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Spitfire Audio unveil BBCSO Piano

Latest collaboration with the BBC now available

Spitfire Audio BBCSO Piano BBC Symphony Orchestra library Maida Vale Studios

Spitfire Audio’s BBCSO series captures the sound of the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing in Studio 1 of the legendary Maida Vale Studios. BBC Symphony Orchestra Piano features a Steinway Model D grand piano recorded in concerto position in the same room, and played by BBCSO concert pianist Elizabeth Burley, and can be used an extension that blends seamlessly with the existing library, or as a standalone instrument.

Three Versions

As with the BBCSO series, this latest release comes in three different versions: Professional, Core and Discover. The Professional edition offers the full sampling depth and set of controls along with a choice of 15 mix and microphone signals, whilst Core still offers the same depth and controls, but with a single curated microphone mix. Discover then integrates the instrument into the company’s free BBCSO Discover library, with a reduced depth of sampling and a single microphone mix.

We reviewed the original library in the November 2019 issue of SOS, click here to take a look

Professional Edition

The flagship version of the library features a total of six dynamic layers and four round robins, and provides dedicated level controls for the volume of both the hammers and pedals. A Tightness parameter and adjustable velocity curves allow users to fine-tune the response of the piano, and the library also comes equipped with its own built-in reverb.

Much like the BBCSO orchestral library, this latest offering has been captured from a wide range of microphone positions — 13 in total, many of which were used in the same configuration as before to ensure consistency — resulting in a versatile instrument that provides users with a detailed level of control over its sound. Two predefined mixes offer a traditional orchestral balance as well as a wider, more modern cinematic sound, whilst those who wish to create their own mix are provided with access to the following selection of signals captured from varying distances and positions:

  • Tree: Situated above the conductor's head, use this as a basis to add other signals to
  • Outriggers: A wide set of omnidirectional microphones, designed to be used in conjunction with the Tree to add width
  • Ambients – High above the orchestra near the back of the room, these microphones add the most reverberant sound of the room
  • Mono: Traditionally what the BBC used to record the orchestra, a single ribbon microphone above the conductor's head
  • Piano Hammers: A set of condenser mics placed directly above the piano hammers for a tight, percussive sound
  • Piano Ribbons: A set of ribbon mics positioned fairly closely to the strings
  • Piano Mids: A stereo pair at a medium distance from the piano
  • Piano Far: A stereo pair at a further distance from the piano
  • Sides: Super-wide omnidirectional microphones, ideal for adding a unique level of width or for adding into an Atmos mix
  • Balcony: As far away from the instrument as possible, these are right at the back on the viewing balcony of the studio
  • Atmos Front: A stereo submix specifically for use within the front of a Dolby Atmos mix
  • Atmos Rear: A stereo submix specifically for use within the rear of a Dolby Atmos mix
  • Spill All: A combination of other section mics covering the rest of the orchestra, use to add an element of realism to the mix


BBCSO Piano runs in Spitfire Audio’s own plug-in, which is supported on PCs running Windows 7 and above, and Macs running macOS 10.13 and higher. It is available in VST2, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in formats, and the library requires 35GB of disk space.

Pricing & Availability

BBCSO Piano is available now, with the Core version priced at $99£79 including VAT / €89, and the Pro version costing $189£149 including VAT / €179.

Until 20 July 2023, those who own BBCSO Core or Pro are eligible for a crossgrade pricing offer of $74£59 including VAT / €66.53 or $129£99 including VAT / €122.17 for the Core and Pro versions respectively.

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