Steinberg The Grand Virtual Grand Piano (Mac and Windows)

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Built to replicate the sounds of the world's finest grand pianos, this software also includes 60 high-quality reverb presets to simulate any environment.

A first-rate collection of virtual pianos makes up the third version of The Grand, consisting foremost of three recorded models based on highly acclaimed grand pianos: the Yamaha C7, the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial and the Steinway D. Alongside two additional virtual pianos with the distinctive character of the vintage Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand and the upright by Nordiska Pianofabriken. As a result, The Grand 3 boasts a variety of piano sounds for different music styles, at a sound quality that is simply phenomenal. Exceeding current standards in virtual piano modeling, The Grand 3 by Steinberg gives musical inspiration a new name.

Back with a Masterpiece

The Grand 3 boasts completely different piano models to its two predecessors, merely building on the prestige that its name has managed to attain over the past years. This means that versions 2 and 3, both old and new, equally deserve to be held in high esteem for their respective quality piano models. But always keep in mind: for The Grand 3, Steinberg has not only come up with several different piano models but uses intelligent sample architecture and latest recording technology to achieve an even more authentic sonic image and realistic feel.

Three grand masters

The Grand 3 prides itself on three outstanding virtual grand pianos with a rich and realistic sound based on the most widely acclaimed grand pianos. The Yamaha C7 grand piano is the artist's choice -- its sound providing a true concert grand experience, while read more the expressive tone of the Boesendorfer 290 Imperial provides an extended musical range not found in other pianos. What's more: the incredible sound, responsiveness and superb playing behavior of the Steinway D have also been added to perfectly complement the collection of virtual pianos featured in The Grand 3.

More pianos, more choices

The classic Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand has a timbral character that makes it genuinely recognizable. The Nordiska Pianofabriken upright piano has been recorded and designed for the not so grandeur of musical genres -- its sound is ideal for pop and jazz music.

Superb reverberation

The Grand 3 comes with a convolution reverb based on the same technology used by REVerence, the world's first VST3-based convolution reverb processor already featured in Cubase 5 which benefits from every single aspect the VST3 standard has to offer. It boasts sumptuously realistic natural space simulation, emulating any acoustic environment -- from the smallest live music venue to the most impressive cathedrals. This reverb includes a vast number of impulse responses that put the characteristic sound of some of the world's most distinctive settings immediately in one's hands -- both in stereo and surround.

An algorithmic reverb is also included to increase the amount of reverbs. With more than 60 reverb presets, this leaves the artist with ample scope to spatially enhance the piano sound.

Flexible equalization

This powerful and versatile equalizer offers full four-band parametric control that works as a sum over all output channels with variable response curves and shelving modes, as well as analog-style peak filters.

All tuned up

The enhanced tuning editor provides customizable scales and a wealth of presets for tempered and concert tuning. Each tuning situation may be stored and retrieved as preset whenever required.

The Grand 3 standalone

The standalone version allows The Grand 3 to be used without a host application -- a great choice for performing live and delivering the best sounding, most playable virtual piano software ever experienced.

The Grand 3 standalone version comes with two additional features:

- For the record: The quick-idea scratch pad in The Grand 3 standalone version guarantees that all flashes of inspiration are recorded. Simply hit the button and The Grand 3 records everything played -- now there's no excuse for missing that one tune! With the scratch pad allows the recorded sequence to be played back for rehearsal purposes or exported as a standard MIDI file. It is also possible to load MIDI files and play them back as well.

- Never miss a beat: The metronome integrated into The Grand 3 standalone version is a useful tool, helping musicians keep a constant tempo while practicing the most difficult of piano pieces.

The Grand 3 Advantage

The Grand 3 covers everything an artist is looking for in a virtual piano suite. Of course, it features five premium piano models with an overwhelming sound quality, but it also focuses on the intricacies: flexibility through different microphone positions, compatibility through multiple format support, and usability due to the range of included tools.

Yamaha C7 and Bosendorfer 290: Most sought-after virtual grand pianos

The unparalleled tone of a Yamaha C7 grand was recorded in its whole beauty and musical range. Its incredible sound, resulting from the tonal projection and long sustain, and response with super realistic playing behavior delivers the musical equivalent of perfection. This virtual piano is truly in a class of its own and conveys the expressiveness of the player.

