Big Fish Audio - IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 - Detailed sampling of a Japanese C7 Grand Piano at the IRCAM Institute
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IRCAM Prepared Piano 2

Detailed sampling of a Japanese C7 Grand Piano at the IRCAM Institute
IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 - Detailed sampling of a Japanese C7 Grand Piano at the IRCAM Institute
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A Piano of Your Own Design
IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 is an epic creative partner and a near-limitless sonic canvas. Explore the sound of piano like you never have before, equipping each key with any 2 of 45 preparations, apply powerful creative effects, and then perform them in incredible new ways with a duo of smart and highly customizable arpeggiators, all recorded on an immaculate C7 Grand Piano at the IRCAM Institute in Paris. Try the included preset preparations, or make your own - the possibilities are endless!

The Ultimate Prepared Piano
With more than 12,000 samples and 45 preparation techniques, IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 gives you complete control over how the preparations are used and combined. Explore the timbre variety of over 40 different preparation styles. Utilize screws, erasers, coins, clothespins, sticks and more. Excite the strings with a mallet, plectrum, bow or even an EBow. Utilize bar hits, Una Corda, Sostenuto, dynamics and velocity, as well as independent mixing between 2 mic positions, you can even layer two preparations for each note with discrete level and pitch controls!

Powerful Effects, Endless Potential
IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 delivers powerful creative effects including a frequency shifter, diode clipper, convolver, EQ, Sparkverb, delay, and maximizer, allowing you to add a finishing touch or radically reshape and transform your sounds. Step over to the Seq page and you will find a duo of featured arpeggiators, including our smart arpeggiator/phraser and the powerful Rain arp, adding new levels of depth and creativity to your performances. IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 is a powerhouse of possibility for curious minds of any musical background.


With IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 we've modernized this powerful library with numerous feature and QoL enhancements, including completely revamped effects section, powerful arpeggiators including our Rain arp, and many workflow and usability improvements thanks to an all-new user interface.

  • Completely revamped effect section, now including a frequency shifter, diode clipper, convolver, eq, Sparkverb, delay, and maximizer

  • All-new Sequence page with our smart arpeggiator/phraser, and Rain arp, two powerful tools for augmenting your performance to create rich and evolving sequences

  • Redesigned UI, improves aesthetics and usability, adds HiDPI support

  • 150 new hand-crafted presets


    Creativity at Your Fingertips
    IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 includes a huge selection of preparations, each carefully hand-configured and recorded numerous times to allow for an immediate sound and natural playability. Every preparation offers a completely new timbre which can be layered per key, allowing you to create everything from fragile tapestries of sound to powerful, raging phrases of indeterminate origin.


    A normal piano sound. The strings are struck by hammers, triggered by the notes played on the keyboard. Use of the una corda and forte pedals is possible. There is no object in or on the strings modifying the sound.


    The strings are struck with a vibraphone mallet. The resulting sound is similar to a normal key strike, but is slightly softer due differences between the mallet and the normal hammer action.

    Wooden Stick
    The strings are struck directly using wooden sticks, as a result the attack is harder and shorter. The timbre is similar to that of a dulcimer, and can be activated by pressure on the forte pedal.

    Stick Rebound
    This setting features the same technique and resulting timbre as the Wooden Stick setting, but allows the stick to bounce on the string after the initial strike.

    Muted Stick Rebound
    This setting features the same technique as Stick Rebound, but uses the stick on muted strings (see mutes).

    The strings are plucked with a plectrum, one string only per note. This results in a sound resembling that of a guitar. This is a widely used effect, for example by Georg Crumb in Makrokosmos, or by Gerard Pesson in Rescousse.

    A fast scraping action by the nail along the string, when used on the bass strings this causes a burst of harmonics. One can hear this technique, in combination with numerous other piano string effects, in Clepsydre by Horacio Radulescu (for 16 sound icons, or pianos installed vertically and played exclusively on the strings).

    A small device normally used on electric guitars, causing the strings of the piano to vibrate through a magnetic field. This produces a continuous sound with a masked attack, resulting in a delicate and subtle timbre.

    Rosin horsehair (a single strand of a violin bow) causing the two or three strings that comprise a single pitch to vibrate. The resulting sound is continuous. Changes in the direction of the bow are always audible and give transient color to the timbre. This effect is sometimes made with fishing line rosin.

