8dio releases Soundpaint, a free sample player plugin that includes a FREE vintage 1928 Steinway Grand Piano instrument.
Soundpaint is an analog-style sample engine that has been eight years in the making. When I first heard about Soundpaint, I thought it might be a subscription-based platform, but it’s not.
The engine is free to download (including the 1928 Steinway Grand Piano), and the other instruments range from approx $20-$80. You can purchase the All Bundle with every current instrument for $300. The developers say a new instrument will be released every week.
8dio, who teamed up with Sequential for the Prophet X, are masters when it comes to deep sampling.
The point of Soundpaint is to create a blank canvas, where you are limited by nothing but your imagination. In other words, combining their advanced knowledge of sampling with a highly intuitive interface.
The GUI is definitely intuitive, and its modular design makes it easy to understand what’s going on, from sound generators to modifiers and effects, etc. However, at first sight, it’s not drastically different from things we have seen before.
To find out if it really is easier, faster, and better than the rest, we’d probably have to add more instruments and get into the more advanced sound design capabilities.
For example, Soundpaint allows you to take up to four sounds, morph them together, and dictate which sound has the most dominant characteristics. If it’s as flexible as 8dio suggests, it could be very interesting.
I’ve only looked at the free piano so far, which is well worth checking out. It’s a vintage 1928 Steinway Grand Piano, and what makes it unique is 8dio’s Velocity Morphing. By morphing velocity layers, the engine generates new velocities and samples.
In theory, it means there are no more awkward jumps between one velocity layer to the next; instead, it’s a seamless transition from the first to the last.
With a regular MIDI keyboard, you’ll get 127 velocity layers per key. With a MIDI 2.0 controller, you’ll get over 66,000 velocity layers per key.
All of that is only impressive if you have more control over dynamics and can play with greater expression.
So far, it seems to be very expressive without much need for tweaking. It’s also one of a few that I’d say create some feeling of depth and weight you get from a real piano. Nice piano voices are ten a penny (or a Dime a dozen in the US); responding like a real instrument is rare, and Soundpaint does better than many in that area.
I’m not quite ready to say it blows every other piano away, but I’ll take freebies like this every day (please).
Soundpaint is available in AU, VST, and standalone formats for macOS and Windows.
Another free piano library worth checking out is the Piano In 162 by Ivy Audio.
Download: Soundpaint (includes FREE 1928 Steinway Grand Piano)