The story

As was pointed out in a review below, the usage rights may be unclear for the samples that I used. To clarify, they came from this website ( If you read the first line of text on this page it states the following:

“The University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples (MIS) are created by Lawrence Fritts, Director of the Electronic Music Studios and Professor of Composition at the University of Iowa. Since 1997, these recordings have been freely available on this website and may be downloaded and used for any projects, without restrictions.”

As much as I would like to tell you that I spent hours sampling this piano, that would be a lie. The samples used for this experiment came from the free sample library provided by the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios.

The samples were recorded with three velocity layers, and when assembled in Kontakt, they sounded ok, but I wasn’t satisfied with the playability of the instrument. I thought about it and decided that it simply needed more velocity layers.

I figured out a way to somewhat simulate velocity layers through the use of lowpass and highpass filters. I was originally planning on trying 25 velocity layers, but I tend to quickly become obsessed with whatever I am doing. I decided that what I needed was 127 velocity layers. Overkill, I know.

I imported all of the samples into my DAW, and through the magic of filters and time, I simulated 127 velocity layers for all 88 keys. I included key release samples and pedal samples and ended up with a staggering 11206 individual samples in this instrument.

All in all I think it turned out to be a pretty decent sounding piano with good playability. I included controls for key release and pedal noise volume. There is a lowpass knob to somewhat simulate a felted grand. There is a reverb knob if that’s your thing. And I included ADSR controls

The samples are in ncw format to cut down on the size of the library.

I hope someone can get some enjoyment from this piano.




Reviews for The Steinway Experiment

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

  • Impressive experiment. Very usable, though a "lite" versions would be great.

    I downloaded this out of curiosity, not sure if I'd keep it.
    I love plenty of quirky piano's here that only have a few layers. This tries to replicate a full 127 layers based on limited source material with varying results.

    It can sound great, especially at lower velocities, but a few notes (A3 for example) tend to stick out and don't sound as natural as many of the others.
    Some tweaks might be able to improve the consistency. I'm also a bit skeptical it couldn't sound nearly as good with half the layers, and space requirements.

    The interface is functional and minimal. It's great to see Raum being used. It's quite versatile, so exposing a few parameters to the user would add a lot more variety. I also love Replika with diffusion, and convolution reverbs with creative impulses, but I can play with those in the main output section of Kontakt. :)

    Thanks for submitting it. For me it's a keeper.

    invisiblelandscape03 February 2024