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.