This piano is as rare as the proverbial rocking horse poo, the Luthéal was invented by the Belgian George Cloetens in 1919, it added additional stops of nail and felt to the standard piano sound. Creating sounds of bell-like clarity, or soft warm Rhodes type tones.
Back in the day, Maurice Ravel was so inspired by the sound, he wrote some pieces for it - including “Tzigane”.
Right now, there’s only one original Luthéal in existance and thats in the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussells.
Too my ears, it sounds like a semi-damped dulcimer but more resonance - certainly a unique sound.
Real Samples, in conjunction with MIM have meticulously sampled it @192kHz/24bit and now the library is available in HAlion3, Kontakt4 and EXS24, Structure and GigaStudio3.
There are several resolutions available, 44.1/48kHz, 88/96kHz and 192kHz.
Prices start at $269.95
In their own words:Conductors from all over the world regularly enquire at the MIM to rent the luthéal for
performances. However, the risk of damage makes it an impossible task to ship the
only remaining of its kind around the globe. Therefore, the MIM teamed up with
realsamples in order to create an extensive virtual luthéal, consisting of nearly 10.000
single samples. The virtual version contains all stops, each featuring up to 32 velocity
layers and 8 release samples per note as well as additional pedal noises.
The luthéal features inspiring and unconsumed tones great for any type of music –
be it acoustic folk asking for something slightly different than your typical piano, pop,
jazz, electronic music or classical pieces like Ravel’s Tzigane. Prior to its official
release, the virtual luthéal already had its stage premiere with the Peabody Institute
of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore performing the Ravel opera “L’enfant et