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Quick Guide

Grand Piano Virtual Instrument


If youre using the stand-alone version of the software, you will have to set
up MIDI and audio before you can start to play. You can find these settings
in the menu bar under Application - Preferences.

Stand-alone: MIDI and Audio Setup

The Vienna Imperial

The installation may take a while, so you can take your time to read the
Vienna Imperial PDF Manual that will explain its features in more detail. If the
installer is terminated for some reason, the installation can be resumed by
running the Vienna Imperial Library Installer again and specifying the same
options as during the previous run.

Start the Vienna Imperial Software Installer by double-clicking on its icon.

Follow the instructions to install the software. On a Windows machine you
will be asked for locations to store the stand-alone software and VST plug-in
(preferably in your sequencers VST plug-in folder). After installing the software youll also have to install the library content files. Please start the
Vienna Imperial Library Installer if it does not do so automatically and
proceed with installing the content. For the library content, be sure to select
a target location with sufficient disk space. The complete set of 3 microphone positions will take about 50 GB of disk space.

Now you can start the software and library content installation. Please note
that the eLicenser holding your license has to be inserted in a USB port on
the computer where you want to install and run the Vienna Imperial.


4. Start the LCC software and click on Enter Activation Code.

Follow the instructions to store your permanent license on your eLicenser.
When asked to enter the Activation Code, copy and paste the entire code
into the first field.

3. Log in (or register if youre not a registered user yet) at our websites
User Area and register your Vienna Imperial with the Serial Number you
will find on the sticker attached to the cardboard bottom inside your box.
You will then receive your Activation Code that you need to download
your permanent license.

2. Insert your eLicenser into a free USB port. Download and install the
eLicenser License Control Center (LCC) software from
Attention: If you are using different computers for Internet and music,
you will have to install the eLicenser software on your Internet computer
as well to be able to download your permanent license.

1. To register and install the Vienna Imperial Collection, you need a

ViennaKey or other USB eLicenser (e.g., from Steinberg or Arturia)
to store your permanent license on.

Permanent License Download

Registration and Installation

In the GUIs upper right-hand corner you can see a Load Samples button. If
you click on it, youll get the options to load the complete set, omit soft pedal
samples, omit release samples, or omit soft pedal and release samples. If
you only have 2 GB of RAM, you should at least choose to omit soft pedal

The button bar below the piano window allows you to set the pianos Tuning
between 336 and 444.99 Hz as well as its Polyphony (40 to 384 voices),
which may be necessary to adjust depending on your computer setup. Of
course, the Vienna Imperial is equipped with an intelligent note-stealing
function so that you will hardly hear any omissions even with a lower polyphony setting. However, high polyphony settings may create streaming problems (rapidly shutting down notes) on systems without a sufficiently fast
hard drive. By default the polyphony is set to 80, which should be sufficient
for most musical performances.

When first starting the Vienna Imperial software, you are presented with the
Basic view. This gives you access to the pianos recording position you can
select from Close, Player, and Distant. Click on one of the position buttons
to load the corresponding sample set. Please note: On a 64-bit system it is
possible to open two instances of the Vienna Imperial in your sequencer;
however, we do not recommend mixing two positions playing the same
piece the samples of each position already are a mix of several miking
positions, and mixing them with each other might lead to phasing problems.

Basic View

On the Channels tab you can select an output pair for a multi-channel
audio device and an input MIDI channel filter.

On Windows this will show ASIO and DirectSound devices. We recommend

native ASIO drivers, because choosing an ASIO DirectX or a DirectSound
device will add some playback latency. If desired, you can also set the
devices Sample Rate here.

Next, go to the Audio tab to see that your sound interface (sound card, USB
or Firewire device) is set up properly.

The preferences screen contains three tabs. To connect your master keyboard or other MIDI device to the player, open the MIDI tab and select the
MIDI ports you want to use for input.

Piano parameters change the Vienna Imperials more advanced features.

The Dynamic Range slider controls the difference in loudness between velocities of the piano and essentially is similar (though not identical) to a compressor. The values that yield results comparable to the sound of the original piano are located at approximately 5560%, and are therefore set by
default. Sympathetic affects the amount of sympathetic string sound, while
Pedal Noise adjusts the amount of pedal noise added whenever you step
on a pedal. Stereo Width lets you narrow your pianos spread in the stereo
field, which can be important for live performances; however, there is no
positioning in the stereo field, so in the sequencer, you should use, e.g.,
Vienna Suites PowerPan to properly set up your piano position. Please note
that Sympathetic and Reverb Amount are effectually switched off only if set

Reverb allows you to dial in four algorithmic halls (low on CPU usage) or to
set up the built-in convolution reverb, where you can choose from three
halls of the Vienna Konzerthaus.

With the help of the Three-Band Equalizer you can fine-tune the pianos
overall sound. Click on one of the bands and drag it to change its gain and
frequency value. <Ctrl>-drag on Windows and <Command>-drag on Mac
changes the Q factor (bandwidth) of a frequency bin. <Alt>-drag locks the
gain and adjusts only the frequency, while <Shift>-drag changes only the
gain value. Double-clicking on a band will revert it to its default value. The
Vienna Imperials Presets already have pre-configured EQ settings.

