I’ve previously written about my passion for pianos, both in the physical world and the virtual (where I can indulge my fantasy of owning a concert grand). Over the years I’ve shifted from the Musical Alchemy grand by Persephone Milk, through Ample Clarity’s 1 prim / LI PrimPossible sculpted grand, to the current piano gracing the music room at home, the 8 LI Lisp mesh grand.
On March 12th, 2016, Ample launched his latest piano. It’s again a model with just a single LI, but this time it is presented in mesh, and he was kind enough to pass over models for me to take a look at.
The new piano is s collaborative piece, Ample tells me, and on rezzing it is certainly striking. Not only is it unsurprisingly less taxing, rendering-wise, than its sculpted predecessor, the details and style are a lot more refined. The keyboard is one of the best I’ve seen in terms of attention to detail, and there is a nice little touch with a reflection of the keys in the open lid.
Controls are straightforward: touch (left-click) the piano once to initiate it. This presents the menu controlling the music selection (15 classical pieces, although a further 9 are included in a separate book which can be mounted on the music stand), the piano’s appearance (change the textures and / or shine and also switch between either a 3D cast iron plate for the harp, or one of 9 different soundboard / strings / plate textures), set general access permissions for the piano, etc.
Left-clicking a second time will seat you (and add a 1LI invisible “pose shell” around the piano to allow the pose system to work). When seated, the animation / pose menu is opened, with the PG version offering some 400+ individual and couples animations, while the Adult version offers a further 400 “XXX” rated animations (again, individual and couple). A permissions option can also be used to limit access to this menu.
The playing poses are split between male and female and offer several playing styles, and all poses can be adjusted, as one would expect. Music playback is as good as any other high-end piano available in SL, although there is on occasion a slight distortion during intense passages – but again, this can be found in other models as well. When seated, the top boards automatically close to facilitate the animation system (which makes use of the top of the piano). To open it for playing again, type “open lid” (sans quotes) in local chat (you’ll have to STOP the system via the menu and then re-sit if you later wish to use the animations as part of the same session).
Given this is a 1 LI item (2 with the pose shell, as noted above, and which is required for the piano to work in SL), the amount of detail and capabilities packed into this piano is remarkable. However, the fact that the piano is just a single mesh has led to one or two minor compromises in detailing which for me had the annoying habit of attracting my eye once noticed, leaving me feeling that perhaps the use of a second mesh (the 1 prim approach of PrimPossible notwithstanding) might have avoided them.
But that said, the PrimPossible mesh piano is a stylish, ultra-low LI design. The L$950 price tag for both No Copy models equates to that of most Copy versions of other upmarket SL grand pianos, but few others have the range of animations associated with this model. The Copy versions, meanwhile are priced at L$2,400 (PG) or L$2,800 (Adult).
I’ll be honest and say that the PrimPossible mesh piano hasn’t persuaded me away from the Lisp at home, but it certainly now adds an extra grace at Caitinara Bar. Certainly, those who like their pianos to give something a little extra beyond music will be hard pressed to find a piano to match this one, while those operating on an LI budget who want a really nicely style grand piano simply won’t find better.