Colossus Piano launched – Crudebyte take iOS piano sampling to desktop levels

Download from iTunes App Storecolosus-piano-logo-1Crudebyte’s have a number of sample-based iOS music apps now available including their flagship iSymphonic Orchestra which was update just a few weeks or so ago to include support for the AUv3 plugin format.

Amongst their various apps, the company already have a dedicated sample-based piano app – CMP Piano – which has proved very popular with some iOS musicians. However, this is an area with some competition from the likes of IK Multimedia’s iGrand and the piano sounds within Korg’s Module. However, they have now launched a new piano app; Colossus Piano.

As the name might suggest, Colossus Piano is big…  and by that, I mean big is terms of the sample library (and, therefore, storage space required). The base app is, itself, free and comes in at a most 133MB but, if you actually want any sound, then you have to purchase one or more of the three IAP piano instruments; Concert Grand, Baby Gran or Upright Piano…  and, if you want to hear what they sound like, then check out Crudebyte’s demo videos that I’ve embedded below.

Colossus Piano is, indeed, colossus....  14GB for the 'Grand' instrument for example....

Colossus Piano is, indeed, colossus…. 14GB for the ‘Grand’ instrument for example….

So, size or price first? Well, in terms of price, Concert Grand weighs in at UK£39.99/US$49.99, so this is not going to be for the casual purchaser looking for a half-decent piano sound to while away a few ideal minutes. The price is, however, matched by the size; Concert Grand is built on 14GB of samples, recorded in 24-bit, 96kHz stereo and with 24 sample layers for each key. Ekkk….   this is seriously detailed sampling and would certainly not be out of place in a pricey (even more pricey) desktop virtual instrument.

Things scale down a little from there…. the Baby Grand is priced at UK£22.99/US$29.99, provides 6GB of samples and features 12 velocity layers, while the Upright Piano is UK£16.99/US$19.99, has 8 velocity layers and provides a 3.4GB sample library.

The Baby Grand is slightly smaller at 6GB....

The Baby Grand is slightly smaller at 6GB….

I have not yet had a chance to try any of these for myself…  but the level of sampling and the price suggests Crudebyte are very clearly pitching these at serious piano players looking for a mobile sound source for studio or live performance. And, if the sounds in the three demo videos are anything to go by, then all three certainly sound very good indeed.

Given the detailed sampling, one would suspect that a fairly decent iPad or iPhone is going to be required (yes, the app is universal). an iPad Air 2/iPhone 6S/iPad mini 4 or newer are recommended although the app will apparently run on an iPad 3 or later. Clearly  you are going to need a decent chunk of storage space to dedicate to the samples.

... while the Upright Piano comes in at a fairly 'modest' 3.4 GB :-)

… while the Upright Piano comes in at a fairly ‘modest’ 3.4 GB :-)

Audiobus, IAA and MIDI (including Bluetooth MIDI) are all supported. You also get a very respectable selection of effects, options for adding realistic release hammer sounds, and Crudebyte’s usual MIDI player/recorder environment. Perhaps the only disappointment is that, unlike the iSymphonic Orchestra update I mentioned above, Colossus Piano doesn’t offer AU support from the off. Here’s hoping that this is in Crudebyte’s plans though as I’m sure many users would really appreciate the option….

Of course, at Colossus Piano is not in the casual purchase category for the occasional use. However,  if piano is absolutely your thing, then the detailed sampling offered here might be a very tempting proposition. Check out the video demos; the sound and performance dynamics are very impressive….

Colossus Piano


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    1. Nearly £40 quid, they are joking. I already have half a dozen excellent sounding piano apps. Surely, the only people who would buy this are those who can convince themselves that it’s better than all the rest. If it is, I can’t hear that on the demo.

      • I bought it yesterday. It’s worth every penny. It sounds better than many vast pianos available for Mac Pro and pc. It sounds big clean and beautiful, miles better than iGrand which I own as well. When you play live, you want the best available. I purchased the white baby grand not the large brown grand. At 26 dollars, it’s a steal.

    2. ConfusedKitten says:

      I agree it’s pretty high (for iOS) but if you buy Korg Module and the Ivory Grand IAP (off sale) it’s a similar price (naturally with Module you get additional things) but in terms of App Store pricing its definitely at the higher end! I guess you’re probably paying for the velocity layers (I think one of them has around 22 layers) which is a lot – my desktop ‘Kawai Ex Pro’ by the French company Acoustic Samples only has about 6 (but it’s ancient at the same time)! You’d have to throw a dynamic midi file at it to see how it sounds properly. I think with people that adore piano it’s an obsession. You should check out the community over at piano world (some users buy up every library going) but I agree if you have some great sounding libraries already, you’re probably not going to be interested in adding this to your collection. It’s good to see another multi sampled library for iOS though, choice is a good thing, and I can’t blame them for wanting to get a return on their investment (22 velocity layers would involve a lot of sampling and time/effort)! I don’t think it’s unreasonable; just more realistic than the bizarre iOS pricing were used to seeing!

    3. ConfusedKitten says:

      PS: 22 velocity layers => 24 velocity layers (sorry it’s been a long day), thanks for the heads up John! :)

    4. I can’t wait until someone comes out with a quality drum sample library

      • ConfusedKitten says:

        I agree, there’s naturally some great real drumming apps for iOS from various perspectives; but I’d love to see ‘Steven Slate Drums’ on iOS regardless! As a desktop user of it, it’s utterly amazing and does everything I could ever need, but I’ve not seen anything on iOS take quite the same approach (or to the same level) but it would be amazing – maybe one day! :)

    5. The real surprise is that up to now CMP was the best piano on iOS. To my ears it beats iGrand and module hands down. So, if this is one can improve over it it is well worth the money.