The wider register of the Bosendorfer 290 Imperial grand adds to the piano's timbre which has intricately been sampled to give the artist the required control when playing the softest pianissimo through crescendos to the reserves of power needed for the loudest fortissimo. This virtual piano model shines in every musical aspect, providing the exuberant sound quality and assertiveness of its corresponding real piano pendant.

The enchanting depth of tone and ultra-responsive touch of the Steinway D grand piano is reflected in the Model D found in The Grand 3. Its warm and vibrantly rich sound and its overall performance simply make playing this virtual piano as enjoyable as possible.

Yamaha CP80 and Nordiska Pianofabriken Upright

The Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand is one of the most favorable classic electric grand pianos around and comes with built-in effects, such as tremolo, phaser, flanger and chorus. Here Steinberg has acquired the samples directly from the source: the content experts at Yamaha.

The upright by Nordiska Pianofabriken definitely has personality of the right sort. And its characteristic tone has been captured in the virtual upright piano model, designed to get the job done when looking for that little extra edge to any song. It might be rock, blues, jazz, gospel or any other style that simply needs some attitude -- when the tone requires a less "grand" sound this model is definitely the artist's first choice.

Intelligent sample architecture

Unlike digital pianos and samplers, The Grand 3 features an intelligent sample architecture that meticulously responds to the individual playing behavior of each user, delivering natural full-length sustain and decay for truly unique tonal character not powered merely by looped samples. This amazing technology also adds the distinctive pedal and hammer noises, key thumps as well as fully note-on, note-off and resonance samples to thoroughly recreate the sound of acoustic pianos as they are originally intended to be heard.

Latest recording technology

Using latest recording technology, the three concert grand piano models and the vintage upright available in The Grand 3 have been sampled and edited with painstaking effort by a top sound-engineering team. The only exception being the sound of the Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand, the samples of which were recorded by Yamaha in Japan.

Equipped with high-grade Neumann microphones, customized high-end preamps and converters specially tuned for pianos in a large acoustic space specifically designed and built for this particular use, engineers generated the source material to highest standards.

No additional electronic equipment was used during the recordings to capture the natural sound of the acoustic pianos. Plus, two different microphone positions (close and player) available in The Grand 3 result from a 12-microphone setup used for the recordings, giving the musician the ultimate freedom to dictate the piano's immanent sound.
Authentic sound quality

The Grand 3 delivers ultra-dynamic response and hammer action with up to 20 different velocity samples for each key, faithfully capturing the full extent of every note's envelope. Sustain and sostenuto pedal support, subtle mechanical noises and true resonance make The Grand 3 the most ambitious and innovative piece of software engineering to date, resulting in the grandest collection of virtual pianos.


The ECO Mode already featured in The Grand 2 is now also available for all pianos in The Grand 3. Using ECO Mode, The Grand 3 reduces RAM consumption and enhances CPU performance by freeing up power for other processing tasks, such as disk streaming.


Already wowed in The Grand 2, the RAMSave technology makes highly efficient use of the host computer's memory. When active, RAMSave discards superfluous samples from the main memory in order to provide space for other tasks, automatically scanning the MIDI notes allocated to The Grand and dumping all unassigned samples from the RAM.
Support of all major formats

The Grand 3 supports all major formats, such as VST and AU. And by supporting ReWire, The Grand 3 runs with any audio workstation, while the standalone version can even be used without any host application at all.
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The USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key (copy protection device) required to run this product is not included. Customers who do not own a USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key must purchase one separately. The same USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key copy protection device is then used for all Steinberg products that require it.

Minimum System Requirements
The minimum system requirements state the minimal specification your computer must have to be able to use the software. A more powerful system may be required for certain tasks or larger projects. You can find more information about computer system specification and setup here.

- Mac OS X 10.5
- Power Mac G5 dual 2.0 GHz or Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Approx. 32 GB of free HD space
- Display resolution 1024 x 768 pixels
- CoreAudio compatible audio hardware
- DVD-ROM drive with dual-layer support
- USB component port for USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key (license management)
- USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key is required*
- Internet connection for license activation
- For using as plug-in or ReWire slave-device, a VST2, VST3, AU or ReWire compatible host is required.

