Spitfire Audio releases free Philip Glass piano plugin: get the sound of the composer’s baby grand in your DAW

We’re big fans of all of Spitfire Audio’s free LABS instruments, but the new Glass Piano plugin - a collaboration with composer Philip Glass - looks particularly appealing.

Powered by samples that were captured at Glass’s home in Manhattan, NYC, and released to mark his 85th birthday, this gives you the sound of his baby grand piano, which has been in the same room since the 1990s.

It’s on this piano that Glass has composed all of his work since then - from his Piano Etudes to acclaimed film scores for the likes of Kundun, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal. His symphonies and operas were also conceived there.

Glass Piano comes with six presets that cover everything from ‘standard’ grand piano tones to more atmospheric and warped sounds. The simple interface and control set means that both beginners and more experienced players can use it.

Discussing his baby grand, Glass says: “My piano has been my piano for 30 years. I have a tuner who makes it sound the way I want it to sound. When I’m writing music, and if I play it, it’ll be on this piano.

“It’s not just the piano and its sound. It’s the room it’s in, it’s the density of the walls and floorboards and the temperature. It’s how young or old a piano is. My piano has a heavy action. It’s even how the keys are varnished. Just like people, pianos have personalities. 

“Especially the low parts of the piano tend to be pitches that are very clear to me. If you look at all 88 keys, the piano is different in different places. The lower octaves of my piano are not meant to be bold and aggressive. They are meant to be beautiful and spiritual, and that’s how they sound.”

Glass Piano is available now from the Spitfire Audio website. It runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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