•  it sounds really great, i love it
INTRODUCING THE MODERN U
A deeply sampled brand new studio upright piano

Modern times call for a modern virtual piano: Highly detailed and intimate, clean and crisp, a new piano sampled with the finest gear in a modern space, able to shine or blend in as desired. A realistic precise response using any controller, plus sophisticated controls and presets with tweakability rarely seen in a virtual piano. High res graphics, deep sampling and scripting but easy on the system. We're happy to introduce the Modern U, sampled from a brand new popular studio upright piano with a modern approach. It's just an upright you say. Why sample an upright instead of a grand? Prepare to be amazed.

We love uprights too, and the Modern U is sampled and treated with the same level of care and extreme detail as we'd give to the finest concert grand library. Uprights have traditionally been a compromise over the more desirable grands, but for many situations their unique character just can't be beat. The large studio uprights, or 'upright grands', are a perfect balance in qualities of both piano types. With the line blurred between upright and grand, it’s easy to ignore the distinction and simply enjoy this great piano. Crystal clear hammer attacks, six microphones, unique Sordino soft pedal, Muted Strikes, staccato Release Trails, real Resonance and many other features all bring this modern upright to life. If the usual piano tones are too usual and it's time for the unique, the Modern U may be the one. This is truly a pianist's virtual piano.

 


KEY FEATURES

 
Six discrete phase-aligned fully mixable microphones with interactive mic display. Modern mics and gear with diverse perspectives cover every way of recording an upright front and back, close and far.

Real deeply sampled resonance for both pedal down and sympathetic resonance types. Powerful scripting recreates real pedal resonance behavior adding complex depth and sustain to the tone, all fully adustable.

Over 23,000 samples composing 55GB of wave data in a small 6GB file. Huge library, small footprint thanks to lossless compression and complex scripting. This also means fast loading and efficient CPU usage.
Complete control of up to 5 pedals including our new Sordino pedal. Repedal and adjustable Half pedal features included. Sostenuto, Soft pedal, plus Muted Strikes and Sordino all make for a highly expressive piano.

New MIDI panel with unique split controls for both timbre and volume. High resolution discrete tables and controls allow custom curves for any response imaginable. Many presets included, or create your own.

1,400 release samples per mic including staccato releases that respond to the quickest playing, no articulations needed. Release samples capture the resonant ring of the upright piano and are crucial for realism.

AUDIO AND VIDEOS
Listen to our demos and watch the videos.
THE PIANO : THE SESSION
Modern upright meets modern studio for a perfect match - watch video
The Modern U is sampled from a brand new Yamaha© U3 studio upright piano. The newer model should be noted in that this includes the maker’s latest design with a warmer singing tone while still being clear and articulate, plus the hammers are new and everything is to original specification. This piano model could be considered an 'upright grand' with its long bass strings and soundboard area similar to that of a medium-sized grand piano. While it is a large upright, it's still an upright with the characteristic sound but with a larger bass and longer sustain than smaller uprights.

With any acoustic piano sample, the recording space can impact the sound as much as anything else. For a clean modern sound, we needed an intimate detailed studio space just big enough for the piano to fill out and still be focused enough to record a pin drop from every mic. The piano was expertly tuned and maintained by a concert technician throughout the session, and the resulting samples are extraordinarily clean and pure with some sustains lasting well over a minute. Multiple microphone perspectives capture every nuance of this piano in this room.
COMPLETE VIRTUAL PIANO STUDIO
Six phase-aligned mic setups with interactive mic display graphics - watch video

When recording piano in the studio, you want options. Different mic setups are needed to work for any playing style or mix, not limited to one basic tone. While studio grands are normally close/mid-miked lid open from the top, studio uprights opened up sound great miked in front or back. There are varying approaches in miking uprights vs. grands since their designs and projection patterns are different. Our goal was to capture this piano with extreme detail in every mic, all with a modern theme, made available through our mic choices and features.

