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Abbey Road Studios CFX Concert Grand

Virtual Instrument by Garritan

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Recorded in Abbey Road Studio One by award-winning engineers using the world's finest microphones and equipment, the nine foot Yamaha CFX Concert Grand is one of the newest pianos at Abbey Road Studios and is characterised by a wide palette of tonal colours and the ability to create the most subtle expressive nuances.

This is the only virtual instrument featuring the Yamaha CFX grand piano and the only virtual piano recorded in Abbey Road Studio One.


  • 3 discrete microphone perspectives
  • Classic - captures the natural tonal character, clarity and nuance of the CFX
  • Contemporary - produces a bright and brilliant sound with definitive attack from the hammers
  • Player - delivers the unique experience of playing from the piano bench in Studio One
  • Includes the powerful ARIA player

The Studio

Abbey Road Studios' Studio One is one of the largest and most beautiful sounding orchestral studios in the world. The space can easily accommodate a 110 piece orchestra and 100 piece choir simultaneously. Studio One's acoustics are as famous as its location, offering a supremely warm and clear sound with a reverb time of 2.3 seconds. This makes it perfect for numerous types of recording, from solo piano to large orchestras.

The Piano

The Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano marks a significant milestone in Yamaha's celebrated 108-year history as an acclaimed world-class piano maker. In 1991, Yamaha began its most ambitious piano project ever: to create a new generation of grand piano for concert, conservatoire and studio performance.

The result was the CFX Concert Grand Piano, a revolutionary new instrument that embodies the concept of beauty and power. The rich palette of tonal colours and musical voices the piano can produce characterises its beauty. The power comes from the CFX's unprecedented tonal protection. The development and evaluation phase of this remarkable instrument took almost 20 years! During this time, a 40-strong team of the world's most talented piano designers, technicians, craftsmen and, of course, pianists deconstructed the concert grand and began rebuilding it from the ground up. Every aspect of traditional piano design was questioned, evaluated, improved and relentlessly tested. Once the design was nearing completion, multiple prototypes endured thousands of hours of secret testing at concert halls across the globe.

Each CFX is entirely hand-built by a small team comprising some of the world´s most experienced and skilled craftsmen. All materials are meticulously selected and refined to ensure unprecedented music performance in the most demanding of situations. It offers outstanding expressiveness for a truly musical performance. With enough tonal presence to be heard over the sound of a full symphony orchestra in the largest of concert hall, the CFX is truly one of the greatest pianos ever created.


The sound of the Garritan Abbey Road CFX piano was captured by a team of highly experienced Abbey Road recording engineers, each contributing decades of knowledge in recording pianos for a variety of applications.

Microphone set-ups, also referred to as perspectives, have a huge effect on the overall sound of the recorded instrument. Each set of perspectives speak specifically to various musical settings.

The set-ups are a hybrid of classic techniques handed down from generation to generation of balance engineers within Abbey Road Studios since the 1930s, mixed with more contemporary and experiential arrays that perfectly complement each other. These set-ups have been and are continually used by the finest recording artists in the world and have been presented here for use as a sampled instrument for the first time ever.

The Sounds

Garritan has worked closely with Abbey Road Studios to develop presets that are both functionally useful and inspiring to play. Research included artists and genres as well as notable recordings, cinematic settings and live performance examples to make the CFX as flexible and versatile a musical instrument as possible.


Ambi Normal - Classic perspective with a deep ambience end expressive nuance. The high EQ is boosted on the ambient mic pair to accentuate the reflection of the natural and added reverb.

Dark Cinema - The preset is designed to bring out the lower velocities and EQ'd to emphasise a darker tonal pallet. This has been paired with "Retro Space" convolution preset to add a moody and ethereal colour to the piano.

Dry Clean - Release delay and Release volume are set to 0 and highs are boosted on the 4006/TLM 50 mic pair to give the piano a dry, definitive character.

Granville - If the CFX was in a pub, it might sound a bit like this. Close and ambient mic pairs have been balanced and EQ'd to reflect a setting that might involve soft upholstery, thick curtains and a game of darts.

KW-Modelled after the sound of jazz pianist Kenny Werner. The lid is set to "half-stick" with a slight boost to the highs and some sculpting of the mids to shape a warm yet articulate sound.


Brighton Rock - Set up to bright and taught, this preset has a light touch and is EQ'd to cut through the mix.

