Imagine a master pianist tickling the ivories of your baby grand without even being in the room. It sounds like a far-off fantasy, but Steinway & Sons has made it a reality.
The New York outfit, which is widely considered the world’s best piano maker, just unveiled a groundbreaking new streaming technology that allows musicians to capture a live performance and share it with others virtually. The new Spiriocast system essentially enables the casting of high-res music, audio and video from one Steinway piano to another.
The innovative sensor system, which is completely hidden from view, precisely captures the movements of the hammers and pedals to recreate an identical acoustical experience on all pianos receiving the cast, according to Steinway. Furthermore, the video and audio of each performer is captured via the included iPad and broadcast in sync with the music.
Steinway says it promises all the nuance of a live piece; think the work of Duke Ellington, Glenn Gould, Arthur Rubinstein and Art Tatum pouring out from your piano. In addition, you’ll have access to curated events and masterclasses with notable Steinway pianists.
The new Spiriocast system is only compatible with Steinway’s Spirio pianos. The first generation of self-playing Spirio pianos was released back in 2016. This was followed up with the futuristic Spirio R in 2019, which also allowed musicians to record and edit music. The Spirio R can be played just like any other piano, but uses software instead of that old-fashioned perforated paper to capture every key that is touched in high resolution. In addition to playback, the Spirio R allows you to edit or save the sampled audio via the included iPad. Using the intuitive Spirio app, musicians can correct wrong notes, change the pedal data, and modify the note velocity and duration, as well as delete or add time.
If you don’t have a Steinway Spirio or Spirio R, you will have to shell out more than $100,000 for that first before you can enjoy the benefits of Spiriocast. But, hey, think of all the money you’ll save on concerts.
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