Six discrete phase-aligned mic setups capture the piano from all perspectives front or back, close or far, with a wide or narrow image, all with a clean high end tone. Select mics from the menu, and the interface updates showing those mics as set up on the real piano. Tones from close and intimate, wide and distant, with warmth or brilliance, all can be acheived with these mics. Load and mix the mics you want in any combination. Every mic is time-corrected so even the distant Room mics have no extra delay; all mics respond and mix incredibly well together. This is the Modern U virtual piano studio.

REAL SYMPATHETIC RESONANCE
Impeccable model of this crucial piano quality, entirely sample-based - watch video

Pianists are well accustomed to the sympathetic resonances that develop in acoustic pianos and their importance to the sustain and how chords resolve. This binds the separate strings together as one instrument. Sympathetic Resonance is heard in harmonically related keys held down while others are played, and Pedal Resonance occurs as all strings vibrate together when the sustain pedal is down. With the large soundboard and long strings, the resonance effect is strong and adds body and length to the sustain.

Both pedal down and harmonic key pedal up resonances are sample-based and not synthesized in any way. We believe this important part of the piano's tone is best emulated only with samples from all mics. The Modern U features multi-layered resonances for a complex evolving sustained tone. Precisely sampled and scripted for both types of advanced resonance simulations, they respond naturally like the real thing. Resonance amount for both types is adjustable, and Sympathetic Resonance has its own polyphony setting.

NEW SORDINO PEDAL
A soft pedal like no other, now on a modern upright - watch video

One distinct advantage grands have over uprights is their soft, or una corda pedal, which can alter the tone as well as the volume. While the Modern U has a traditional upright-style soft pedal, we've also included our fully sampled Sordino pedal which creates a softer attack and muted tone. This adds another layer of tonal color normally found only on grands. It's really like having two sets of hammers in the same piano you can switch in real time.

Also known as a moderator or celeste, the Sordino pedal places a strip of fabric between the strings and hammers mellowing the tone as if it were a softer hammer. A feature more common in historic pianos, this is not like the heavy felt practice pedal found on many uprights which substantially mutes the tone. The Sordino effect is more similar to the grand's una corda which shifts the action to use a softer part of the hammer with a different voicing. Deeply sampled including its own separate release samples and pedal noises, Sordino can be used in real time in place of the soft pedal or alongside the soft pedal for double expression capability.


 

ADVANCED MIDI RESPONSE TOOLS
Innovative split custom controls for velocity and volume response - watch video
There are two separate components which affect the MIDI response of a virtual piano: the velocity levels relating to the timbre change from soft to hard, and the gain curve which affects the volume throughout the velocity range. It's how a virtual piano interprets the incoming MIDI data and decides what timbre and volume to output based on the curve settings. Our special MIDI customization panel gives you discrete control for both timbre and volume in a powerful way never implemented in a virtual piano, until now.

A piano's response is just as important as the sound, and getting exactly what you expect is crucial in order to connect to the instrument. Dial in the response for any controller, any playing style, or choose a preset for any effect, so many possibilities. Our advanced scripting and voicing methods deliver a precise and effortless response, and combined with expert sampling, yield a virtual upright with better response that the acoustic piano itself. And you get full control of it all right here. It's how a modern virtual piano should be.
COMPLETE PEDAL CONTROL
More expressive playing possible with up to 5 customizable pedals - watch video
Many things happen with pedals when playing an acoustic piano. Hands must be free to play, so pedals are used in numerous ways. The most essential is the sustain, or damper pedal. The Modern U's sustain pedal supports basic on/off pedals with full repedaling ability and our True Pedal Action for resonance. Use a continuous control sustain pedal and tap into the adustable sample-based half pedaling, plus velocity-sensitive pedal noises for realistic sustain pedal response. Full sostenuto as well as basic upright soft pedals are also supported completing the 3 typical piano pedals.

