Review: Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices

by

Concert Grand Gold is the ultimate tinkerer’s Piano with deep control over nearly every possible aspect of its recordings.

Jump to the Videos of Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices

Jump to the Demos of Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices

 

 

Review: Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices

Concert Grand Gold is the lighter version of Production Voices’ flagship product – an incredibly detailed and fleshed out Concert Grand Piano. The gold edition is the 2nd highest tier, containing 157 GB worth of piano with 20 velocity layers, 8 mic positions, and a whole lot of knobs and faders to tweak. While the massive amount of samples and controls can cause this beast to crumble under its own weight a bit (load times, interface clutter), it’s undeniable that Concert Grand Gold offers the flexibility for you to sculpt out virtually any grand piano sound you may need.

Concert Grand 2 Gold sells for $249 from Production Voices

Thoughts

If it isn’t immediately obvious why this piano weights 157 GB, it will be once you take a look at the interface and all the flexibility it offers.

Main

The main interface panel is kind of a “single glance” condensed version of the entire interface, covering the basics that you’ll use most often. Presets and reverb IRs are available through drop-downs along the top. The largest area beneath these presents a visualization of the piano and where the various microphones are placed if you click the small “Show mics” button on the bottom left. Below that is a row of faders for touch response, sympathetic resonance, key release and pedal noises, and toggles for various pedal settings. The bottom row is a simplified mic mixer with only power toggles, volume knobs, and reverb send faders.

One of my problems with this library is here – all of the presets except the default one seem to have all of the mic positions enabled, despite most of them being at zero volume. So this eats up PC resources loading a bunch of unnecessary muted samples. When you load a preset, I recommend immediately disabling all of the positions that are turned down to zero.

settings

The settings tab is where you can dig into the details of the various noises and velocity response controls. You can also change the tuning here between 432 or 440 and various temperaments. Reverb controls are on the bottom, allowing either convolution or algorithmic verbs.

Mixer

This is the fully detailed mic mixer. Mute/solo, pan, EQ, compression, reverb, and output assignment for each mic position can be done here, as well as the basics that are available on the main tab. It’s worth noting that the product manual does a great job of explaining what each microphone’s characteristics and purposes are – so it’s worth a look before you start deciding which mics to use!

This part is a bit advanced and will probably never be touched by me personally – but this page allows you to control the “ambisonic” mic position, which essentially uses software to simulate fully 3D recording space/perspective. There are various presets here which show you what it’s capable of, but you can use the included pan, width, and polar pattern controls to simulate a huge variety of mic positions from this one page. However it is very CPU intensive, so use with caution!

The Master FX rack Tape Emulation, EQ, Transient Shaping, Compression, Limiting, and Reverb. Everything on this page goes on the master channel rather than to each mic position. The tape emulation is my personal favorite effect to use here! These are the standard Kontakt effects, so not much to say about them other than that the custom controls look nice and function well.

As with most of these deeply detailed tinkering libraries, most of what it has to offer comes from the interface and its implementation of the immense amount of recordings. As for the sound itself – it’s exactly what you’d expect; a highly detailed grand piano with clean and precise sampling.

If you can stomach the enormous file size and long load times, Concert Grand Gold it likely the only concert grand library you’ll ever need. Between the various mic positions, lid positions, effects, noise controls, tunings, and ambisonic insanity, you can really get whatever timbre you need. The included presets show various sides of this, including cinematic, classical, and even pop settings.

The only thing this piano lacks is what some people call “character”. But this isn’t necessarily a con. Character can really just mean tuning issues, noise, or other “flaws”, and Concert Grand Gold offers a more surgical and polished approach with its pristinely recorded samples.

Facts

Concert Grand Gold is a deeply sampled Steinway D 9’ Concert Grand. Each note has 20+ velocity layers (not including pedal up and down variations) and release, pedal, and resonance noises. All of this is available from 9 different microphone perspectives, including ambisonic capabilities. All samples in the gold edition are 44.1kHz 24 bit. Installed, the gold edition requires 157 GB of disk space.

Concert Grand 2 Gold sells for $249 from Production Voices

 

Demos of Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices

Videos of Concert Grand Gold by Production Voices