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Last year, Modartt’s Pianoteq virtual software won the Music Tech Platinum Award for Best Software Instrument. Its latest offering, version 5.1.4, certainly reveals why: the software’s scope for parameter adjustment could have certain tech ‘types’ tweaking for hours, with some truly impressive new features.

First and foremost, Modartt has dramatically increased the level of control afforded with the software’s sound recording element. With the addition of directional microphones, a choice of 15 industry favourite microphone simulators now feature, including the Neumann U87, AKG C414 and numerous DPA, Schoeps and Royer models. Three-dimensional microphone rotation is another new feature, and an improved binaural setting delivers a higher quality 3D sound.

If all this seems a little specialist, then the good news is that Modartt has added a number of new and improved overall preset offerings. Existing piano models such as the D4 and Blüthner Model 1 have been refined, but the most notable development is a new addition, the K2 Grand Piano – created by ‘combining the best elements of several piano sources’.

What might excite IP readers most, however, is the new Kremsegg Collection. In collaboration with Austria’s prestigious Kremsegg Schloss Museum, Pianoteq has crafted a new collection of historic 18th and 19th-century instruments, including a 1796 Broadwood, an 1835 Pleyel and an 1841 Erard. And all of this is available in a download that only requires 130MB of space!

LOUISE GREENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2015 - ©Rhinegold Publishing