Sordino and Muted Strikes can also be controlled with pedals. You can set Sordino to MIDI CC 67 in lieu of the upright's soft pedal. Muted Strikes can be used with a pedal, usually MIDI CC 66 if sostenuto isn't needed. All five pedal options can be used at once if enough pedals or controllers are available. Any pedal can be mapped to any MIDI CC so any controller such as mod wheel, sliders or knobs can be used. Sordino and Muted Strikes can also be activated directly on the interface with the Solo buttons. No other virtual piano offers this level of realtime customizable control.
MORE ADVANCED FEATURES
Control and customize everything. Click on each image to read more. - watch video
The resonance that trails on after you release the keys, dampers muting vibrating strings, is an integral part to the feel of the piano and how the player connects. In a real piano, this trail is left based on string length/pitch, the key velocity, as well as duration held before releasing. We use 1,400 samples per mic including distinct staccato trails to recreate the unmistakable body and ring of the upright piano. Staccato release samples create a precise effect with more string energy in bass notes and more treble and ring in higher notes. The Release Trails also respond properly with the sustain pedal and will be heard on a sustained chord when the pedal is released, just like a real piano. Adjust the Release Volume for more or less effect, and adjust the amount of crossfade between the sustain and release samples.
DETAILED RELEASE TRAILS
We use 1,400 Release Trail samples for every microphone that respond to velocity and time, including true staccato strike releases.
Multi-velocity sampled strikes of all 88 keys with the strings muted creates this percussive effect that can be switched on while playing by using a pedal, mod wheel or with the Solo button on our interface. Pedal Resonance is heard with sustain pedal use as the short percussive strikes excite nearby strings. The samples decay the fastest when a key is released, ring a bit longer if key is held, and ring with resonance if pedal is used. Load these samples then set the CC value to your controller of choice, or activate on the interface directly if no physical controller is available.
MUTED STRIKE SAMPLES
Discrete samples taken of the strings muted for a very short percussive attack. Switch from Muted Strikes to normal in real time.
• Stereo Width limits the size of the stereo image and can also be set to summed mono or L-only, R-only mono. The FLIP button swaps L-R and determines mono source. Setting Width to 1% is summed mono while 0% is R-only, FLIP button for L-only, and get perfect phase free mono on any microphone.

• Timbre Shift brightens or darkens the piano sound by shifting the root pitch of the samples. The effect can be quite dramatic and yields many tonal possibilities similar to adjusting the sale of the acoustic grand.

• Tone control brightens or darkens the sound using an EQ as opposed to shifting the samples.

• 37 high quality Convolution Reverbs are included ranging from small and large real spaces to famous hardware models and special FX. Reverb slideout panel reveals deep controls such as Time, Width and Pre Delay.
COMPLETE SOUND CONTROL
Customize your mic mix further with tools such as Tone, 3 Band EQ, Timbre Shift, Stereo Width along with 37 high quality convolution reverbs.
Presets are in two formats: mics & fx (everything including mics) and fx only (no changes to mic section). Sample loading might be slow on some systems, so we include a preset format that doesn't load mics or mic settings. These presets load very fast. Full mics & fx presets are the same except they choose and load mic samples. 'User' is displayed by default, if you select a preset it's name will be displayed, but it will jump to 'User' if any setting is then modified. You can save and load your own presets with the two buttons beside the list. To save a preset that's just fx settings, no mics, simply add '-fx' to your filename and our script will know to not touch the mic section for that preset. If '-fx' is not at the end of the filename, your preset will include the mics and all settings.
SMART PRESETS
Presets can load mic samples and settings or settings only for versatility. Over 20 factory presets included, or make your own.
The key action and hammer noises were individually sampled and are adjusted with the Key Noise knob. The characteristic double thumping of upright piano hammers is noticeable with many keys and adds realism and body. All mics include key noise though it is strongest on close mics due to proximity

Pedal Noise is each pedal in operation captured from all mics and at several velocity levels. If a continuous pedal is used, the noise responds to your pedal speed. With the sustain pedal, a slow move makes a soft damper swish, while faster moves are louder with a sharper swish and more thump. The noises of soft and sordino pedals are also included.
KEY AND PEDAL NOISES
Sampled key noise on every key with authentic upright thump, plus velocity-sensitive sampled pedal noise on sustain, soft and sordino pedals.
• On a real piano, a faint sound is heard if a key is pressed very slowly but not enough for the hammer to hit the strings. These silent key presses have been carefully sampled and play at MIDI velocity 1. Sounds include thumps from the jack escapement as well as wedge dampers in the tenor range lifting from the strings.

