Hephaestus Sounds has released Steinway Grand 2, an improved version of their great sounding free piano sample library for Native Instruments Kontakt.
The original version of the Steinway Grand sample library was released back in October 2013, along with three other Kontakt freebies. The new version of the library is based on the same sample set, althoughHephaestus Sounds have made several improvements in order to make the instrument sound better.
Updated or not, this is certainly one of the best free grand piano sample libraries around. Take a listen to the audio demo posted below and you’ll know what I mean. Another one which you should definitely try is the amazing Piano in 162 by Ivy Instruments, a fantastic free piano instrument. You’ll find even more alternatives in our directory of free piano samples.
Back to Steinway Grand 2, it’s a surprisingly lightweight sample library with a mere 48 MB footprint when extracted. Although that may often be a sign of a sampling job done poorly, this free library serves as a proof that even lightweight sample collections can sound great. A huge benefit of such approach to sampling is the fact that playing the virtual instrument won’t slow down your computer, which is essential if you’re working on a laptop or a less powerful desktop machine.
The custom Kontakt instrument panel features a simple 3-band equalizer for shaping the sound on the output and a convolution reverb effect which can be controlled directly from the user interface. It’s also possible to turn the key release sounds on or off by pressing the dedicated switch on the instrument panel. Please note that you’ll need the full version of Kontakt 5 or higher in order to use this sample library, as it will only work for 15 minutes in the freeware Kontakt Player.
The official Hephaestus Sounds website seems to be down as I’m writing this, so I’ve linked to the KVR Forum thread below. To grab the free sample library, click the download link in the first post and then click the word “qui” on the download page. The download will start immediately.
Check out the Steinway Grand 2 audio demo:
Steinway Grand 2 is available for free download via KVR Audio (42.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 1 instrument in NKI format for Native Instruments Kontakt).