The Advanced view allows you to fine-tune your piano sound. You can open
it by either clicking on the Advanced button on the GUIs lower right, or toggle the view by clicking in the free space on top of the GUI. The basic selection of Close, Player and Distant microphone positions has now moved to
the left to make room for other parameters that you may change to get the
sound you desire.

Advanced View

samples (the default). The release samples are very important for achieving
an authentic sound, so if your computer setup allows it you should have them
loaded. You can change the options even during loading the software will
simply start over with loading the proper set. On the button, the letters R
(for release samples) and S (for soft pedal samples) are highlighted according to your selection.

Your Vienna Symphonic Library Team

Play and enjoy!

12 Mysterious Piano: Distant position, strong EQ,

reverb: Grosser Saal, dynamic range adapted

11 Loudness Piano: Close position, strong EQ,

reverb: Mozart Saal, dynamic range adapted

10 Soft Lounge Piano: Player position, EQ softens high frequencies,

reverb: Mozart Saal, dynamic range adapted

09 Melancholy Piano: Close position, EQ softens middle frequencies,

reverb: Grosser Saal, dynamic range adapted

08 Dry Rock Piano: Close Position,

EQ accentuates high and bass frequencies, dynamic range adapted

07 Jazz Piano: Player position, EQ,

reverb: Neuer Saal, dynamic range and stereo width adapted

06 Ballad Piano: Player position, EQ softens high frequencies,

reverb: Grosser Saal

05 Distant Concert Piano Small Hall: Distant position, EQ,

reverb: Neuer Saal, dynamic range and stereo width adapted

04 Distant Concert Piano Big Hall:

Distant position, EQ, reverb: Grosser Saal,
dynamic range and stereo width adapted

01/02/03 Close/Player/Distant Position Default:

All parameters set to default values

00 Empty: Unloads samples and resets everything to default values.

The Vienna Imperial comes with several Factory Presets featuring different
convolution reverb settings and sound possibilities.

Factory Presets

The Key Editor View lets you adjust the volume and equalization settings
of each key separately.

For more information on these and all other menu items of the Vienna
Imperial, please refer to the PDF manual that you will find on the CD-ROM
as well as at our websites User Area.

The MIDI parameters you can set up are Sensitivity for the pianos reaction
to your keystroke velocity (-100 to +100) please note that in extreme positions, some middle range velocities played may be skipped (i.e., replaced by
other values) due to the sensitivity curve; Octave Shift (-4 to +4) which is
useful if your master keyboard has less than 88 keys or if you want to reach
the lowest keys of the piano displayed in black on the GUI; and
Transposition (-12 to +12) which you may need, e.g., if you have to play a
piece in an unfamiliar key.

to -inf, which may help you to save lots of CPU power if youre experiencing dropouts or glitches while playing.

Bsendorfers computerized grand also allowed for another innovation, the

recording of perfectly timed release samples, depending on the length of
the note played by the user. In particular, the releases of very short notes,
with lengths between 100 and 1,000 ms, were recorded in subtly gradated
steps, because in this range the length of each held note most affects the
volume and sound of the release. Therefore the Vienna Imperial can reproduce release sounds very authentically, most audibly when playing short
staccatos in the lowest range.

The CEUS technology made it possible to exploit the velocity range of the
MIDI protocol to an unprecedented degree. Up to 100 velocities were recorded per key and playing technique, i.e., with and without pressing the sustain pedal, and alternatively with the soft pedal down. There are simply no
audible steps between the singular velocity layers, and every single key has
its own authentic velocity curve. These precise recording techniques would
have been impossible without Bsendorfers CEUS technology. No human
pianist, no matter how skilled, would be able to play 100 evenly spaced velocities from pianissimo to fortissimo, not to mention playing them consistently across all playing techniques such as sustain pedal or soft pedal down.

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Specifications subject to change without notification Printed and produced in the EU.
All rights reserved. 2012 Vienna Symphonic Library GmbH, Draschestrasse 89, A-1230 Wien, Austria. e-mail:

The CEUS computer grand is capable of recording even the most subtle key
movements and positions using microprocessors and highly sensitive optical
sensors. It plays those recorded notes absolutely identically using solenoids
installed under every key. Far exceeding the limits of any other system, the
CEUS measures the velocity of the hammer on its way to the string just
before striking it (a distance of just 0.15") with an accuracy of 0.0001 milliseconds, and even records and exactly reproduces the key movements after
every strike.

The VIENNA IMPERIAL virtual piano is a class of its own. The venerable
Bsendorfer Imperial 290-755 that the Vienna team hosted at the Silent
Stage for two months was equipped with the famed piano manufacturers
CEUS technology, which allowed for the most precise and by far most extensive piano sample recordings ever conducted in the history of music technology. 1,200 recorded samples per key represent a magnitude of sampling
detail that has been unthinkable up to now.

Grand Piano Virtual Instrument