• Playing a note repeatedly on a real piano with the sustain pedal down results in some variation in tone, even if played at the exact same velocity. Our Repetition Strikes feature emulates this behavior by allowing pedal down repeated notes at similar velocities to come out a bit brighter or darker. No extra CPU is used and this feature is on by default.

• The Tuning panel allows you to set the base overall tune of the piano as well as the specific tune of each key of the 12 note scale. Each key can be set to Cents or Ratio, 100 cents per half step or a decimal between 1 and 2 for ratio. Choose a preset from the list or select Modified to create your own tuning which can be saved along with your custom preset.

• The total number of allowed voices can be controlled with the Polyphony setting. The default value works for most playing situations on systems meeting the requirements, even when using all 3 mics. To reduce CPU and disk load especially for older systems, use Medium or Minimum. You can set to Full or Max on fast systems and enjoy increased polyony.

• For quick reference to learn about each and every feature, there is a built-in interactive help menu to guide you through the interface. Click the -I- at the top right of the interface to open, then click on any name to show that control’s description and suggested ways to use.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Sampled silent strikes, repetition strikes, tuning and polyphony controls plus a built-in interactive info help panel complete the massive feature set.
FREE SAMPLE PLAYER
Modern U comes with its own sample player, the UVI Workstation 3 (requires v3.0.0 or later).
We provide it for free with every library that you buy, you don't need to buy an expensive sampler to use our products. It works on Mac (10.7 or later) and PC (windows 7 or later), in standalone or as a plugin (VST / AU / AAX) and in 64 bits only and is compatible with all modern daws. You can find more info about it here.
Very stable and efficient UVI engine.
The iLok dongle not required.
You can install your library on up to 3 computers and without any use of a dongle.
Powerful sample player, incredible scripting engine.
 
Modern U is also compatible with UVI's Falcon.
LIST OF FEATURES
  • Over 23,000 pristine samples stored in a small 6.5GB library, originally 55GB in wave format, thanks to lossless FLAC compression.
  • 100% sample-based, no modeling or synthesis used.
  • Very efficient use of RAM and CPU resources.
  • 6 discrete microphone setups with a menu-based interactive interface
  • Unique Sordino Pedal for a soft ethereal tonal option
  • Fully sample-based Sympathetic and Pedal Resonance
  • Adjustable Sympathetic Resonance polyphony
  • Repedal and True Pedal Action for realistic sustain pedal control
  • Half-pedal mode is sample-based and fully adjustable
  • Muted Strikes samples with a percussive attack and short decay
  • Customizable MIDI and Dynamics response
  • 37 pristine Convolution Reverbs included with deep controlability
  • 1,400 release samples per microphone including true stacatto trails
  • Powerful Stereo Width and Timbre Shift controls
  • Tuning panel includes many presets and supports micro-tuning
  • Easy computer-based activation. Use on up to 3 machines at a time with no dongle required.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
For complete step-by-step instructions and video on how to download and install the Modern U library and UVI Workstation, please visit our website at vilabsaudio.com/support. This is to ensure you get the most accurate and latest install instructions as we and UVI release product updates or any other changes occur.
  • 6.5GB free disk space (plus 4.5GB for the download install file)
  • Mac OSX 10.9 or greater or Windows 7 or higher in both 32 and 64bits
  • UVI Workstation 3.0.8 or greater (free download) or Falcon 2
  • Minimum CPU requirements: Intel Core i5 System
  • 7200rpm hard drive (Solid State Drive (SSD) preferred for best performance)
  • 4GB of RAM
  • VST, AAX and AU Plug-ins and standalone mode supported

 
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