    The default harmonic is the octave, activated by finger pressure in the middle of the string. The key is then played normally from the keyboard. It is also possible to transpose this harmonic, simulating any harmonic of the string. A specific digital chord can be played by double clicking on the detune button. This technique is greatly used in solo music, as in Crumb’s work, for example, and can even be found in a transcript of Johann Sebastian Bach’s.


    From the treble keys down to medium bass (F1), there are three strings per note. In this range it is possible to insert one object between strings 1 & 2, and another in the strings 2 & 3.

    Similarly, here you can continue to add several more objects or playing techniques from those available when there are only two strings (F # 0 - E1) or one (as for F0). When the una corda pedal is pressed, only the preparations on strings 2 and 3 are activated, meaning that the pedal is functioning in line with organ techniques.

    Large pencil erasers are used for this preparation, producing a sound similar to that of a deep bass gong. In the first movement of John Cage’s Amores, three notes are muted with rubber giving a «touches bloquées» effect in contrast to other resonant preparations.

    Screw / Bolt
    The screw, or bolt, is the most common preparation. There are screws of varying lengths and thicknesses, as well as screws with large heads, small heads, tapered heads or un-tapered heads. All of these factors affect the sonic characteristics when applied as a preparation to a piano string.

    Half Spring-type Clothespin
    The half-spring pegs found here represent preparations made from wood. The hardness of the wood used in the pegs results in the production of gong-like sonorities. To simulate preparations using softer wood (which give a duller, dampened sound), half spring pegs can be combined with muted or rubber preparations. Wooden preparations sometimes touch the soundboard, producing a short, hard attack when the string is struck. It is possible to achieve this effect by ticking «add soundboard.»

    The preparation chosen uses a wide range of materials to create a variety of timbres from one note to another. The sounds are generally rich and resonant; they remain within the gong family, featuring a small vibration when the note is played forte.

    All of Cage’s works use at least one screw. Prelude for Meditation contains only four notes, surrounded by numerous silences. Each note in the piece is prepared with bolts in addition to the normal sound of the piano, making it possible to hear the preparations clearly. By contrast, in Daughters of the Lonesome Island thirty-nine keys are prepared, almost all of them with screws, resulting in an abundance of timbres which remind the listener of a gamelan ensemble.

    Screw / Bolt + Loose Nut (buzz)
    The same preparation described above, but with a loose nut around the screw which bounces when the note is played, creating a «buzz». An example of this preparation can be found in the first movement of John Cage’s Amores, where two notes prepared using screws must also be topped with nuts. This work also serves as a concise overview of the preparations Cage employed using mixed materials.

    A coin is inserted between the strings (above 1 and 3 and below 2), greatly enriching the sound. The result resembles a rich yet soft gong, sometimes featuring a very slight vibration. The sound is generally more rounded than when the strings are prepared with screws. The low notes of John Cage’s A Room are a fine example of the use of coins, combined with screws used on other notes.


    For the following preparations, the string is normally struck by the hammer. Objects can be placed on the strings, altering the manner in which they sound. The ones placed on the strings in this manner would normally affect several notes in succession on a real piano, which is not mandatory in IRCAM Prepared Piano.

    An iPhone resting flat on the strings. This gives a slightly metallic damping effect, as well as an occasional bouncing of the iPhone when the strings are struck. This is due to the iPhone not being tethered to the piano strings.

    Aluminum foil placed flat on the strings. This gives a fairly long and characteristically metallic vibration. It is similar to preparations that consist of placing metal chains on the strings, as in the first work, Primeval Sounds, in Georg Crumb’s Makrokosmos.

    Sheet of writing paper, rolled up and placed on the strings. Its design and the resulting tone echo the bassoon of some pianofortes.

    The string is dampened with a finger, close to the bridge. This category of dampened sounds includes preparations inserted between the strings, using fabric, felt [Felt Temperament Strip], or window seal, as well as variations in angle that influence the overall time effect of the damping. Studies by Michael Levinas exploit this technique.


    Glass Slide
    A stemless glass is held on the strings, maintaining constant pressure, and slid lengthwise along them. The glissando is ascending or descending, depending on whether the slide is moving towards or away from the dampers.

    Bar Hits
    A percussive impact on the bars of the piano’s cast-iron plate, above the soundboard. Three playing techniques are used: the hands, soft drumsticks and hard drumsticks. These samples are played on the lowest bass notes beyond A-1. In Caravan, from Jacky Terrasson’s album Mirror, there is an improvisation using the hands inside the piano frame.

    Extra Length
    A plectrum slide along the part of the strings located between the bridge and the tuning pins. Since this is an unusual two-handed polyphonic technique, two potentiometers are used to produce this effect.

