18 June 2010

Prosonus - Grand Piano Page 1/3
Produced by

Prosonus/Big Fish Audio

No.Volumes 12
Data 560 Mb
Released 1998

Prosonus (exclusively distributed by Big Fish Audio) are noted for their production of extremely high quality sampling CD's of classical instruments. Grand Piano is the latest addition to their range and is available as a CD-Rom in Roland (the version reviewed), Akai, Emu & Kurzweil formats. Very simply Grand Piano offers 12 different examples of Steinway grand piano's, with volumes of 16Mb (3 variations), 32Mb (4), 64Mb (4) and 128Mb (1).

Prosonus offerings are aimed at the pro level market, or at least very serious amateur or semipro, and are priced accordingly a notch above the standard price of a sample CD-Rom, though still some way behind the most expensive classical sample CD products. By not pricing their products prohibitively they do allow their products to be accessible to a wider audience, but by now means are these products for the casual user.

This collection has been produced by Mark Birmingham and Rob Cairns. As one would expect from a classical offering the CD is free of the normal hype and claims that often accompanies a sample CD.

The inlay card is as functional as it needs to be, there is a description of the organisation of the samples and a key to the abbreviations used, if the samples are velocity switched, if the samples are fortissimo or mezzo forte, and which of the three variations of Steinway piano the volumes contains, (which are simply designated as 1a, 1b and 1c).

Also in the notes are details of the kind of hardware that you are going to need to use the samples within the collection. Herein lies the only real difficulty with the CD, the hardware that your going to need in order to be able to make the most of it. Whilst 16Mb and 32Mb sample memories are in the realm of many samplers, not many people have access to hardware that is able to run a 64Mb volume or especially the crowning glory volume, the 128Mb. For many of the samplers in current use there is a physical limit of 32Mb, thus necessitating the chaining together of units to actually use this collection to its full potential.

With the arrival of the latest generation of samplers, for example the Akai 5000 & 6000 that have memory capacities once only dreamt of, this sort of collection will probably become more common place.

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