Spectrasonics Releases Free Keyscape Update With New Double Felt Grand Piano Instrument

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Spectrasonics let us know that, in honor of International Piano Day (the 88th day of the year), they’ve released Keyscape 1.5 – a free update that adds a brand new instrument, Double Felt Grand.

v1.5 represents the first time that Spectrasonics has added a brand new instrument to Keyscape, and the company says that the “felt piano” has been the #1 most requested sound from users.

To demonstrate Double Felt Grand, Spectrasonics shared this performance video, featuring classical pianist and composer Olivia Belli, performing her works As I Was and Spiderwebs of Clouds.

Here’s what Spectrasonics shared about the new instrument:

Creating the Double Felt

Normally, the highly coveted “felt piano” sound is achieved by draping a layer of felt vertically between the strings and the hammers of an upright piano. This softens the strikes and gives the upright piano an intimate, muted tone. Because of gravity, this technique is not feasible on a grand piano, since the hammers and strings are situated horizontally. The felt would simply lay on top of the hammers, preventing them from rising up to strike the strings. Attempts to attach the felt above the hammers, against the strings, yields less-than-satisfactory results and laying the felt on top of the strings mutes their sustain drastically.

Through careful experimentation, renowned piano technician Jim Wilson (creator of the unique Yamaha grand used in Keyscape for the LA Custom C7), discovered how to achieve this gorgeous muted sound on a world-class 7-foot grand piano. After a great deal of thought and experimentation, Jim ended up carefully cutting, fitting, and gluing two individually layered strips of a thick, natural felt to each hammer.

Sound/Software Development

Once the acoustic piano was prepared in this special way, the acclaimed Spectrasonics sound development team (led by producer Eric Persing) then painstakingly sampled the instrument at the company’s newly developed private recording studio — which features some of the largest naturally ambient recording spaces in Los Angeles.

To complete the experience, the Spectrasonics software team developed lush new DSP reverb algorithms that are exclusive to this new Keyscape sound. The final result is the unique Double Felt Grand: a warm, soft piano with the best aspects of a felt upright, but with the body and the decay of a grand.

Pricing and Availability:

The new Double Felt Grand is now available and included with Keyscape. Keyscape is available for $399. All existing users can get the new piano as a free update, using the “Get Updates” button on the splash screen of the Keyscape user interface.

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