Hot on the heels of their previous release, the enormously popular Hemisphere Ambient Cinematic Guitars, comes Spotlight Piano – Emotive Grand.




This latest library joins a line of existing Fracture Sound Steinway D piano libraries, , Midnight Grand & Glacier keys, which for the piano aficionado are all likely to have their use case and place in their collection.








What makes Spotlight Piano different from their other two Steinway D libraries, is that this time around the Steinway Model D has been re-recorded in deeper detail without felt or other extended techniques, the emphasis being on capturing the purity of this legendary piano icon.




For consistency, the same piano and recording venue has again been used, with the addition of new features such as controls for velocity and volume curves permitting the user to tailor the playing experience to suit their individual technique or project requirements.




Popular features such as the excellent atmosphere layers have been retained, and for us Komplete Kontrol NKS users, there is a fantastic new access addition to this section, more of which later.








Spotlight Piano runs in Kontakt version 6.8 and above, either the full version or free Kontakt Player, and is compatible with Komplete Kontrol.




The library will require 20GB of disk space for installation, using the NCW sample compression format.




There is one single master Kontakt NKI file, with a further 20 Kontakt NKSN snapshot files providing a base for the Komplete Kontrol presets.








spotlight Piano can be downloaded and installed entirely through Native Access after the pasting and authorisation of your post purchase license code.




Finally, A brief auto scan from Komplete Kontrol from an instance loaded into your preferred DAW will have you up and tinkling the ivories in a jiffy.








PAGE ONE – Layer Mixer, Microphone Mixer


Knob 1 – Raw Volume
Knob 2 – Atmosphere Layer 1 Volume
Knob 3 – Atmosphere Layer 2 Volume
Knob 4 – Atmosphere Layer 3 Volume
Knob 5 – Microphone Mixer Perspective
Knob 6 – Close Mic Level
Knob 7 – Mid Mic Level
Knob 8 – Far Mic level




PAGE TWO – Atmosphere Selection, Advanced Microphone Settings


Knob 1 – Layer 1 Atmosphere: Lunar, Glint, Wisp, Foray, Shade, Aura, Ether, Glow,
Knob 2 – Layer 2 Atmosphere: As Above
Knob 3 – Layer 3 Atmosphere: As Above
Knob 4 – Not Allocated
Knob 5 – Advance Mic settings, Alignment
Knob 6 – Close Mic Type: Adaptive, Custom
Knob 7 – Close Mic Blend
Knob 8 – Not Allocated




PAGE THREE – Sound, Noise


Knob 1 – Colour
Knob 2 – Timbre Shift
Knob 3 – Stereo Width
Knob 4 – Atmosphere
Knob 5 – Hammer Noise
Knob 6 – Pedal Noise
Knob 7 – Room Tone
Knob 8 – Not Allocated




PAGE FOUR – Reverb


Knob 1 – Reverb Amount
Knob 2 – Type: Room, Hall, Convolution, Shimmer
Knob 3 – Size
Knob 4 – Impulse Response Type: Scoring Stage, Concert Hall, Clean Hall, Warm Stage, Large Hall, Spring, Small Plate
Knob 5 – Fade In
Knob 6 – Modulation
Knob 7 – Damping
Knob 8 – Not Allocated




PAGE FIVE – Response, Settings


Knob 1 – Velocity Range
Knob 2 – Volume Range
Knob 3 – Atmosphere Decay
Knob 4 – RT Mode: Always On, Post Transient
Knob 5 – Sample Start
Knob 6 – Resonance On/Off
Knob 7 – Force pedal On/Off
Knob 8 – Clarity Filter On/Off








Fracture Sounds have once again stepped up to the mark in terms of accessibility, and most notably in this new release is the revised ability to choose which of the ten atmosphere layers we wish to include to play in tandem with the main raw piano sample.




We are now able to mix and match each of the three extra atmosphere layers rather than being stuck with those preloaded by default in the factory presets, and it’s on my wish list that Fracture Sound might also update Hemisphere Guitars to include this feature at some point.




Elsewhere we have the options to select, mix and blend our microphone positions, alter the sample offset, and choose from a nice range of reverb types, which includes a convolution reverb with a subset of real world impulse responses.








Undoubtedly there are no shortage of Steinway Model sample libraries on the market, and the Spotlight Piano – Emotive Grand will obviously add further to the number of choices out there.




The atmosphere layers are definitely a major and appealing plus point to set it part from other libraries, and will help enrich the players performance and likewise audience listening experience.




It is of course also possible to dial down the Raw piano sound and simply use the library as a layered pad instrument, and their are included example presets to demonstrate this ability.




Naturally though, the piano is the central focus, and is where the library really shines. As the title suggests it is also ideal for any emotive, textural, and ambient music composition, which in this respect certainly bodes well for the film score writer who is seeking that modern minimalist flavour.








Spotlight Piano includes Close, Mid & Far microphone positioning, with the ability to blend between them to achieve your ideal perspective.




Talking of perspective, there is also an Alignment control which adds a subtle amount of delay between for example, the Close and Far microphones, which can offer a natural degree of delay relative to the mic distance.








Further tweaking to the overall sound can be achieved using the Colour & Timbre Shift controls, making it possible to create a more gentler felted sound, with extra realism enhancements being possible with the dial in Hammers, Pedal Noise, and Room Tone levels.








It is great to see some really useful reverb options included, as alongside the traditional Room and Hall simulations, there is a convolution reverb with a handful of real world impulse responses to further extend your choice of ambiences.




The reverb Fade-In control is also included in this release, which first made an appearance in Hemisphere Guitars, this option lets the reverb effect gradually roll in like a wave before reaching it’s natural crescendo. I particularly enjoyed using the Reverb Shimmer type with a Fade in set to around 70%, which in conjunction with the atmosphere layers sounded rather beautiful.




As always I would suggest taking a listen to the walkthrough videos linked at the footer of this review to hear how Spotlight Piano sounds.








The sample libraries from Fracture Sounds are getting consistently better and better with each release, and Spotlight Piano – Emotive Grand is certainly their most detailed Piano library from them to date.




The updated NKS controls for the atmosphere layers is sure to be a very welcome and appreciated improvement for Komplete Kontrol users, and I know that accessibility is most definitely on the Fracture Sound radar.




If you are looking for a piano library with atmospheric nuances, subtle playing flexibility and ambient detailing, then Spotlight Piano – Emotive Grand is the new go to Fracture Sounds piano to consider.




Spotlight Piano – Emotive Grand by Fracture Sounds can be purchased from their website at an introductory price of $99, £89, €99 (until Sunday 18th June, RRP: $149, £129, €149 (including VAT).




Spotlight Piano Product Page:




Spotlight Piano – Walkthrough:




Spotlight Piano – Preset Walkthrough:


Inspired By Sound – Review:







(c)Chris Ankin


16th May 2023











The author can not accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this review,or Any inaccuracies found therein. All opinions and product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied product manual.




About the Author




Based in Buckinghamshire, England, Chris Ankin has worked as a freelance review writer and contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.




He has also successfully worked extensively in and around the music, recording, film Soundtrack scoring, Game & media composition, the creative arts, Charitable trusts,publishing, music streaming and property investments since 1982 whilst continuously and deliberately managed to evade any mainstream recognition under his own name by the use of various pseudonyms.



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