while the Mono mic is indeed more monophonic and the resulting sound is more muffled and less bright. Each of these mics can be turned on and off, and the volumes can be adjusted thanks to a knob at the right side of the on/off button. This way you will be able to create a mix in order to achieve a particular sound if needed.

At the right low corner, there is the velocity curve panel, to change the velocity sensibility of the keys. Between the Cinematic and the Mono mics, you will see three rounded buttons. The right one, which includes the stylized image of a microphone, leads to the default window, from which you can activate or deactivate the mic positions and modify the velocity curve. The middle one, with the symbol of three mixer’s faders, opens the Edit page.

In this page you can edit and shape the sound thanks to some cool tools like a Filter and an Envelope. There are two different Envelopes: a Filter Envelope, which controls the ADSR envelope for filter, and the Amplitude Envelope, controlling the ADSR envelope for amplitude. In the first one, you can also set the Depth, which adjusts the amount of modulation on the filter, and the Velocity, that remaps the filter cutoff to note velocity; in the Amplitude Envelope, the Velocity parameter adjusts the velocity sensitivity while the Attack remaps the attack to note velocity. You can also change the tone of the instrument as well as make the keyboard’s response monophonic or polyphonic. The “Modwheel” section is very interesting because it lets you turn the Modulation Wheel into a Tremolo, Vibrato or Filter controller.

The FX rounded button opens the Effects Page.

On this window, you can activate some plugins to shape the sound even more. The GUI is awesome and organized like it was an analogue rack. You’ve got two reverbs here, the first one seems to be a convolution reverb, where you can select the Impulse Response as well as set the reverb mix amount, while in the second one you can choose the Reverb size and the amount of dry/wet signal, as well as the Decay time. You can also use a Drive and Equalizer, and a Stereo Modulator, with four modes to select the modulation effect type (Phasor, Thorus, Flanger and Rotary).

At the top of the interface, you will find a secondary Effects window.

This is based on the main Effects page but with a differently looking interface and more parameters to get further control on certain effects. If you click on the “+fx” button in the high left corner, a new page opens, where you can choose between several presets for each effect.
Next to this window, we’ve got an Arp mode, that you can use to create some interesting patterns and loops. At the top of this page, you can also select a preset to start with. Either you modify one of them or create your own from scratch, you can save it just clicking on the “Save” button at the top right corner in order to easily recall it on any other project.

In my opinion this is a very good piano library, at a very fair price. You can use it both as an acoustic piano, both for a lot of different genres and situations thanks to the several parameters and effects you can use to shape the sound. This library comes with two main patches: Basic Dry, which is perfect if you want to add your own reverb at the mixing stage, and a Basic Hall, which already adds a very soft reverb to each mic position. But you also have several presets available, organized in two types: Natural, that includes those presets with a more acoustic feeling, and Processed, that includes presets in which the sound of the piano was widely shaped. In this second group you can also find a Funky Piano preset, or a Stadium Guitar preset, in which the sound is no longer similar to a piano at all.

So, the possibilities you’ve got with this library are countless. And if a particular sound is not included in the presets list you can try to create it from scratch thanks to the number of parameters and effects available. The arpeggiator is also a very cool feature, especially if used with a non acoustic piano sound. Talking about the more natural and basic sound, this piano is quite good, and works well especially for classical pieces of music as well as jazz, funk and film score. The dynamic range is wide and goes from the very soft to the very loud dynamics. Moreover, thanks to the velocity curve tab you can also decide how the dynamics will respond to your touch on the keys.

Facts

This library runs in UVI Workstation (version 3.0.20 or higher) and Falcon (version 2.1.4 or higher).
You need an iLok account to deposit the license and you’ve got 3 activations available per license on any combination of machines or iLok dongles.
Total size is 3.62 GB (FLAC lossless encoding, was 17 GB in WAV).
Sample Resolution: 44.1 kHz. Recording at 88.2 kHz.
It includes 23 Presets and 6.450 samples.
Supported formats: Audio Unit, AAX, VST, Standalone.
It’s also included in the Key Suite Bundle Edition.

Austrian Grand normally sells for €79.00 from UVI

 

Demos of Austrian Grand by UVI

 

Videos of Austrian Grand by UVI

Contributor Giuseppe Corcella reviews Austrian Grand by UVI
“Austrian Grand is not merely an acoustic grand piano. Thanks to several effects and parameters you can shape the sound into very beautiful yet interesting playback. The 23 presets are a very good point to start with to explore this library. It’s perfect to be used on classical music but also on several different genres, even funk, jazz, rock and film music.”