Acoustic piano reinvented

The art
of sound design


Marco Iodice

In this preset you can appreciate the power and versatility of the arpeggiator of Augmented Grand Piano, I’m in love with the option that allows you to randomize the gate and velocity parameters! You should hold some chords and deep dive into macros: watch the sound timbre go from a simple percussive piano into an analog Chaotic and tensive ambience. Magic.

Marco - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Marco ↓

Surely one of the most valuable aspects of the instrument lies in the extreme quality of the recorded piano samples. I was amazed by the variety of recordings, ranging from standard and pristines pianos to prepared pianos to complex and deeply experimental articulations. Super inspiring!

I usually organize the sound design process from the beginning, trying to define the macro objectives that I want to achieve. Surely it was important to spend some time listening to songs and piano approaches of great artists, so as to receive input and inspiration from which to generate my own sound. I’ve truly enjoyed layering piano sound with granular soundscapes, so much fun!

Working specifically on this project for me was almost a natural process. I’m a big fan of experimental and deep layered piano timbres. Well, with Augmented Grand Piano all this is within Knob’s reach, it’s impossible not to get a new and inspiring sound! Augmented Grand Piano is an immediate, layered and good-looking instrument, you will be enchanted by the magic it contains inside!

Where The Other Goes

New Loops

I’ve chosen Galaxy Pluck as the favourite preset I made. It’s an arpeggio, and I like the way it changes from a traditional piano, to a synth sound while turning the morph macro. It’s an easy preset to play and works well just holding three or four note chords. It’s also fun to use aftertouch to change the arpeggio speed, which can lead to some interesting results!

New Loops - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About New Loops ↓

As with the Augmented series in general, I really like Augmented Piano and its ability to offer a vast range of timbres from a single preset. Using the morph macro in combination with the colour macro, mod wheel, and aftertouch, leads to the discovery of some truly unique and exciting sounds. There is a nice dynamic quality to the sounds which makes them fun to play.

For me, the main strength of Augmented Piano is the ability to layer two real piano sounds, with two synthetic sounds. This could be granular textures, or analogue and digital synths. Itís this dual approach that leads to practicably limitless sound design choices.

My approach to sound design for Augmented Piano was really the same as the others in the series : usability and uniqueness first. Each sound has to be useful in the context of music, whether that is a pop song, or a film score. I try to make sure modulations are useful when playing with aftertouch and the mod wheel. I want people to play my sounds and be inspired to produce music.

Cotton Wool Worlds

Jorg Huttner

Cotton Wool Worlds is one of the cinematic sounds I made and it sounds very soft and airy, but easily changes character the moment you dial in the distortion effect on one of the layers. It can support both a very beautiful scenery, but also a more suspenseful and tense atmosphere. It basically starts out as a pad first, but the time knob allows you to transform this more into the piano-esque sound it can be.

Jorg - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Jorg ↓

The really interesting aspect of Augmented Piano is the ability to combine real piano samples with synthetic sound engines. Morphing between the two allows for organic sounds with an edge, which is very useful for any media composition like film, TV or video games. Mixing the real samples with the analog, wavetable or granular engines plus the top notch filters always lead to interesting outcomes.

With Pigments being a go-to instrument of mine for granular synthesis and whenever I need to process a sample and add layers on top, Augmented Grand Piano definitely was something to look forward to. You often are looking for something that sounds like a certain instrument, e.g. a piano in this case, but still different and fresh. This was what I tried to get out of this for this latest iteration of the Augmented series.

All I Am

Gustavo Bravetti

For my preset All I Am, I wanted to start with an intimate piano and then, with the help of the Macros, turn it into something huge, rich, and full of movement. Pitch Shift Delay effects on both layers played a major role in sound enrichment, transformation, and motion.

Gustavo - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Gustavo ↓

The Augmented Grand Piano is undoubtedly another great success for ARTURIA Augmented series. The real samples are so good they kept you playing for hours, even with a completely dry signal path. And when you start adding the processed piano samples, the synth layers, automation, and effects, incredible sounds just keep pouring.

I spent several hours just playing with the stock samples, such a pleasure. Once I knew my sources and available tools, materializing my sound design ideas was super easy. Everything fit just perfectly. What was hard was to restrain myself from deviating from an (initially intended) simple, intimate piano, ending several times in a huge cinematic evolving patch. But that is part of the process, and I love it!

Dov Waterman - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Dov ↓

The quality of the sampled material was definitely a surprise. The way it was implemented also as a simple multi sample player was also very well done. Very playable.

As I am actually a pianist and piano tuner by trade, my go to start point is always the most authentic piano sound I could find. It was then the task of finding something as far removed from that as possible without losing perspective- and bridging the two coherently.

I love the mod wheel’s effects: it thickens the sound into a wild, windy soundscape using only the resonance. Very effective for setting a sci-fi or mystical ambiance.)

Free Will

My Favourite preset has to be Free Will. It uses two different sounding samples to create a very sonorous and rich tone in layer A. On the other layer there is a distorted organ-like analog synth. Blending the two really creates a warm glow. Where the preset really comes into its own though is with the Motion macro which when turned fades in a sequenced pattern generated by one of the function generators. Truly emotional and effective in a wide range of genres but especially deep organic house.

Drone it

Quentin Feuillard

Who doesn't like a long atmosphere created by a piano in a huge reverb? No one does. So that's the basis of this preset, augmented with some synthetic textures with synchronized long modulations to create an evolving atmosphere. Morph A is composed of a classic drone sound where piano and synth sounds are mixed, and morph B of a modulated granular texture to add movement to the sound. The macro is designed to transform the sound during your sustained chord, making it more intense or the opposite, as you wish!

Quentin - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Quentin ↓

The samples inside and the presets engines are the must have to get inspiration. The intuitiveness of the Morph parameter to blend your two creations and the evolving capacities with macros from Pigments and modulators give you an infinite possibilities !

I always think of an idea before making presets, I listen to music or watch videos that inspire me a lot to recreate or try to keep the same feeling while creating. For example, Tape Piano was inspired by a video that talked about recording on tape, and I tried to imagine how I could recreate the same behavior as a physical material.

Firefly Felt

Lily Jordy

This preset has a very contrasting Layer A and B that I love. Layer A consists of the Felt real samples combined with a simple sine wave from the Synth engine to add depth, while Layer B demonstrates the Granular Engine so beautifully. Try it out yourself!

Lily - on Augmented GRAND PIANO

About Lily ↓

Layering the additional and processed piano samples was a huge source of inspiration for me to create beautiful textures and tones. Being able to easily swap the Engines to try out different combinations and how they Morph between each other is something I really appreciate in the Augmented series instruments.

I wanted to create some original prepared piano sounds, and add randomisation to the pitch and other parameters to accentuate the organic feel of the presets. I combined some of the atypical processed samples like Balinese Beach and Mallets to deep piano tones, and also creates reverse note effect with Functions.