DSK Music has announced the release of The Grand, a freeware grand piano instrument in VST and AU plugin formats for host applications on Windows and Mac.
The Grand is a typical Maize Sampler creation, featuring an ADSR envelope for the volume, a built-in reverb effect, and the output level adjustment knob. Each sampled note comes with four velocity layers, although there is no information on how many notes were sampled. There’s no information about the sampling process either, nor about the original piano instrument that was used to create the library. Judging by the size of the download package (only 47.1 MB in size), the sample pool is quite small, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A piano virtual instrument with a smaller memory footprint is sometimes more suitable than a huge multi-GB piano library.
As a simple grand piano rompler for use in background, The Grand works pretty well. It sounds decent as long as it’s used as a backing element of an arrangement and not a solo instrument. I find that smaller rompler instrument such as this one are ofting handy for sketching out background chords and harmonies. Once the project is ready for the mixing phase, the part can be assigned to a more detailed piano plugin or sample library. If you’re looking for a free piano library to use in your projects, look no further than Piano in 162 by Ivy Audio.
DSK Music was a very active developer until a few years ago. Their website contains dozens of freeware sample-based virtual instruments, covering everything from drums and orchestral instruments to synths. Much like The Grand, these are simple instruments that can be used on lower-end machines and the initial stages of a project.
The Grand is available for free download via DSK Music (47.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).