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The Hybrid Pianos are unlike any other piano library available today. They allow you to build your own piano by selecting:
  • The Piano, there are 4 basic piano sample sets to choose from!
  • Body Resonance, through several Convolution Presets.
  • Room Ambience, through 30+ Convolution prestets.
  • Hammer Recoil Noise (as soon as you release a key, even when the sustain pedal holds the note, you hear the hammer return)
  • Release Sound, the sound of the strings beeing damped when the dampers return.
  • Amount of Sustain, both sympathetic resonance and sustain resonance amounts can be controlled

    You get total control over all these aspects of the sound.
    Simply drag and drop the elements you want to add in your sampler and adjust each component to your personal taste. You can open reverb or sustain resoance presets in GPulse by dragging encoded gig files in a stack or open (a chain of) concolution preset(s) in Kontakt 2. Additionally you have full control over the amount of the additional noises and sustain.
    This allows you to tailor a piano completely to your whishes. Design your own piano!

    HYBRID? New Technology

    Using new technologies PMI re-invented the principle of piano sampling. The hybrid piano principle works like this: instead of recording one piano with a fixed microphone plot, we captured the different elements as separate building blocks.
    - The body-less piano strings, captured as clean as possible,
    - the different piano bodies, capturing the typical brand characteristics,
    - the acoustic environment, rooms, halls etc.
    Each of these building blocks are captured with very high precision.

    Using our new hybrid recombination technique, we re-assemble these components to create a hybrid piano which gives us total control over the different aspects that form a piano sound.

    The hybrid recombination technology we use is a complex mathematical series of calculations, based on morphing, convolution and spectral recombination, and is performed off-line by us using an array of computers. The resulting audio samples have higher definition and clarity, better dynamic response and a very distinctive character. Aspects such as piano body structure, typical piano brand sound impression and acoustic space are “rendered” on a sample-by-sample basis for a minimum of 20 dynamic nuances of each note. These 20 dynamic layers (velocity layers) are further processed in real-time with a convolution engine effect to smoothen transients and harmonics. The result is a seemless dynamic response with 127 steps without any noticable gaps or "dead spots".

    As a result of spectral recombination the sample can be looped at positions where the sonic fingerprint falls in repeating patterns. This results in sample sets that can be surprisingly small; below 1.5 GB for a 20 layer 24 bits piano! This allows you to load these sample sets completely in RAM memory and overcome polyphony limitations imposed on your system by direct from disk streaming methods that your sampler would normally use.

    The acoustic space can also be added with a convolver at the end phase (upon playback) if desired. The HYBRID pianos come with a vast number of acoustic spaces and special effects IR's that can be used through the convolution engine of your sampler to re-create the acoustiuc space you want.

    The first piano sample sets that resulted from this technology demonstrate their amazing sonic possibilities.

    And most important: These new pianos are an absolute joy to play! They respond much more like real acoustic instruments than any other samples. They give you the “feel” of a real instrument.

  • The HYBRID PIANOS libraries are now available and individual pianos can be downloaded from our direct delivery system.  Current sampler formats are GigaStudio 3 and Kontakt 2.
    The HYBRID PIANOS COLLECTION DVD contains 4 Hybrid Pianos

  • AUDIO DEMO EXAMPLES in 320 kbps MPeg Layer 3 audio

  • Borderland ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC
  • Wanderer ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC

  • Adagio clean
  • Images
  • Poem for Piano
  • Sonata in F min Jie
  • BORDERLAND Hall ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC
  • WANDERER ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC
  • Bright Oranges on the Edge © Sean Beeson + marimba, strings: EWQLSO Pro

  • IMAGES hall
  • WANDERER ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC
  • Borderland ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC

  • Adagio
  • Images
  • Poem for Piano
  • Sonata in F min Jie
  • WANDERER ©Bruce Mitchell/SOCAN MUSIC

    Try first!
    To let you evaluate the Hybrid Pianos on your own sampler (which actually is the only way to really get to know a new sample lib) we created two demo files. The Playable Kontakt demo file is a fully functionial K2 multi which includes a fully operational HolyGrail Add-On demo version. The Kontakt Demo Instrument is using Hybrid Piano Nr. 2. It offers two full octaves plus all C's with all 20 velocity layers and full 24 bits wavefiles that are exactly as in the full version. The Giga demo is similar but uses Hybrid Nr.1. You can find the demo files, details about the features of the demos, the product manuals, IR and GPulse content and all the download links here:
    Playable Hyrbid Demos!

  • Systems ?
    Any Mac or PC with at least 512 MB of RAM and Kontakt 2 or GigaStudio 3 installed will do.
    Approx. 9 GygaByte disk space for the full library (on a fast hard drive).

    NOTE: The modular design allows you to enable all kinds of effects and this will reflect on CPU and polyphony. So we do recommend using the fastest machine you can get. And in Kontakt 2 performance can be dramatically improved by loading the piano sets in RAM only, keeping DFD disabled. If your system has over 1.5 GB of RAM you can load Hybrid 1, 2 or 3 as Sample instead of DFD instrument.

    the next generation

    PMI is using the latest developments in sampling software to bring the sampled piano to a new level of realism and expressiveness.
    Holy Grail in Kontakt 2

    All aspects of the piano sound, that were previously impossible to recreate with samples, are now available to the pianist:
    Sympathetic resonance;
    - Sostenuto and softpedal;
    - IR-based ambience and stereo imaging;
    - IR-based body resonance;
    - Seemingly unlimited dynamic range and responsiveness;
    - 24bit samples for pristine audio quality;
    - Total freedom of tuning;
    - Surround Sound Mixing


    Sympathetic resonance: the holy grail of piano sampling

    "And all strings
    Which are touched in Love
    Must sound."

