Software house Sampleson has just released Reed106, with the strapline “The first ever-changing modelled electric piano”.
This is a virtual instrument. It comes as either a VST or AU plugin (for use with a computer-based digital audio workstation), or as a standalone piece of music software.
In essence, there are two main ways to create the sound of any instrument digitally. You can use samples whereby each note of an existing instrument is recorded at various amplitudes, processed and then replayed as and when. This requires a lot of computer memory. Alternatively, you can model the sound using complex mathematical equations, this needs far less memory, but more computing power.
The Reed106 uses spectral modelling, but to construct the model Sampleson’s engineers analyse actual samples of an electric piano as the reference source. Spectral modelling takes a sound and splits it into harmonic and inharmonic partials. These elements can be recreated by mathematically combining sine waves of different frequencies and amplitudes. Both the harmonic and inharmonic partials are constantly changing over a note/sound’s duration.
So here we have a simple electric piano, with a sound much akin to the famous Wurlitzer electric piano. The on-screen image of the Reed106 actually has the look of an early Wurlitzer.
But the unique feature of Sampleson’s Reed106 is its constantly changing sound. The spectral modelling continuously creates a small variation in the timbre of each note every time it is played.
Why do this? Well, Sampleson feels that virtual instruments sound flat and boring because the sound is always exactly the same. Play a single note repeatedly and the problem becomes apparent. With a non-digital instrument changes in temperature, humidity etc. mean that the sound is always very slightly different. Now, this is a fairly subtle effect… listen carefully to the audio below.
Sampled instruments can offer similar variations by recording slightly different samples for each note (round-robin sampling), but this uses even more memory. With spectral modelling, these subtle changes can be introduced mathematically. Reed106 sits in just 45MB of memory—sampled instruments can require many gigabytes.
The Reed106’s user interface enables changes in the notes’ release time and the introduction of tremolo (amplitude modulation), overdrive, and reverb effects.
Sampleson Reed106 Features
– Spectral modelled reed-based electric piano
– Extended range (64 keys)
– Size: just 45MB.
– No velocity-switching
– Reverb, Tremolo and Overdrive effects
– Scalable HD interface
– MacOS Catalina and Big Sur compatible
– No extra purchases are needed (like Kontakt, UVI, etc) or any other 3rd. party player
– Compatible with all major DAWs (Cubase, Logic Pro, GarageBand, Cakewalk, Reaper, BitWig, Nuendo, FL Studio, etc)
– Win 32 & 64 bits VST/Standalone. Mac VST/AU/Standalone versions (No AAX version)
– No online activation required.
Price: $49 (special introductory price $29).
Virtual Piano | News
We now have a new section on the World Piano News website which covers virtual pianos. Here you will find news snippets about new products, updates etc. with links to manufacturers sites. In some cases a fuller story, such as the above piece on the Reed106, will also appear in the main news feed.
Do check it out… Virtual Piano | News.