    If you're a musician or sound designer looking for something new, someone comfortable with exploring the avant garde, IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 offers an experience in sound like no other.
  • Product Details:

    Size: 5.91 GB (FLAC lossless encoding, was 18.98 GB in WAV)
    Content: 151 Presets, 13 189 Samples
    Sample Resolution: 44.1 kHz. Recording at 88.2 kHz
    License: 3 activations per license on any combination of machines or iLok dongles

    Runs in UVI Workstation version 3.1.8+, and Falcon version 2.8.2+
    iLok account (free, dongle not required)
    Internet connection for the license activation

    Supported Operating Systems:
    - Mac OS X 10.14 to macOS 12 (64-bit)
    - Windows 10 to Windows 11 (64-bit)
    6 GB of disk space
    Hard Drive: 7,200 rpm recommended or Solid State Drive (SSD)
    4GB RAM (8 GB+ highly recommended for large UVI Soundbanks)

    Supported Formats: Audio Unit, AAX, VST, VST3, Standalone
    Tested and Certified in: Digital Performer 8+, Pro Tools 11+, Logic Pro X+, Cubase 7+, Nuendo 6+, Ableton Live 8+, Studio One 2+, Garage Band 6+, Maschine 1+, Tracktion 4+, Vienna Ensemble Pro 5+, Reaper 4+, Sonar X3+, MainStage 3, MuLab 5.5+, FL Studio, Bitwig 1+, Reason 9.5+

    Download Sizes

    Version Compressed Download Size
    Plug-in/UVI Download includes
      Product Download and Registration:  Website
      UVI Workstation User Guide:  2 MB
      UVI Workstation for Mac OS X:  306 MB
      UVI Workstation for Windows:  302 MB
      UVI Workstation for Windows (x64):  302 MB

    *When ordering the download product from Big Fish Audio you will be given one or more links for each of your product purchases. The links will be active for 24 hours. During this time you should download the file and expand it. You can return to your Big Fish Audio account at any time and download your products. You will find your products in the "My Products" area of your account page.

    License Agreement

    The Following End User License Agreement is included with IRCAM Prepared Piano 2. This License is only valid for the individual who has purchased an unopened, new and lawfully made copy of IRCAM Prepared Piano 2 from a dealer or distributor authorized by Big Fish Audio.


    This copy of the Sounds & Software (the Product) are licensed to you as the end user. Please read this Agreement carefully.

    You cannot transfer ownership of these Sounds and Software they contain. You cannot re-sell or copy the Product.


    1. License Grant. UVI, brand (UVI) grants to you, subject to the following terms and conditions, a non-exclusive, nontransferable right to use each authorized copy of the enclosed Product.

    The enclosed product is the property of UVI and is licensed to you only for use as part of a musical performance, live or recorded. This license expressly forbids resale or other distribution of the sounds and software included in the Product or their derivatives, either as they exist on disc, reformatted for use in another digital sampler, or mixed, combined, filtered, resynthesized or otherwise edited, for use as sounds, multisounds, samples, multisamples, wavetables, programs or patches in a sampler, microchip or any hardware or software sample playback device. You cannot sell the Product content or give it away for use by others in their sampling or sample playback devices. In the event UVI terminates this Agreement due to your breach, you agree to return the original and all other copies of the software and documentation to UVI. UVI reserves all rights not expressly granted to you.

    2. Protection of Software. You agree to take all reasonable steps to protect this product and any accom- panying documentation from unauthorized copying or use. You agree not to modify the enclosed product to circumvent any method or means adopted or implemented by UVI to protect against or iscourage the unlicensed use of copying of the enclosed Product.

    3. Ownership. As between you and UVI, ownership of, and title to, the enclosed digitally recorded sounds (including any copies) will be held by UVI. Copies are pro- vided to you only to enable you to exercise your rights under the license. Only this license is purchased by you.

    4. Term. This Agreement is effective from the date you open this package, and will remain in full force until termination. This Agreement will terminate if you break any of the terms or conditions of this Agreement. Upon termination you agree to destroy and return to UVI all copies of this product and accompanying documentation.

    5. Restrictions. Except as expressly authorized in this Agreement, you may not rent, sell, lease, sublicense, distribute, transfer, copy, reproduce, display, modify or time share the enclosed product or documentation. THE SOUNDS IN THIS INSTRUMENT ARE GUARANTEED TO BE 100% COPYRIGHT CLEAN ©

    All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective holders. is registered trademarks of Univers Sons, SA"

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