We’ve always been impressed by Modartt’s Pianotech virtual instruments. Based on a physical modelling paradigm as opposed to a sample-based engine the instrument. Robin Bigwood noted in his April 2015 SOS review that version 5 was “musical, flexible, efficient, lean, and now truly comparable with the sound quality of the sampled opposition.”
Now, after three years of research, Modartt are taking a further step forward with Pianoteq 6. This version brings numerous refinements in its engine and physical model, now implemented in all of the 49 physically modelled instruments. What’s more, it’s authorized by Steinway & Sons. The world-renowned piano makers have approved the sound and playability of the Pianoteq virtual instruments Steinway Model D and Steinway Model B, which have both benefitted from the company’s refinements of the physical model.
Pianoteq 6 adds compatibility with the VST3 format and the ARM architecture (Linux version only, for example on Raspberry Pi 3 boards). It includes chord identification, and the tuning section has become even more advanced with new tools, say Modartt. The standalone version now offers a MIDI playlist, an improved MIDI archive, and the ability to export audio to FLAC and MP3 formats, in addition to WAV.
The Pianoteq instrument is known for responding and interacting like a real acoustic instrument, and allowing the player to tweak the sounds in ways only possible with physical modelling — and all with a tiny memory footprint. In Pianoteq 6, Modartt claim to have further advanced and increased the realism and acoustic presence of all Pianoteq instruments including acoustic pianos, electro-acoustic pianos, historical instruments and chromatic percussion.
You can download and evaluate the free trial version of Pianoteq from the website www.pianoteq.com, where you can also listen to audio samples. Existing Pianoteq customers can upgrade to version 6 on the Pianoteq website for €29/$39. There are three versions available, with pricing for new customers of €99 for Pianoteq Stage, €249 for Pianoteq Standard and €699 for Pianoteq Pro.