    Mechtild of Magdeburg (8 centuries before Steinway made it's first grand piano)

    PMI finally has the technology to make accurate reproduction of the sympathetic resonance of the non-struck piano strings possible. By using scripting technology this very important effect that was missing in sampled piano libraries until now has become “unleashed”.

    The principle behind sympathetic resonance is simple enough:
    When a key is pressed on an acoustic piano, the strings for the keys which are already pressed vibrate sympathetically. The fundamental and overtones of the struck string generate vibrations in the corresponding non-struck strings that start to "sing".

    Every note played is going to excite all the other open strings and change their overtones very dynamically. Previously every note on a sampled piano always used to stand alone and play the same every time.

    The resonating of non-struck strings is called sympathetic resonance and adds the brilliance and life in a real piano. Sympathetic resonance in PMI piano libraries is achieved by using scripts in Native Instruments new Kontakt 2 flagship sampler. A set of resonating string samples is "activated" by a piece of artificial intelligence that reproduces the sympathetic resonance phenomena with extreme accuracy. 

    For this effect 2 components are used:
    - one is for the
    sympathetic resonance of the non-struck strings using a script that triggers the resonances;
    - one is for the body
    resonance of the piano. A convolution engine excites a resonance model of the ENTIRE piano harp, exciting the string resonances that have a harmonic relationship with the keys struck. Pushing through a "chromatic" piano body impulse, the tone exciting the impulse will determine which of the chromatic resonances will have impact on the sound. If you play an "A" you only hear resonances related to "A" up its overtone series. The frequency components which go "un-excited" will simply disappear underneath the overall sound and be unnoticeable.

    The sympathetic resonance is using Kontakt 2’s unique scripting possibilities. These scripts (like the one pictured below) have an interface which allows ultimate control over each generated harmonic as well as integration with sustain, sostenuto and soft pedals. The script below was created by Olivier Frappier (

    Convolution-based and recorded “sustain” resonance

    All ‘pedal down’ and ‘release/staccato resonance’ elements are created with convolution impulse models (i.e. more than half of the traditional digital samples can be left unused!) and with traditional sample based recordings. Overall responsiveness is greatly improved. The traditional limitations of sample based pedal dynamics, continuously varying note release have been transcended, with far greater dynamic accuracy, playability and sonic detail.

    Dynamic Range

    An amazing dynamic range and responsiveness is achieved by using multiple velocity layers. The Gold Bundle pianos (EMPEROR and OLD LADY) use up to 26 recorded dynamic nuances for each key! Instead of sampling a piano by capturing a single overtone series for that strike velocity and then using a lowpass filter for lower velocities, PMI piano libraries have all velocity variations recorded. The use of Low-pass filtering does not capture the way the overtone series really progresses with strike velocity and also does not capture degrees of sound from the transient of the hammer strike, which is the loudest part of the sound. The big multi-strike sample sets created by PMI are giving an incredible smooth response that is almost un-distinguishable from a real piano. This ensures a seemingly unlimited dynamic range and responsiveness.

    IR-based ambience and stereo imaging
    Convolution technology makes it possible to “sample” a room or hall, a microphone or even an effect processor and “impose” that sample on other sounds. This is done by using Impulse Responses. An
    Impulse Response captures the true acoustics of a performance space. Convolution reverbs, also known as "sampling reverbs", let's you put any audio signal inside an acoustic space of your choosing, such as different concert halls, a performance club, a soundstage, a church, an intimate room or other spaces. It also allows precise control over an instrument's position on stage and the listener perspectives in the audience. Kontakt 2 comes with a convolution unit that can be placed on the output channel or inside an instrument for flexible control over the ambience and stereo imaging. Impulse responses from microphones “impose” the typical characteristics of these microphones on any other signal. This enables the user to –say- change a piano recorded with an AB set of omni-directional tube  microphones into a piano sound recorded trough a MS-set of condenser microphones. Impulses from existing hardware processors “impose” the exact effect as the actual hardware effect would do. The creative possibilities are limited by the imagination of the user only!

    24bit samples

    24 bit samples are used for pristine audio quality. All PMI piano libraries are available in true 24 bits audio quality. The increased bit depth results in a much wider dynamic range than the 16 bit cd-audio quality previously used in sampling. 

    Total freedom of tuning

    One of the most important aspects of piano technology is perhaps the tuning of the instrument. Piano tuning is like a science of it’s own and piano tuners have years of experience and knowledge that were used while sampling PMI’s pianos. Additionally NI Kontakt2 offers extreme new possibilities. Non-traditional tunings are as simple as selecting them from the tuning menu. Individual tuning systems can be set up using either a special script or using a graphic editor. These two options combined with PMI’s extreme attention to every detail during the recording process ensure that PMI pianos are always “in tune” with your music.

    Sostenuto and softpedal

    All 3 pedal are now fully implemented. Having all the pedals available at all times gives the pianist complete control over his performance.