Before I dive into the details, take a listen to some of the new sounds in this video from Yamaha Synthesizer artist Jonas Gröning:
Nahre Sol performs with the two new acoustic pianos included in the CP OS v1.5 update:
New Voices and Live Sets
CP OS v1.5 adds two great new pianos, synth pads, strings, brass, woodwinds, guitars and more.
This Concert Grand piano was recorded inside a German concert hall. The result is a remarkably playable, present and rich-sounding instrument. The Hamburg Grand combines qualities found in both the CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial. It has the solid fundamental tone I love about the CFX, making it present when combined with other instruments. It stands out in a band, allowing you to be heard when comping or soloing without being overly cutting. At the same time, the Hamburg Grand has a nice resonant quality like the Bösendorfer Imperial. This makes it a nice choice for solo piano or more spacious and ambient genres. Simply put, this is a great addition to the CP73/88 Stage Pianos.
You’ll now have four different concert grand pianos to choose from: Hamburg Grand, CFX, Imperial, and CF3. Along with the character-rich Nashville C3, the specially voiced Live CF3 and two 7’6” grand pianos, the C7 and S700, OS v1.5 offers a room full of grand pianos suitable for any style of music.
Felt Piano U1
A Felt Piano is a specific sound created by adding additional layers of felt between the hammers and the strings. This creates a soft, delicate and intimate sound. Felt Pianos are popular, and you’ll hear them in film scores, ambient musical styles and jazz. The Felt U1 was created in collaboration with Steinberg using a special robot named “OSCAR”, or “Optimized Sample Computed Automatic Recording”. Check out the images of OSCAR during the Felt U1 sampling session:
OSCAR physically plays each not on the piano precise velocity levels during the recording process. The result are perfectly even velocity layers that deliver the smooth response of the Felt U1. It’s extraordinarily responsive, with a deep rich sound in the low register and a full, enveloping character throughout the entire range. The Felt U1 has a serious cinematic quality. I find it very useful in this context, but it’s also a fine alternative when accompanying a vocalist works well when layered with electric pianos and pads. I use it when creating looping textures with the delay (check out the CP Tech Talk!)
New SUB Section Sounds, 8 New Live Sets
The Hamburg Grand and the Felt U1 are the stars of CP OS v1.5, but there are also 19 new Sub Section Voices:
Pads: Dark Light, Digi Pad
Ensemble and Solo Strings: Lite Strings, Unison Str, Violin, Cello
Want to check out these new Voices? OS v1.5 adds eight New Live Sets showcasing these new Voices with effects, in splits and in layers.
New Touch Sensitivity Settings
The CP Series has five Touch Curve Settings: Normal, Soft, Hard, Wide and Fixed. These settings are fine, but what if you wanted a “Normal” Touch Curve that outputs a bit harder or softer? Or maybe a “Soft” Touch Curve that responds a little closer to “Normal”? And wouldn’t it be nice if that setting could be saved on a per Live Set Sound basis?
Welcome to CP OS v1.5 and the new Live Set Touch Sensitivity Settings! You’ll find this new feature pressing [SETTINGS]/Touch Sensitivity:
This feature works like a velocity compressor or expander. Incoming velocity can either be increased or decreased at the output as necessary. This feature is cool because:
You can save different Live Sets with unique Touch Sensitivity Settings. This is useful when switching between acoustic pianos and electric pianos. When I’m playing an electric piano Voice on a funk, jazz fusion or R&B tune I want my electric piano be full and present. Increasing Touch Sensitivity Depth and Offset helps to achieve that fullness. This setting is nice for Clav as well.
You can have multiple versions of the same Live Set Sound with different Touch Sensitivity Settings. For example, say you like to play the CFX in three different scenarios like a solo piano gig, a jazz trio gig and a high-energy classic rock gig. Each one of these might require different Touch Sensitivity Settings. The cool thing is the Touch Curve, which is a global setting, can remain the same. All that needs to be adjusted are the new Touch Sensitivity Settings. For the solo piano gig, I might need a harder setting to maximize my entire dynamic range. Before I might set the Touch Curve to “Hard” to accomplish this. Now I can slightly decrease the Depth and Offset parameter to get a softer sound. For the jazz trio gig, I might not change these settings at all, or maybe just a little. For the rock gig, where I might need a harder sound, I won’t need that lower velocity level like I do on a solo gig. In that case I might increase Depth and Offset. This delivers that harder sound without me needing to play harder.
I encourage you to experiment with these settings and find out what’s right for you. It’s a useful way to customize the feel of a Live Set for maximum expressiveness.
Yamaha Synthesizer Product Specialist Blake Angelos has over thirty years of experience with music hardware and software. An expert in music technology, Blake has conducted numerous clinics, master classes and presentations throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. In his role as Product Specialist for the Synthesizer Department Blake appears in many product videos and artist interviews, writes many articles for YamahaSynth.com and co-hosts a regular Podcast called “Behind the Synth”.
Before his work with Yamaha, he taught music theory and jazz studies courses at Arizona State University; managed a technology-focused music store in Seattle and was a production supervisor at Microsoft, where he led a team that developed groundbreaking interactive music content for the Microsoft Network. Blake holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. Blake currently resides in Bellingham, Washington with his family, and between his travels around the world for Yamaha, he performs as much as possible with several jazz and creative music groups in Bellingham, Seattle and other places in the Pacific Northwest.