Grand Rhapsody by Waves

Grand Rhapsody has been a staple in my studio for many years as it perfectly imitates the F228 and I do not own an acoustic piano. The VST is fairly inexpensive yet has been used in the chart breaking Adele song 'Hello.' In fact most of the time Grand Rhapsody can be found on sale for only $29. The original preset is ready to record a grand sound without changing anything.

In my own workflow I often place the VST on a new track and immediately begin recording because the sound already matches what I want.

There is great flexibility within the plugin to sound like any grand piano that you've played in real life. The first setting that really effects the sound is the microphone positions; A close microphone gives a bite at the beginning edge of each note creating a bright sound that will really stand out in the mix while a room microphone is effective in creating walls out of the sound that are further away from the listener allowing you to fill the piano around a lead that's already been created, with many more microphone types and positions available, a combination of these spaces is possible. A warmer tone is achieved by picking a microphone position that is a little further away from the hammers with a ribbon mic that picked up an abundance of tone from the acoustic piano. Sustain resonance controls the amount of pedal but more uniquely is the key up and pedal fader which adds percussive noises from the keys back into the sound. The reverb on Grand Rhapsody is a convolution reverb from the room where they recorded the F228.

A solid piano instrument is one of the most important things for a keyboardist to have at their piano playing fingertips and Grand Rhapsody has ended wasted hours of trying to find a piano sound among ginormous libraries.

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