Native Instruments has tweaked their Elektrik Piano, finally adding Universal Binary support for Intel Macs. Unlike the Vokator and Spektral Delay updates, though, there are some new features for everyone to enjoy. The samples are the same, but everything else has gotten an update:

  1. Kontakt 2 Engine: EP now supports the excellent KONTAKT sampling engine. I’ve talked to several sound designers who feel this really is the best sampling engine around, so it’ll be great spending some time with the reworked EP to see how it performs.
  2. New Models: New impulse-response room and cabinet simulations.
  3. Mod FX: The mod wheel now controls new tremolo effects (A200, MK1, MK2), and wah (E7), and the E7 adds a “sound” knob that cycles through parameters, plus a damper mechanism model (via the sustain pedal).
  4. Performance settings: Set dynamic range and randomize velocity, volume, and pitch. I still generally prefer modeling these components to randomizing them with recorded samples, but I’m interested to see how this works — and even how abusing it could create some new hybrid presets.
  5. New voice allocation: Reduces CPU usage and, says NI, better models mechanical instruments.
  6. 16 new presets: 16 new “authentic instruments” presets have been designed around the new modeling features.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, the new engine will mean losing your old presets and performance settings, so you will have to rework those. Fortunately, it’s an affordable update with lots of stuff inside (just about EP 2.0, really), at EUR/USD 25 (if you registered before 9/12/06) and free otherwise.

  • dead_red_eyes

    I think it's about time that I look into this program now. I hear that it can mimick a Rhodes really well.

  • I'll be trying the update soon; stay tuned. While I really like the sound of modeling, it can get a bit CPU intensive in a big mix if you're going live (for those of us who play not only the epiano but other stuff with Ableton, etc.). So I like the sampled idea.

  • Also, the system requirements jumped a bit as well, at least for the Mac users. For those of us still in the G4 world, they went from 867MHz to 1.4GHz. My guess is that this is due to the Kontakt 2 engine, and the IR reverbs.

    This struck me as a bit odd, since Apple's TI Books topped out at what, 1.67GHz? With a jump like that, it makes me wonder if this is an upgrade that is better off for the Intel Mac folks, particularly if you're a laptop user.

  • No, that sounds like safe advice. I would generally wait on upgrading software until I had the new machine, especially on the G4 side — on the PC side, the difference between the old Pentium M and the Core Duo isn't as pronounced within the same approximate GHz range; they're both Centrino platforms. I've gotten more use out of my old PC for CPU-intensive stuff than what I've seen from relatively recent 1.5/1.6 G4s. (just in case we forgot why we went to the trouble of Universal Binaries in the first place)

  • yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!! so glad haha!

  • i downloaded the UB update, an i'm happy with the changes they have made to the software, but am overly disappointed it does not work within Kore.