In 2015, Steinway & Sons launched a line of Grand pianos that, with the help of an iPad, allowed owners to tap into an archive of performances by some of the world's top players, and have the piano play them back. Now the iconic maker has introduced the next generation of this piano – the Spirio | r – which can record a musician's own live performance and play it back, while also allowing for tweaking and sharing through a companion app.
The original Spirio piano could certainly be played by musicians, but it was also aimed at well-heeled listeners. It came supplied with an iPad, onto which was loaded an app that gave listeners access to an ever-growing list of piano performances from top players and current Steinway artists – of which there are more than 2,000 – and legendary players from yesteryear, including Duke Ellington and Art Tatum.
When music was selected, the piano would start to reproduce the chosen piece, perfectly. This was no player piano from a dusty saloon in an old western, Steinway promised a level of accuracy that would make a Spirio experience virtually indistinguishable from a live performance. It would, in effect, be just like having the artists themselves playing live in the room.
The new Spirio | r extends the functionality of the original to include the ability to record live performances of folks actually sitting at the piano, as well as allowing for playback of pre-recorded music from the content library.
"Steinway's culture of innovation has truly reached its pinnacle through Spirio | r, which provides artists with the capabilities to perform, record, and perfect their performances in a groundbreaking new way," said the company's Ron Losby. "Never before have artists been able to capture the nuance and soul of their playing so precisely on a Steinway. As the maker of the world's finest piano, we are proud to introduce this new evolution of our beloved instrument, and look forward to the opportunities this technology will bring to professional and amateur pianists alike."
Available as a flagship Concert Grand and a shorter Grand, live recordings can be captured to Steinway's own high resolution format, MIDI or high quality MP3 for easy sharing. And the Spirio app running on the included iPad Pro now features an editor for tweaking recordings, "allowing users to edit every nuance of their Spirio recordings."
Steinway hasn't revealed pricing for the Spirio | r, but it's likely to be nipping at the heels of a hundred thousand bucks, maybe even more.
Source: Steinway & Sons
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