The 88 Series Pianos - Model D v2

Video walk-through

Audio demos

All sounds for these demos are taken at the direct output from Kontakt and only Normalized to -1dB.

NEW - Version 2.0 of The 88 Series Pianos engine is out

V. 2 represents a new version of our engine. Here are the changes since v. 1.0 (include v. 1.5 too):


    • Fixed a bug in Mute/Solo logic

    • Fixed bugs in Release, Resonances and Release Trails samples playback

    • Fixed some graphics bugs

    • Other minor bug-fixes


    • Added Previous/Next Preset buttons

    • Added support for continuous Sustain Pedal (Half-Pedaling)

    • Added Advanced Settings page with Key Level Trimmer

    • Added Credits page

    • New GUI


    • Vastly improved .nki program for Model D Grand

    • Dramatically improved CPU and Voice management

    • Improvements in many small aspects of the pianos

D concert sound

The Model D grand piano was sampled from a Hamburg-made 1939 Steinway D274 grand coda piano. This particular piano has been in use in various venues in Italy and has been played and praised by many top-level international classical and jazz players. This piano's age definitely guarantees it the vintage moniker, nonetheless it went through proper maintenance and restoration over the years by highly-skilled italian technicians. It totally resonates with all of the great music played through it. We sampled this piece of history in a medium-size hall surrounded by a plethora of microphones.


We didn't settle for a single pair or a limited selection of microphones from the start, we wanted to make sure that the piano, after the sampling and editing process had the best chances to preserve its soul, something which can be hard to achieve. For this very reason, we used many more microphones than the ones we ended up with.

Choice of Microphones

These are the Mics we carefully selected after multiple playing and listening sessions on the edited samples:

  • a Schoeps CMC6 with MK4 cardiod capsules matched-pair placed at the player's position

  • a Neumann KM184 matched-pair placed right on the edge of the open-lid with a listener's perspective

  • a single AKG C12 tube mic picking up the sound from the lid, listener's position

  • a pair of matched Neumann M149 mics to pick up the sound from a medium distance

These microphones, by themselves or combined, give you the widest possible gamut of tonal colors you might need from a top-notch concert piano. To preserve tonal balance, we even carefully phase-aligned all of the microphones.

Mixing a-la-carte

One might think that having four different choices and combinations of mics plus the reverb would make finding the perfect balance impossible.

It is not.

This Instrument, we believe, easily opens up many different sonic worlds by using its on-board mixer. This tool is focused on easy-to-get results with a few tailored controls:

  • Volume

  • Panpot, places the sound in a specific direction

  • Mute and Solo

  • Width, controls the width of the stereo signals

  • Reverb Send, amount of signal for each microphone that gets processed by the on-board IR Reverb

  • Master effects are a 3-band EQ with cherry-picked frequency centers, a Preset Compressor & Tape Emulation and the IR Reverb

  • On each single channel you might use a simple but very effective 3-band EQ

Optimal resources management

Dealing with a piano Instrument featuring four microphones at the same time can bring an heavy load on system resources. The amount of playback voices for the CPU and Disk Streaming, preload in RAM and load times could suffer.

21 - Purge.PNG

A click on Purge Muted simply removes from memory all muted channels, not anymore weighing on RAM, CPU and streaming resources. 

Simplicity, with depth



Our approach to sampled Instruments is to let the musician in you fly free of any technical burden. Fast, full satisfaction is guaranteed: you just need to play, the fastest possible learning-curve is always kept as a reference when designing our Instruments. At the same time, when there's that techie-need to tweak and fine-tune, our multi-layer user interfaces allow for it, giving you the best of both worlds.

Advanced sampling and scripting

We believe the real break-through in these ages is creating advanced, high-quality Instruments which don't require you to earn a master in computer programming before you start making music with them. Making matters easy for the musician always means introducing more and more layers of complication for us developers. First of all we are musicians, and we don't want you to end up putting our products on a virtual shelf and forget about them because they are too hard to learn and use.


Our effects section doesn't require a degree in audio-engineering to make the best out of it.

This is our job.

Just select one of the 34 main Presets and fine tune it using a few carefully selected parameters.

The Compressor & Tape Emulation section, usually hard to grasp for the inexpert in audio tweaking feature no less than 22 + 22 (for when using a single Mic only, marked with a + sign)  presets with a simple Amount knob to rule it to your taste.

The Reverb section, so critical for acoustic pianos in particular, features an in-house developed collection of 101 carefully selected high quality Impulse Responses coming from both real spaces and revered vintage and contemporary studio hardware.

Key Level Trimming

Version 1.5 added MIDI key-based level trimming: this feature allows you to further customize the dynamic response of the piano based on your keyboard action and listening environment

04 - Trims.PNG

89.00 USD

(list price 129.00 USD)

- this Instrument requires the FULL RETAIL VERSION OF KONTAKT 5.5.2 or better, the free Kontakt Player will run this Instrument only in demo mode for a few minutes.
- this Instrument may be acquired only in downloadable format, download size is about 7.9 Gigabytes, so expect longer download times on slower connections


  • 8.32 GB (lossless compressed) library size, 7979 samples

  • 4 microphone sets: Schoeps CMC6 MK4s, Neumann KM184s, AKG C12 tube mono and Neumann M149 stereo room set

  • 11 sustaining dynamic layers, chromatically sampled

  • 12 release trails layers, chromatically sampled

  • independently controllable sustain-pedal resonances

  • key-release noise for added authenticity

  • sustain-pedal down and up noise layers

  • sampled with Millennia, Neve, SSL and Focusrite preamps fed direct into Apogee converters

  • all of the details of the piano recreated through the use of our custom advanced scripting

  • recorded at 24 bit / 96 KHz, released at 24 bit / 44.1 KHz

  • easy-to-use mixer for extreme sound-mangling

Kontakt engine features

  • custom User Interface

  • velocity curve management

  • piano tone control, makes the piano sound softer or harder under your fingers

  • custom touch response control: set at minimum you'll get the full sound of the piano with added latency (good for mixing), at higher levels cuts more and more into the piano pre-attack portion allowing for very low perceived latency when needed (good for tracking and live playing)

  • fine-tuned three-band EQ for each channel

  • many under the hood techniques to make the piano true to the original (life-like re-pedaling, release trails attenuation, intelligent attenuation of each single dynamic layer for maximum dynamic response...)

  • master realism control and specific control over release trails, key off, resonances and pedal noise levels

  • envelope controls

  • 101 custom, high quality IR reverbs

  • 22 (+ 22) compressor + tape presets

  • 34 factory presets + user-savable presets

  • works as stand-alone, AAX, RTAS, AU and VST for Mac and PC


  • 4 GB Ram (more if in need of loading more sample sets)

  • Core2Duo or equivalent Mac or PC

  • Kontakt Retail Version: v. 5.4.3 or newer

  • MIDI Keyboard