Review: O.D.D. Grand Piano By Chocolate Audio

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Chocolate Audio has managed to release one of the best pianos to hit the market in a long while. O.D.D. Grand Piano’s staggering 29 mic positions excel at detailed, softer tone and won’t collect dust like the dozens other piano libraries you own. But, O.D.D.’s soft nature limits it from being the perfect “all in one” piano as it won’t cover those aggressive piano timbres.

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Review: O.D.D. Grand Piano By Chocolate Audio

Of all the instruments we have in our sample collections, pianos may be the most frequent. Almost every DAW or large collection sample pack we have acquired over the years was bound to include at least one. As common as they are, however, a perfect and intimate piano remains one of the most difficult instruments to authentically capture. The wonderful thing about the time in which we currently live is that we are seeing an explosion of technical innovation. Chocolate Audio has shown themselves once again to be on the top of this wave with their fantastic and impressively deep sampled O.O.D. Grand Piano.

O.D. D. Grand Piano sells for $129 from Chocolate Audio
At the time of posting O.O.D Grand Piano was on the introductory price of $99 until March 18, 2018.

Thoughts

O.D.D. Grand Piano Main Interface

With the new O.O.D. Grand Piano, Chocolate Audio has managed to produce arguably one of the best pianos to hit the market in a long while. What is immediately striking is the sheer scope of the library. 20.56 GB of samples which beautifully and chromatically capture a glorious Yamaha C6 at an impressive 11 velocity layers. Though some might argue diminishing returns when sampling a piano in this amount of depth, one need only sit and play it to appreciate the time and care they so obviously spent on this instrument.

Advanced Tab for extensive ADSP controls, Pedal & Key noise, resonance and release controls.

The library is split intp three Kontakt patches. I wondered why this was until I learned that the piano was recorded with a staggering 29 microphones. The three Kontakt instruments are subsets of these mics carefully curated to create three very unique sounding versions of this same Yamaha C6. Each of them features four mixable mic positions allowing for further tinkering and flexibility. In addition to the mic positions, the instrument allows for use of multiple effects, reverbs, and EQs to be applied in order to craft your perfect sound. If tinkering isn’t your thing, then have no fear because they have provided a large collection of 71 carefully crafted presets which allow for different styles and sounds to shine through.

A really neat addition to the functionality of the interface is their innovative Key Level Trimming Page which is found in an offshoot of the Advanced tab. Try as they might, sample developers are unable to perfectly predict the quirks of each users midi controller in terms of the velocity response and level of even sensitivity. In fact I have another piano that I frequently use that, though I love its sound, it has a high Ab that is just inexplicably harsher than all other notes. In that piano, I am stuck with it. In the O.O.D. Grand, fixing this type of issue is a breeze. The key level trimmer allows independent control of the dynamics of each and every note. If for instance, a pesky high Ab is too harsh, you may simply pull it down a touch until it perfectly blends with the rest of the instrument.

Level Trim on Advanced Tab

As well as these more innovative features, it’s worth noting that the O.O.D. Grand also offers the more standard piano functions users have become accustomed to over the years such as control of pedal noise, resonance amount, attack/decay, etc.

One issue, though perhaps one that could be considered a feature rather than a flaw, is that, though they sampled the piano with 11 velocity layers, these layers are all focussed on the low and medium velocities. This creates a wonderfully and highly detailed intimate softer piano tone but it also doesn’t allow for any aggressive sounds to be produced. This limiting factor prevents it from being the perfect “all in one” piano and instead places it more in the category of a dramatic piano. This should be a factor to consider when deciding to purchase it. On the flip side of this, because all the dynamic layers were focussed on a more narrow velocity range, the piano in that range is highly detailed and feels very sensitive and responsive to play.

Because there exists such a staggering number of high-quality pianos on the market, it can be difficult as a consumer to know which is right for you. I can confidently say that this piano would not collect dust in the sample collection of any composer as it would be frequently used and money well spent.

Facts

The O.O.D. Grand Piano from Chocolate Audio monstrously weighs in at 20.56 GB. It features a Yamaha C6 recorded with no less than 29 microphones. These mics were then divided down into 3 different Kontakt patches for three different versions of the piano each with  it’s own character. The piano was chromatically sampled with 11 velocity layers which focus only on the low and medium velocities. The library requires the full version of Kontakt 5.5.2+ and will not work with the free Kontakt player.

At the time of posting O.O.D Grand Piano was on the introductory price of $99 until March 18, 2018.
O.O.D. Grand Piano sells for $129 from Chocolate Audio

Demos of O.O.D. Grand Piano By Chocolate Audio

 

Videos of O.O.D. Grand Piano By Chocolate Audio