Ravenscroft 275 Piano updated – UVI tweak their excellent iOS piano instrument

Download from iTunes App Store I posted a full review of UVI’s Ravenscroft 275 Piano app just after it was launched. The app has caused a bit of a stir amongst iOS piano players and many folk think the sound and dynamic response of Ravenscroft make it the best acoustic piano app we currently have.

The virtual instrument is obviously intended to be a recreation of the high regarded (and very expensive) Ravenscroft 275 grand piano which – if you are into hardware acoustic pianos – comes with a specification to die for. UVI have attempted to recreate the sonics and performance detail of the original with some seriously detailed sampling (the app is a 900MB download). There is, apparently, also some pretty sophisticated data compression going on based around the FLAC format; uncompressed we might have closer to 6GB of sample data.

Ravenscroft 275 Piano – UVI’s take on a top-end virtual piano for iOS.

The UI certainly tries to capture the elegance of the original hardware piano. It’s a pretty simple affair with lots of clean lines and all the main controls housed in a single screen. You also get a good technical spec on launch. Audiobus, IAA and detailed MIDI support is included and – yay! – the app is also able to run as an AU plugin within a suitable host. It requires iOS9.3 or later and an iPhone 5/iPad 4 or newer is recommended (yes, it is a universal app).

UVI’s Sparkverb is included to add some ‘space’ to the sounds and you also get a 3-band EQ. The latter is very effective in changing the tonal properties of the piano while the reverb is, like it’s desktop equivalent, very good indeed. The on-screen keyboard can be customised via the Split button to show two layers. The dynamics response when using an external keyboard (the graphic located on the right of the UI is very intuitive) can also be adjusted. Bluetooth MIDI is supported if you have a suitable MIDI keyboard.

Priced at UK£34.99/US$34.99, this is obviously not in the casual purchase category for most iOS music makers so if you are going to consider buying the app then I guess you will have to be pretty serious about your piano sounds. In my own view, the Ravenscroft 275 sounds as good as it looks…. and, compared to an equivalent desktop sample-based virtual piano, I think it represents good value for money. That still won’t stop a lot of iOS musicians wincing at the price though, although I think that’s more a reflection of just how much value the App Store offers rather than any suggestion that UVI have ‘over-priced’ Ravenscroft 275.

The app includes AU support as shown here within Cubasis.

Anyway, UVI released a minor update to the app a couple of days ago taking it to v.1.0.3. The update includes a fix for saving the configuration state of the virtual keyboard (just a detail being tidied up) but also assigns MIDI CC7 to the app’s volume slider. This should make it much easier to control the app’s volume from an external MIDI keyboard as the default volume control on almost any external keyboard should be set to CC7.

This is a serious good virtual piano….  Feel free to check out the trailer video below….  it looks and sounds fabulous. There are further audio demos on the UVI website that are also impressive. For more information, read the full Music App Blog review of the Ravenscroft 275 and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.

Ravenscroft 275 Piano

Download from iTunes App Store

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    1. Charles Telerant says:

      John, do you really feel this is better than Crudebyte’s Collosus piano?

      • Difficult question obviously as piano sounds are, of course, a matter of personal taste….. but it would probably be my choice at present of all the top-end iOS piano apps….. with the disclaimer that that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the choice for everyone…. :-) best wishes, John

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