The team over at IK multimedia continues to churn out high quality applications and hardware for the modern musician – Today we’ve had an exclusive first look at iGrand Piano for iPad and I have to say that the sounds are really great. The screen shots and the testing were performed on an iPad 2 running iOS 6 and with the full version of iGrand Piano for iPad.
Regarding the great sound, according to the IK multimedia – “All the pianos were meticulously captured via high-definition sampling across multiple velocities, and offer true-stereo sound, extremely low latency, and a level of playability and expressiveness that’s on par with the best sampled pianos on the Mac and Windows platforms. iGrand Piano is the premiere iPad piano app, unparalleled when it comes to sound quality and variety.” I think the sound quality really shines through in a sample video they provided.
As for my own experience, after attempting to play music directly on the iPad, I think the best experience playing with this application will in conjunction with the iRig MIDI when you can plug in a larger sized key board. This is what they’ve done in the sample videos. I found myself hitting the wrong ‘keys’ quite a few times on the iPad surface. I’m sure with more practice I could get better at it but my gut reaction is that I’d be more effective using a larger keyboard.
As I mentioned at the top, the sounds are great with no noticeable latency – here are the basic piano options included with the app – GRAND PIANO I, CLASSICAL PIANO I, JAZZ PIANO I, OCTAVE PIANO, RICH UPRIGHT, ROCK UPRIGHT, and SOFT UPRIGHT. With Free registration you’ll also get JAZZ UPRIGHT.
For an in app purchase of 9.99, you can add the following – BABY GRAND, BRIGHT BABY GRAND, POP BABY GRAND, CLASSICAL BABY GRAND, GRAND PIANO 2, MELLOW GRAND 2, ROCK PIANO 2, SALOON PIANO, and GRAMMOPHONE UPRIGHT.
Each of the pianos is highly customizable – See the following screen shot for the different “knobs” you can adjust. The “Lid” knob allows you to open and close the virtual piano lid for a slight change in sound.
Next, there’s a virtual metronome to set the tempo – (screen shot below). The controls are very simple. From left to right you have Tap/Tempo, Play/Stop, On/Mute and volume.
The 3rd screen is the playback and recording screen – here you can find a few samples of prerecorded music (Beethoven, Mozart and Satie). Plus, this is where you can create your own masterpiece. Once I recognized the “New” button. If you look at the screen shot, the lettering is a little dim and I missed it the first few times I looked at the screen. After I finally located it, all the functions were very intuitive. No issues.
Overall impression: This is a great sounding piano application for the iPad with a lot of variety in the different high quality pianos sounds. What I’m enjoying about IK Multimedia’s products, and this one is no different, is how they work together and how they are very specific to the area of music they’re targeting for each app. This iGrand Piano app seems targeted at people who are hitting the keys, the guitar apps like Amplitube are focused on guitar, likewise with the voice apps and accessories like the iRig Pre all work together so nicely. With this new app, iGrand Piano, the splash screen shows the iRig KEYS. I’m sure these will work well together so you can bet we’ll be trying them out as soon as we get the iRig KEYS.