updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Velvet for Pro Tools
Digidesign today showcased numerous products at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention in San Francisco, and unveiled its new "Velvet" vintage electric pianos instrument plug-in for Pro Tools. Following demonstrations of the company's Mbox 2 Pro, Pro Tools HD 7.2, and VENUE D-Show Profile, Digidesign today launched its new RTAS instrument plug-in that delivers realistic emulations of electric pianos -- from classic to modern -- to a Pro Tools system. "Velvet accurately emulates the nuances of the original instruments, both in sound quality and playing feel, and is based on four legendary electric pianos--the Fender Rhodes Suitcase, Fender Rhodes MK I and MK II Stage Pianos, and Wurlitzer A200," said Peter Gorges, director of Digidesign's A.I.R. group. "Dialing up the perfect piano sound is easy--just select one of over 100 presets--or tweak the sound to your heart's content with unrivaled sound control." Velvet is due to ship in the near future for $250.
Velvet features precisely modeled emulations of classic tube overdrive, compression, EQ, wah/filter, chorus, tremolo, tape delay, and other effects to deliver high quality realistic sounds. The plug-in's controls work virtually almost like the originals, allowing users to easily modify sounds at the twist of a knob or notch of a slider. "The sound of a vintage piano isn't just what you record at its audio output," Gorges said. "It's also shaped by the amplifier and speakers--or a preamp--and most sounds rely on effects such as chorus, phaser, wah, and tape delay."
To achieve its electric piano recreations, Velvet employs proprietary dynamic modeling, which is a unique combination of sampling and modeling techniques. "We first recorded select original pianos with painstaking precision for accurate sound character reproduction, which no current modeling technique can cover convincingly," Gorges explained. "Then we looked at the various behaviors of the piano as you play it, and trained the underlying engine to reproduce them." The feature allows users to create sounds normally only heard with a real electric piano, according to Digidesign.