Pure Upright: A New iOS Piano App

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Pure Upright brings a professional, multi-sampled upright piano to your iPhone or iPad. This is the second iOS piano app to be released by German-based developers e-instruments — the first was Pure Piano a similar product, but using concert grand samples.

Pure Upright’s MorphPad screen, seen here on an iPad and an iPhone

Not only does Pure Upright deliver an authentic and highly usable upright piano sound, but it can also be comprehensively modified in real time using what e-instruments calls a MorphPad. But more of this shortly.

This is an iOS app, so it only runs on an iPhone or iPad — and with these devices you only have a small and very limited touch-screen “piano” keyboard. These can be set to span up to 3 octaves, and are “transposable”. The keyboards are also polyphonic, and the loudness of each note is determined by where the key is actually played (front – louder, back softer). So you can just open the app and off you go.

a pianist changing the position of the cursor on the MorphPad page
Using the MorphPad

However, Pure Upright works as either a standalone app or as an AUv3 plugin. So you can use it in conjunction with an iOS DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Garageband or Cubasis. It can also be played from an external keyboard via USB, Network MIDI, and direct or Bluetooth MIDI, with the sound fed to headphones or external speakers for the best experience. Inter Device Audio (IDAM) is also supported.

Pure Upright’s MorphPad

At the heart of the system are nine different upright piano presets: Pure, Bright, Cinematic, Vintage, Pad, Intimate, Detune, Gated, and Reverse. These are all derived from a comprehensive set of samples combined with some advanced signal processing.

The aforementioned MorphPad acts a bit like a 2-D joystick. The presets are laid out in 3 rows of three across the width and depth of the screen, and you can move a circular cursor around the screen blending these presets together. This acts in real-time so the piano’s sound can be constantly changing. And, if you are using a DAW, these variations are recordable. DAW automation!

Pure Upright also features an Effects section (eq, reverb, and delay) as well as graphical velocity response, tuning, and mechanical noise editors.

iPad on top of a master keyboard running Pure Upright

This is an interesting and very affordable app, that really comes into its own when hooked up to an external keyboard/DAW and amplification. Do check out the walkthrough video (above) to get an idea of its full potential. And more information is available on the e-instruments website.

Pure Upright is available from the App Store.
Introductory price (until 05-Sep-2022): $14.99, €14.99, £12.99
Standard price: $29.99, €29.99, £25.99

Pure Upright Specifications

  • Studio Quality Audio at Ultra-low Latency
  • Nine preset sounds – can be blended using interactive, customisable MorphPad
  • Connectivity – USB, direct or Bluetooth MIDI. Inter Device Audio (IDAM), Network MIDI and Inter-App Audio also supported
  • Standalone and AUv3 plug-in compatible
  • Zynaptiq QREV Reverb
  • 3-Band EQ and Delay
  • Save, Load and Share Presets
  • Extensive Editing Capabilities
  • Flexible Tuning Options
  • Customisable velocity curve
  • 24-bit, 44.1 kHz
  • Requires iOS 14 or above
  • 1.3GB installation
  • Developed by e-instruments lab GmbH, Hamburg, Germany


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