Bösendorfer Imperial & Vienna Konzerthaus Organ

For the first time in the company’s history, the Vienna Symphonic Library has focused their attention on keyboard instruments. With the endorsement of “Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik”, the Vienna team has developed its first sampled grand piano software instrument, a recreation of a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial. And with the support of the “Wiener Konzerthaus”, the Vienna Symphonic Library releases the Vienna Konzerthaus Organ, which represents the first sampled organ recorded in a concert hall, not in a church.

Bösendorfer Imperial

The Bösendorfer 290 Imperial was tuned and regulated by the piano manufacturer’s best engineers and piano technicians. Its massive and unprecedented 54 GB sample set includes unlooped sustain samples in pedal up and pedal down variations, tone repetitions, real recorded sustain pedal resonances, multiple release samples and key noises. Each of the two listening positions totals at 4,675 samples.

The 290 Imperial is the only concert grand in the world to have nine sub-bass notes, extending downward to low C, and giving it a keyboard range spanning eight octaves. These extra notes not only provide added richness and depth to the instrument overall, but they enable the performance of works originally scored with lower notes, by composers such as Bartók, Debussy, Ravel and Busoni.

For the first time in the long history of piano sampling, the Vienna Symphonic Library team succeeded in capturing the sound of the piano in its resonating state, with the sustain (damper) pedal depressed. This results in the physically correct recreation of the piano’s resonant character in both pedal-down and pedal-up positions. With the Bösendorfer Imperial Vienna Instrument there are no sample manipulations, no fades between tones, and no DSP calculations, just an absolutely natural acoustic image of the actual processes that occur during piano playing. The Vienna team has developed a recording process that adds to a single tone the exact sound that is created when the pianist presses the piano’s sustain pedal, allowing other strings to vibrate.

Another innovation is the Repetition Performances. These samples take into account the sound created when a vibrating string is struck again. With Vienna Instruments’ Bösendorfer Imperial, repeated notes of the same pitch are actually played repetitions, meaning that a new sample is heard with every keystroke. Apart from the acoustic perspective of the pianist, the user is also provided with concert hall audience perspective, for proper imaging on the orchestral stage.

Vienna Konzerthaus Organ

The “Queen of Instruments” was recorded at the venerable Great Hall of the “Wiener Konzerthaus”, where the famous “Rieger Organ” was installed in 1913. The Vienna Konzerthaus Organ Collection includes 14 GB of stereo samples covering three manuals with 38 single stops and one pedal with 18 single stops. The user can put together his own registrations by combining the stops in the Vienna Instruments’ user interface, retaining the flexibility of this magnificent instrument.

In addition, the team of the Vienna Symphonic Library invited experts to create a wealth of pre-recorded registrations that present the user with the most important and best sounding combinations. Of course these registers can be easily extended to the user’s needs or taste. There are also isolated samples of the valves of each register as well as two minutes of room noise and the wind-chest idling, so the user can add these elements to the mix for even more realism.

Since the Rieger Organ had been equipped with MIDI technology a few years ago, the Vienna team took a new recording approach that made it feasible to distinguish exactly between the different reverb trails emanating from short or long notes. This is important because several ranks (especially the very deep ones) take up to a second to unfold their full power, so the release samples of short notes can sound very different from long notes. Using the underlying MIDI data it was possible to recreate the authentic latency behavior of each flute. The different latencies also represent the spatial arrangement of the flutes, providing another reason why the three-dimensional recreation of this organ sounds so authentic.

Like all Vienna Instruments Collections, the Bösendorfer Imperial and the Vienna Konzerthaus Organ instruments ship in the formats VST (OS X, Win XP), AU (Mac) and also work as stand-alone instruments. The Bösendorfer Imperial Collection retails for $315/EUR265, the Vienna Konzerthaus Organ is $595/EUR495. There are no subdivisions into Standard and Extended Libraries like with other Vienna Instruments Collections; both Collections include the full sets of samples along with the software instrument and engine.

System Requirements

PC Intel/AMD 2 GHz (3++ GHz recommended) with Windows XP or Apple G4 1 GHz (G5 or Intel Core Duo processor recommended) with Mac OS X 10.4 or higher

  • 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
  • VST (OS X, Win XP) or AU (Mac) compatible host, also works stand-alone on PC and Mac
  • DVD drive for installation
  • Fast separate hard drive
  • 88 key master keyboard (highly recommended)
  • ViennaKey (Syncrosoft USB Protection Device)
  • Syncrosoft License Control Center

Leave a Reply