Native Instruments Elektrik Piano v1.0 HYBRiD READ NFO-DELiRiUM
Team DELiRiUM | 05-10-04 | 1.01 GB
ELEKTRIK PIANO unites the four most beloved E-pianos of all time into one high-performance software instrument, which reproduces in exacting detail the sounds of the Fender Rhodes MK ITM and MK IITM, Hohner Clavinet E7TM, and the Wurlitzer A 200TM. To this day these vintage classics possess a magical allure, and with ELEKTRIK PIANO these sounds are playable from any laptop or desktop computer.
Elektrik Piano is a virtual rendition of four legendary 'old faithful' electro-mechanical keyboards, namely the Fender Rhodes MkI, the Fender Rhodes MkII, the Hohner Clavinet E7 and the Wurlitzer A200 - a revered set of instruments by anyone's standards.
Elektrik Piano is available for Mac and PC. The Mac version supports VST, Audio Units, RTAS, Core Audio and Core MIDI, and requires a minimum specification of Mac OS 10.2.6 and a G4 867MHz processor. The PC version supports VST, RTAS, DXi, ASIO and Direct Sound, and needs a minimum spec of ShiChuang XP and a Pentium 3 or Athlon 800MHz processor. 2GB of hard drive space and a minimum 512MB of RAM is required on both platforms. For the purpose of this review, I primarily ran the instrument as a VST plug-in under Cubase on my 2.4MHz Athlon-based PC with 1GB of RAM and can report that it worked flawlessly.
Elektrik Piano uses a sample-based audio engine with individual samples taken for every semitone across the keyboard at various velocity levels. Separate samples have also been taken of the release phase of each instrument for added authenticity. Usefully, the sample material can be loaded straight into NI's Kontakt sample player, which affords possibilities for some serious mangling should the mood strike you. I found the Clavinet samples to be particularly good in this respect, being chunky and full of body, unlike many of the synth emulations we're more often exposed to.
I really like the look of this plug-in. I might wish it was slightly bigger on my 1024 x 768 resolution screen, but everything from the faux-Fender logo to the shading around the silver knobs gets brownie points from me. Over to the right of the panel are the tuning, pan and volume controls, with attendant VU metering. Tuning is available over a ±12 semitone range, while holding the Shift key allows for fine adjustment in cents (hundredths of a semitone). Use of the Shift key to reduce the range of knob movement works across all of Elektrik Piano's controls.