IK Multimedia’s iGrand Piano for iPad review

Sections: iDevice Apps, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Reviews

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Provides: High quality virtual piano
Developer: IK Multimedia
Minimum Requirements: iPad with iOS 5.1+
Price: $19.99 (free version also available)
Availability: Now

Apple and music go hand in hand, and while Garageband for iOS is an amazing app, it was never meant to be the only musical app on your iOS device. Apple made a great all around music app, but definitely still left the door open for developers. IK Multimedia has jumped at that opportunity a few times before, and they’re at it again with iGrand Piano for iPad. It’s the most realistic piano app you’re going to find on iOS and it’s full of realistic pianos for you to play.

Garageband is a wonderful app for getting down a musical idea or experimenting with different sounding instruments or effects quickly and easily. But it’s weak point is that you can’t add instruments to it (unlike the desktop app). What you can do is import audio clips from other audio apps, if they support it. Needless to say, iGrand Piano does, but let’s start from the beginning.

IK Multimedia’s iGrand Piano is a piano app that not only replicates the sound of a grand piano in ultra-high quality stereo, it gives you options to modify that sound as if you were physically in front of said piano. For instance, you can modify the position of the lid, the tuning, release and even the ambience (which would definitely be harder to do in real life). But what’s really cool is that it’s not just one model of piano. This app comes standard with seven pianos that cover a wide range of possibilities from the standard grand piano to a rock piano, an upright, and a few more unusual models. If you register the app, you’ll get an extra model. And if that’s not enough, there are nine more models available for in-app purchase (which you can purchase as a pack for $9.99). If it’s not here, there’s a good chance it might not be a piano.

But iGrand Piano has more features that make it a well polished app. Having high quality piano models at your disposal is great, but I doubt anyone would argue the iPad’s screen is the ideal method for playing them. Here’s where you have options. This app is ready for pretty much anything you throw at it. Whether you have an iRig MIDI, another iOS MIDI adapter, an Apple USB adapter with a USB keyboard, or you’re waiting for IK Multimedia’s own iRig KEYS MIDI USB keyboard, it’ll work with iGrand Piano. That’s great news, because this sort of app just wouldn’t be the same if you couldn’t play it with a physical keyboard. This also means you can bring your own keyboard, which is a huge plus. Furthermore, you can assign all of the controls mentioned before to physical knobs on your keyboard.

And finally, an app like this wouldn’t be complete without the ability to record. This is key for a few reasons. First, if you aren’t a first class pianist (I’m sure not), you can listen to one of the three songs that come preloaded to help you get a feel for the piano models in the hands of someone who really knows what they are doing. Secondly, when you do play something amazing, you can not only record it, but export it too. And, like always, you have options. You can save it as an audio file, or more usefully, you can copy the audio to the clipboard and paste it into another audio app in which you may be composing a song with other instruments. So, there you have it, this is how you add higher quality instruments to Garageband.

Whether you’re looking for the highest quality piano sounds available for your iPad or you just want more choices than Garageband has to offer, iGrand Piano is likely just what the piano teacher ordered. The eight included piano models are both high quality and cover a wide range of styles. The ability to use MIDI and USB keyboards along with recording and exporting really seal the deal with this app; it does everything that you want from a virtual piano instrument.

It’s also worth noting that this app is not universal, and that there’s an iPhone version coming soon. So unless you want to buy it twice, you might want to think about which version makes more sense.

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iGrand Piano Review
By iGrand Piano

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