GalaxySteinway 5.1

Galaxy Steinway 5.1 features a Steinway grand piano recorded at Galaxy Studios in Belgium. The piano was close-miked using five Bruel & Kjaer microphones, with room ambience recorded using Neumann mikes. The SPL/Brauner microphone system was also used to record in five-channel surround format with a separate mic for the LFE channel. The recordings were made using a Neve Capricorn digital console linked directly to Pro Tools. All top kit!


The samples are mapped in whole tones with ten velocity layers, providing a natural sound quality over the whole dynamic range. Sample lengths range up to 40 seconds. The recordings are supplied in 24-bit and 16-bit versions at 48kHz samplerate. The 24-bit version uses a massive 6.8GB of audio samples. If you need only the stereo version, this uses just 1.2GB of audio samples.

The virtual instrument software is a special version of Native Instruments Kompakt, with samples provided by Best Service. You can run Kompakt either stand-alone or as a VST, RTAS or Audio Units plug-in.

Usefully, you can load just a subset of the 6 channels, so I was able to load the mono Center channel on my G4 500MHz – although even this took ages. On a 1.5GHz PowerBook it loaded more quickly and played back without any breakup in the sound.

OUR VERDICT

The sound of the sampled instrument and the quality of the recordings is first-rate – yes, it probably is the nearest thing to an actual Steinway available. But sampled pianos do still have some way to go to achieve full realism. I compared the sound of this sampled grand with my venerable Steinway Model K upright grand piano, which dates from about 1895. The samples were good – but I wouldn’t even dream of swapping these for the real thing. Also, I don’t recommend that you buy this package unless you really need the 5.1 surround version – it’s too unwieldy to work with easily, unless you have absolutely massive amounts of RAM, the fastest hard drive and the speediest CPU.

Find the best price

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery

Price comparison from , and manufacturers