    6. This is pretty good indeed. Although at some notes you can hear clicking sounds which likely result from samples that are cut off too much at the beginning of the sample.

      It also falls into the imperfect piano category which is great for some, but a full-blown pristine iOS concert grand has yet to arrive. Korg Ivory Grand, iGrand and co just don’t cut it, when you compare them to monsters like Ravenscroft or Spectrasonics Keyscape.

    7. Hi I´m Miguel and I´m a professional pianist.
      Yesterday I have bought the colossus Dark piano 49,99 euros.
      I have on my ipad pro IGRAND, KORG MODULE WITH IVORY, CMP GRAND PIANO With the Bechstein Expansion.
      I have the Fazioli in EXS format for LYRA sampler in AURIA PRO, and the KAWAI EX pro in EXS format.
      In my PC I have the Alicia keys.
      This piano is the best of the best. The 24 layer you can feel when you play pianos ands fortes, the sound is very very clean and beautiful.
      I send a mail to know what kind of piano is the Dark, and crudebyte says me that the piano model is BECHSTEIN D280. Its one of the best grand concert pianos in the world.
      The price is good if you compare with others like alicia keys, or others.
      I think this piano is for someone who likes a very good piano for live perfomance, or recording.
      Igrand and the other pianos in the appstore are good too, but this one is on another league.

      • I just purchased the white baby grand because it seemed like a good compromise as far as cost and space on my iPad Pro. As you say, it is absolutely amazing. Worth every penny.

    8. Fausto Ferreira says:

      I’m a professional pianist/keyboardist. Three years ago, for the sake of portability, I sold all of my keyboards and started using only iPads and good keyboard controllers, live onstage.
      I have used all of the piano apps mentioned above, and many others, they all work well, with some editing, in specific situations.
      Colossus is the first piano for iPad that can compete with Nords, Yamahas, Korgs and even big sample librarys for Mac or Pc, and so versatile that can be used in any situation.
      It’s really that good. The samples are lovely, and velocity mapping is very well achieved, allowing very expressive and natural playing. The pedal down, full lenghth samples are unique in an iOS environment, and it makes all the difference. There are some things that can be improved, but right now it is the only really professional piano for the iPad

      • Hi Fausto…. many thanks for taking the time to share your experience here with Colossus…. I’m sure others will find it helpful. Out of interest, how did you find the download process for the various IAPs? I’ve done the upright OK but struggled with the other two (larger) libraries as I’ve a pretty ‘average’ internet download speed at this end…. Thanks again and very best wishes, John

        • I down loaded the white baby grand before bed time. It moved fairly slow but by the morning, it was complete. It loads within a minut when brought up which is fast from my prospective. It sounds amazing and I was ready to give up on the potential of pianos on iOS. The sound is huge and detailed to include sympathetic resonance which is so important to us folks who are passionate about the piano.

    9. Fausto Ferreira says:

      The download time is the worst part of it. It took long hours, Just left it working and went to bed.
      I don’t think that the problem is our internet connection download speed. Mine is quite decent. We only download the app from App Store, this is very small, but then we have to download the samples as InApps, probably from their own servers. This takes long hours, but it is still worth the wating.

    10. Colin Edwards says:

      I purchased Colossus small grand, instrument and have spent a couple of hours seeing what can be done with it. I find it to have some shortcomings, which I feel sure can be resolved in future updates. Fortunately Crudebyte welcome user feedback and suggestions for improvement, A ‘?’ button gives access to useful though very brief information about the app, and a link to a feedback form.

      1. Unnatural note release: Releasing a key ends the note abruptly which sounds unnatural. Other piano apps I have heard provide an adjustable tail-off which works well. Professional piano sample libraries often include note-release samples, the sound of which is related to the amplitude of string vibration at the time of being damped.

      2. The HAMMER THUNK option sounds unnaturally loud and exactly the same regardless of pitch, real piano hammers range from heavy to light with increase in pitch.

      3. lowest velocity notes are hardly audible, this does not sound natural to me. The quietest notes played on a real piano are clearly audible. I notice many of the older sample libraries are impaired by low velocity samples being progressively attenuated.

      4. Tuning anomalies can occur after playing in GHOST PIANO mode and returning to normal mode. this can only be corrected by quitting and re-starting the app, not helpful during a performance.

    11. Fausto Ferreira says:

      Sorry Crudebyte. You didn’t listen to very enthusiastic clients. Now you’ve lost it.
      Instead, you decided to launch a bunch of subpar products, samples for Colossus that aren’t even usable for serious pianists. I regret I spent my money on all of them, I simple can’t use them.
      I made some suggestions to enhance the already excellent 14gb main piano from Collosus, but instead, I bought several soundsets that are of no use to me.

      Now Ravenscroft 275 is here, and Whow!!! It’s amazing, it has all of the features I asked for, it’s only 800mb (how do they do it?), real releases, real sustain, real sympathetic resonance, real pedal resonance, wide timbre shaping, sounds good on every system, plays well on every controller.

      I’m really desapointed that you made a U turn, when you where clearly in the wright direction. Now you’re in second position for me. And second means being wiped out from the iPad to free up more than 30 gb.

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