Chicken Wire - An alternate tuning, a slightly lighter touch and a closed lid give the piano a raw country favour.

Russell's Triffid - Inspired by pianist Russell Ferrante of Yellowjackets fame. The lid is set to "open", the highs are boosted and a touch of saturation is added to give the piano a lively, agile feel.

Spike - Release Decay and Release Volume are set to 0, Release Crossgrade is set to 2.5 and EQs are sculpted to give the piano a punchy, aggressive character.


Moreme - Release Decay and Release Volume are set to 0, Release Crossfade is set to 2 and EQs are sculpted to give the piano a tight lively flavour.

Edward's Reflection - Only the KU100 is engaged to capture the most natural ambience of Studio One from the bench of the CFX.

Village Grinder - An emphasis on the KM84 over the KU100 with a "half-stick" combined with some saturation and convolution reverb give this preset the flavour of a working piano in a famous jazz club.

Wendyhouse - Featuring a Scala tuning from composer Wendy Calos, this preset has an eerie quality.

Woolly Mammoth - This preset has been EQ'd and given a velocity curve to emphasise the soft, warm sound.

Microphone Perspectives


The classic perspective most faithfully captures the natural tonal character, clarity and nuance of the instrument

Close - 2 x Neumann M49 and 2 x Neumann KM184 Microphones: As every piano, recording venue, repertoise and pianist are different, the M49 and KM184 are used to capture a close detailed sound, which is especially good for chamber music.

Mid Field/Wide - 2 x DPA 4006 Microphones: The DPA 4006s placed at each end of the piano create a wider and more spacious sound picture.

Main – 2 x Neumann TLM50 Microphones: The Neumann TLM50 are placed 2m away from the instrument and at 2.6m in height. This captures the overall complex frequency response and dynamic range of a grand piano.


The Contemporary perspective creates a piano sound that is bright and hard with lots of attack from the hammers, but also maintains the piano's warmth with intimate ambience.

Close - AKG C12 & D19 Microphones: The AKG C12 is a bright sounding valve microphone with bite and some nice valve warmth. The mono D19 placed in the centre over the hammers was run via a classic REDD.47 valve microphone pre-amp, adding central focus and 'poke' to the close sound of this set up.

Ambience – Schoeps MK 2H Microphones: For the Ambience microphones SChoeps MK 2H are used in a close position They are able to bring the sound of the room to the mix, without losing too much of the definition of the piano's initial attack.


The Player perspective offers the experience of playing the CFX, from the piano bench, in Studio One, particularly when reproduced over high quality headphones.

Close - 2 x Neumann KM84 Microphones: This is a straight forward stereo pair placed closely and directly over the hammers. It provides an immediate sound of the piano with little coloration from the room.

Player - Neumann KU100 Dummy Head: The Binaural KU100 Dummy Head was placed directly behind the musician's heads. This provides an intimacy to the instrument mixed with the unmistakable sense of playing the instrument in the acoustics of Studio One.

System Requirements


  • Microsoft Windows 7 or later
  • An OS compatible sound card or external audio device, ASIO compatibility recommended


  • macOS 10.10-10.13
  • A sound card or external audio device compatible with Core Audio


  • Multi-core processor required
  • 4 GB RAM minimum required. 8 GB RAM or greater recommended.
  • 133 GB of free hard drive space is required for “Full” installation; 24.5 GB is required for “Compact” installation.
  • A dedicated hard drive with fast interface (SATA, USB 3.0, Firewire 800, Thunderbolt) is recommended. A solid-state drive (SSD) is preferred.
  • Internet connection for updates and online registration
  • USB port required for boxed version installation


  • A MIDI interface may be required if you are using a MIDI keyboard. Many keyboards now use USB.
  • The ability to assign controllers within your keyboard, music program, or sequencer is recommended
  • High-quality speakers and amplifier, or high-quality headphones

Any references to any brands on this site/page, including reference to brands and instruments, are provided for description purposes only. For example references to instrument brands are provided to describe the sound of the instrument and/or the instrument used in the sample. Plugin Boutique do not have (nor do they claim) any association with or endorsement by these brands. Any goodwill attached to those brands rest with the brand owner. Plugin Boutique or its Suppliers do not accept any liability in relation to the content of the product or the accuracy of the description. "RHODES" is a registered trademark of Joseph A Brandstetter.

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