Arturia returns with V Collection 5, an important update of its legendary keyboards collection.
The V Collection 5 puts on the table the Synclavier V, the B-3 V, the Stage-73 V, the Farfisa V, and Piano V, a complete suite of acoustic pianos.
In this review, I will take a closer look at Piano V, an original approach with a wide range of real sounding pianos, but also having controls over different components and characteristics, leading to results never seen before. Just like the other Arturia plugins, it doesn’t rely on samples, it generates all sounds by entirely simulating the physics of a piano. So Piano V is a synthesizer, and comes with all the advantages of this type of instrument, for example when it comes to creating a more personal sound to define you as an artist.
This flexibility comes from its architecture, and the interface just conveys a feeling of familiarity and ease of working. I can only admire the modern style, with big and clear fonts, a neutral color scheme, and intuitive controls and modules. Let me say that Arturia is finally up to date.
Piano V consists of nine different pianos crafted using Arturia’s modeling technology: Classical Upright, Jazz Upright, Piano-Bar Upright, Pop Upright, Concert Grand, Glass Grand, Intimate Grand, Metal Grand, and Pop Grand. It is obvious that each of them offers a different experience, if you want to have the classic & intimate feeling you will choose the classic tone of Concert Grand, but if you need a piano to sound more modern to electric, you have at your fingertips a series of pianos with a sound adapted to current pop songs, e.g Pop Upright, Glass Grand or the superb Pop Grand. These nine pianos can be selected in the “Action” field, under “Piano Tuning” slider. Once selected, each piano can be viewed in all its splendor in the upper main part of the plugin.
Next in the “Action” zone, we find “Piano Settings” with easy access to velocity curve, which is essential for those with MIDI keyboards. The “Action” field can be expanded, and we are revealed controls for strings, unison detune, dynamics of hammers, pedal and hammer noise, etc plus some other mechanics and features that those looking for more realism will appreciate.
Moving on to the “Mix” controls, here we can take care of “Mic Setup”, where of course, as the name implies, we can change between different microphone setups; the graphics is more than suggestive. Next you can switch between different room setups, from concert halls to small studio rooms (you can also tweak your own reverb). These two (“Mic Setup” & “Room Setup”) plus the equalizer controls found in Master module help you sit the piano in the mix, and they do it very well. The equalizer have both interactive display and knobs – it is a pleasure to work with.
Until you learn how to tweak its controls, Piano V comes with a cool preset browser, where you can select sounds by types, banks and characteristics. There are 38 presets now, I am sure more will come with next updates, but for the moment it feels like is enough, we’re talking about a piano, not a workstation.
Piano V from Arturia is a fantastic addition in the already legendary V Collection, it is just what we need after all the (amazing) synthesizer recreations. Piano V is classy, and offers a lot of controls for having your own piano tone and adding “realism” to it, then offers a comprehensive “Mix” panel to sit the sound in the mix. It is same time complex but simple, classic but modern.
Piano V, with its nine piano models, not offers just nine piano tones but endless possibilities to make your own sound. Although some purists might say that it sounds metallic, lifeless, and it feels the “synthesis” in it, I personally declare myself super pleased with this instrument, especially as it doesn’t keep me hooked on the tons of gigabytes of samples, and is interactive and urges creation. It feels like mine.
So it goes without saying that I recommend Piano V wholeheartedly…