Native Instruments GIANT Piano KONTAKT

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Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4 Part5 Part6


The Giant is, in essence, a sampled distillation of the unusual, and very large Klavins Model 370i ‘Integrated Upright Concert Grand Piano’. It’s ‘integrated’ due to the fact that the whole piano is built into the wall of the room in which it’s situated. A high ceiling is required, though, as the design allows for pianos up to 5m in height, making it the biggest upright in the world! The soundboard alone is double the size of a typical concert grand.

“Sampling of this mammoth beast was taken care of by Galaxy Instruments, well known for their other sampled piano offerings”

Sampling of this mammoth beast was taken care of by Galaxy Instruments, well known for their other sampled piano offerings.

Weighing in at 3.9GB, The Giant comes as two quite distinct Kontakt instruments, each with their own sample set, GUI and associated controls. The Normal piano has three basic control sections: Tone, Anatomy and Space, providing a decent level of tweaking possibilities. Presets are included to give you a useful range of alternative timbres and are a good starting point for your own endeavours.

The Cinematic version ups the ante by including a Sources section for selecting and mixing from a range of more experimental playing styles – including the wonderful Noises FX section featuring all manner of thumps and scrapes.

The samples are then fed to a Convolution processor for tonal and temporal shaping – from subtle EQ, to reverse reverbs and tempo synchronised delay effects. In fact, this is based on the same ‘effect convolution’ technique used by the Galaxy X virtual instrument that earned an FM Platinum Award in June.

This version does incur a higher CPU load, but that’s something I’m happy to live with given the quality of the result. Both instrument versions have a basic, but fine-sounding IR-based ambience/reverb section.

Evil twin

“The Giant is really two rather different beasts sown together”

The Giant is really two rather different beasts sown together. The more polite, Normal piano is rather too strident for this reviewer’s tastes, unless Tone is pushed way down. Luckily, there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to customising the sound, with control over many areas of responsiveness, tonality and ambience. Despite this, in comparison to something like Cinesamples’ Piano In Blue, it feels a lot less ‘immediate’ in playability terms.

However, our preference was for the darker side of The Giant’s Jekyll & Hyde personality. The Cinematic version is entirely different, and allows you to conjure up a wide range of unusual tones, from the conventionally playable to a weird and wonderful world of scrapes, buzzes and odd overtones.

The convolution engine is the icing on the cake here – especially with some of the more unusual impulse responses it uses – massively expanding the range of possible piano-based tones.

So, though it was more than competent, we weren’t especially taken with the more polite side of The Giant, the other half is really very good. In fact, it’s worth the price of admission for this alone.

You’ve never seen or heard a piano like this. THE GIANT captures the sound of the world’s biggest upright piano to deliver something even bigger: An intense, dynamic playing experience with a sound that’s nothing short of inspiring.

From urban pop, film score pathos, soft piano ballads, driving rock riffs or dim jazzy timbres, the untreated sound of THE GIANT instantly satisfies – straight out of the box. Add detailed control options and a dark, cinematic version of the instrument, and THE GIANT’s distinctiveness is matched only by its versatility. Meet your new go-to piano for virtually any style.

THE GIANT runs in KONTAKT 5 or the free KONTAKT 5 PLAYER.

UNIQUE PIANO SOUND

Sampled in amazing detail, THE GIANT is a unique instrument with an extremely strong low end, crystalline highs, rich overtones, plenty of punch, and a colossal sonic spectrum – from the devastating to the sublime.

This powerful sound is easily enhanced and modified to fit your productions. 40 meticulously-tweaked presets provide production-ready starting points, and detailed control features let you precisely shape the sound in every dimension, making the instrument supremely versatile, whatever the project.

DARK ALTER EGO

THE GIANT is two instruments in one. A dark, cinematic alter ego, effectively a separate instrument alongside the main piano, offers an irresistible playground for sound design and dramatic effects. Create your own mix of unconventional, individually-sampled sound sources – overtones, resonances, plucked strings, release sounds and special techniques such as piano hits, kicks, sweeps or scratches – all directly and instantly playable from the interface, delivering professional results with a fast workflow.

These avant-garde sounds are also enhanced with detailed control options and a dedicated FX convolution engine with over 100 special piano effect impulse responses.

SIZE MATTERS – THE ORIGINAL PIANO

The original instrument is the Klavins Piano Model 370i. The ‘i’ stands for integrated – this huge upright piano is built into the wall of a room, effectively securing the soundboard. Over three meters high and weighing over two tons, the Klavins Piano Model 370i provides a soundboard that’s roughly twice the size of a typical 9′ concert grand piano soundboard.

ARTISTS ON THE GIANT

“I love how you can use the same piano and tune it to sound like anything from a rock piano to a 70s grand piano without losing its rawness.”
Harmony (Rihanna, Chris Brown)

“I LOVE it! Gonna use it on EVERYTHING.”
Marius de Vries (Bowie, U2, Björk, Rufus Wainwright)

“It’s great for layers, and the cinematic sounds work great for organic textures and huge choruses!”
Numarek (Grandmaster Flash, Shaggy, Sido)

“The amount of variant, tone and flexibility you can achieve from THE GIANT is staggering.”

Pete ‘Boxsta’ Martin (Paper Crows, E.J, Sugababes)

AT A GLANCE: THE GIANT

Product type Uniquely direct upright piano plus avant-garde cinematic sounds
For use with Free KONTAKT 5 PLAYER and KONTAKT 5
Sound category Piano, contemporary, cinematic, atmospheres
Size (Mac / PC) 3.9 GB
System requirements* FREE KONTAKT 5 PLAYER or KONTAKT 5

Please also see the KONTAKT 5 PLAYER system requirements and the KONTAKT 5 PLAYER FAQ

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