- Windows XP (SP2) or Windows Vista
- Pentium/Athlon 2.0 GHz dual core mobile or dual core 2.0 GHz processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Approx. 32 GB free of HD space
- Display resolution 1024 x 768 pixels
- Windows DirectX compatible audio hardware (ASIO compatible audio hardware recommended for low-latency performance)
- DVD-ROM drive with dual-layer support
- USB component port for USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key (license management)
- USB-eLicenser/Steinberg Key is required*
- Internet connection for license activation
- For using as plug-in or ReWire slave-device, a VST2, VST3, AU or ReWire compatible host is required.

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 844-358-4022

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (46 ratings)
Submitted October 16, 2013 by Vanessa P in Cottonwood, AZ

"The Real Thing"

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
My main problem (which isn't actually a 'problem') is that I happen to own a Yamaha Clavinova. From 1994. If you've ever played a Clavinova, you know that there is nothing in the digital piano universe that rivals its sound. But since mine comes from the 90s, it only has 32-note polyphony. And newer Clavinovas are nearly as expensive as newer Grand Pianos. So I have been searching for years (seriously) for a comparable piano sound with better polyphony that won't force me to take out a second mortgage. Enter Steinberg's 'The Grand 3'. You can set your polyphony to whatever your computer can handle up to 256-notes (serious overkill, IMO). And since the famous Yamaha C7 is one of the included samples, I expected to get what I had long been searching for. As of this review, I haven't yet accomplished that. The Grand 3 has piano sounds that are absolutely authentic and amazing in their own right, but my prejudiced ears still consider my Clavinova to be superior in all aspects. That said, I have come across nothing else that comes as close to perfect as The Grand 3. Not the Motif ... not the Triton ... not anything other than a genuine acoustic grand. So while The Grand 3 doesn't rival my Clavinova, it has eclipsed everything else digital that I've ever heard. There are other programs out there like The Grand 3 that have top-notch sounds. From what I've heard, the differences in sound are too minute to adequately rate. You can tell a slight difference in sound space and the tone read more and timbre of the sampling processes, but each program gives you plenty of options for modifying the sound. For the money, I would say that The Grand 3 is well worth it if authentic piano sound in a digital environment is what you're looking for. On a final note ... I must add that Steinberg's eLicense process was a major pain to me. I already have a soft eLicense with the Cubase DAW that I have, but I couldn't use that for The Grand 3. I had to buy a separate USB eLicense "key" to use the software. If that USB 'key' gets damaged or lost, I can no longer use The Grand 3. To me, that is a major design flaw, especially since the soft eLicense I have for Cubase isn't subject to that vulnerability.

Sound is superb. Record something, sit back and close your eyes, and you can imagine a beautiful grand piano right there in front of you.

The features are relatively few, but that is something thing I love. The software is devoted to authentic sounding pianos, not bells and whistles. You get all the adjustments you could ever want for acoustic piano, plus a few bonuses like pedal sounds and string resonance, for example.

Ease of Use
Apart from slow load times (due to the very large file sizes for each piano) it's pretty straightforward. It was designed in a very intuitive, user-friendly manner.

Top notch. Best I've heard since I bought my Clavinova back in the 90s.

Well ... hard to say. I would've said "definitely" except that I also just added XLN Addictive Keys, which is a very similar concept but at a fraction of the cost. The Grand 3 is more comprehensive, but I have to admit that the one grand piano in the XLN Addictive Keys rivals the sound I get from The Grand 3.

Manufacturer Support
This is a mixed bag. The Steinberg website is - in MY opinion - a convoluted mess. Not remotely user-friendly, which is odd given the simple nature of the software itself. Steinberg and Yamaha seem to be two sides of the same company. My emails to Steinberg through their website were answered by someone who had a Yamaha email address. I was pleased with their attention to my questions, so I give them a 50/50 on this one.

The Wow Factor
Pure piano sound and response. If you have a keyboard with weighted/hammer action and good monitors, you can close your eyes and imagine you're sitting at the real thing. You can tweak the EQs to suit your preference, and throw in (or throw out) extraneous piano sounds like pedal action, hammer bed action, string resonance and so forth, to give your recordings a more authentic vibe.

Musical Style:
Jazz, Classical, Blues, Rock
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