KeySolutions Steinway D

A stunning Steinway D, used by Vladimir Horowitz in his home and on tour. Originally developed for Kurzweil instruments now available for the first time for free here on Pianobook.......

The story

I’m dating myself.
Rewind to the 1990s I was working in a music store and I found that I could be successful as a salesperson by making custom sounds for customers. This started with custom patches but evolved in to specialized sampling sessions.

One customer, a Steinway artist was interested in buying an instrument that would allow him to have the sound of his personal grand piano. He purchased a Kurzweil K2500 and then we went on to sample his remarkable Steinway D.

This select Steinway D was one of the elite instruments chosen to be part of Steinway’s Concert and Artist stock at Steinway Hall, New York. This exquisite concert grand piano was a favorite of Vladimir Horowitz and it was used by him in his home and on tour. After being used at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Steinway D was then stationed at Carnegie Hall. It was later transfered to Steinway’s retail division and sold to the legendary Capricorn Studios. There it was used by the Allman Brothers, Dr. John and a host of other great records until the studio closed in the Mid-70’s. The Steinway is now in Columbus, Ohio and is owned by recording artist Kim Pensyl.

When this sample was created, we never imagined we’d have unlimited sample memory. In fact the original version of this at 64MB was considered unreasonable and gigantic. We did testing at various velocity levels but ultimately decided that a single velocity sample, allowing for longer samples, minimizing split points would be best and allowing the Kurzweil engine to control the tone and dynamics as much as possible. The piano was recorded with a pair of Coles 4038 ribbon mics. Editing, noise reduction and looping was done in Sonic Foundry’s Sound Forge, transferred to the Kurzweil via SMDI where I made the final instrument.

This sample, along with many others I made ended up on a sample CD-ROM called KeySolutions for Kurzweil instruments. This library also launched my career in the music industry as I later went to work for Sonic Foundry, Kurzweil, Yamaha, TC Electronic and now Casio.

This piano has been used on countless albums, most notably it was used by keyboardist Jon Carin on tours with Pink Floyd.

This is the first conversion of this sample into software format. In terms of playability it is close to the original Kurzweil version but not identical yet, I’ll continue to work on this. I also went back to the original recorded and added some key-off samples which weren’t present in the original Kurzweil version.

Pianobook is an absolute marvel and I’m amazed at the efforts of everyone here. I have an extensive library of custom samples, much more to come.


Reviews for KeySolutions Steinway D

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Really nice, playable piano. Thumbs Up

    Wasn't sure what to expect, but I've been playing with it all afternoon and I really am enjoying it. Remarkable considering it was made that long ago.

    Steve Nathan06 May 2022
  • Beautiful, playable Steinway D

    I worked in keyboard retail in the 80s, 90s, and beyond. Sold many Kurzweils (owned 3 along the way...and met and befriended Mike then as well!) Unlike the sampled instruments of today, the sample ram had to be small, yet Kurzweil consistently had one of the best sounding pianos in the biz. Playing this one has brought back memories of then, but much more. It is a very playable piano throughout the range, and delivers the goods whether you need warm or big-sounding. Has a nice reverb, too, and a key-off setting. This would make a great companion for the Spitfire BBC Discovery orchestra...or any other library. Grab it now!!!

    rohosynth21 April 2022
  • A fantastic piano!

    Overall this is a great, great piano instrument, with quality sampling, awesome design and a sweet uplifting character. It also comes with a matching reverb and a knob that controls additional key triggers. Lovely!

    I'd recommend turning the default volume down to -10db, since you might be able to clip it if you go hard on it. Also, to me it seems everything is slightly off-paned to the left, and it seemed centered at around R14.

    Alex Raptakis30 April 2022
  • Lightweight piano - sharp attack

    I'm not a piano player - so I can't speak to finer points, but this might be my favorite pianobook piano for cutting through due to its sharp-clear attack. Small size of samples is a plus for something that sounds very good.

    durable03 May 2022
  • Clean & large sounding!

    This is a very useful piano sound that will hold its own well in a busy mix. It's well sampled throughout the octaves. My only slight criticism would be the velocity curve drops off a little too quickly to almost inaudible on quieter notes. This is easily fixed in Kontakt though.

    Thank you for this one!

    Alyssa H22 April 2022
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