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Musikmesse: GEM return with ProMega 2+ stage piano

We get a comprehensive demo at Musikmesse

Generalmusic, whose iconic GEM, LEM and ELKA brands have been revived by Finnish company Soundion, have relaunched the GEM ProMega 2 stage piano. This high-end instrument combined sophisticated piano, keyboard and string sounds generated through physical modelling with an accessible control interface designed for live performance. The new ‘plus’ model expands on these features, adding higher resolution converters, coaxial and optical digital audio outs and a new Fazioli F308 concert grand piano.

We got a demo from Paul Wiffen on Day 1 of the Musikmesse show in Frankfurt.

The GEM ProMega 2+ uses Generalmusic’s UpDRAKE (Upgraded DSP Risc Advanced Keyboard Engine) technology, which combines sampled sounds with physical modelling. The latter involves a string of further acronyms and initialisms, including NSR (Natural String Resonance), FADE (Filter Algorithm Dynamic Emulation), ART (Advanced Release Technology) and DPM (Damper Physical Modelling), but the bottom line is that the ProMega builds physically modelled sounds out of its database of samples in real time, producing accurate, vibrant and detailed sounds that the designers say are unmatched. The ProMega 2+ could be described as a multi-keyboard. It features three separate sound engines – one for pianos, one for vintage keys and one for organs, basses and strings – each with a simple on/off button. These sections can be used individually, layered or split across the 88-key, graded hammer-action keyboard. Each section features a rotary controller to select your sound, a level slider and buttons to switch in the two effects sections, one dedicated to reverb and the other offering a range of modulation, delay and compression effects. There’s also a dedicated four-band graphic EQ. While these controls make it easy to dial in sounds on the fly, there’s also a bank of preset recall buttons to access the 64 factory presets and 64 user-programmable slots. At the rear there are main and aux stereo audio outs, stereo audio in, digital audio out and three external pedal inputs. The MIDI in, out and thru ports and joined by two USB sockets, one for MIDI and one to connect to a computer for OS updates. Built in Finland, the ProMega 2+ is a high-end instrument in every respect. It will cost £2999 / €3300, but US pricing is yet to be confirmed.

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