New piano instrument available: TBO MkII

I wouldn’t normally write about a post about a new instrument we’ve released (they come pretty thick and fast!), but I thought that this one might be of particular interest to Dorico users, since a nice-sounding piano is something that you perhaps can’t have too many of:

For more information, including more demos, and to look at buying it, go here:


I got a mail as well, about TBO MkII. But perhaps I browsed the site a bit fast because I couldn’t get what was the real piano that has been sampled.

(This because I love the real things, especially when they are pianos… :wink: )

Nice instrument anyway.

It’s a Yamaha C7 concert grand piano.


Thank you Daniel!

I was going to post about this! This is great, as The Grand instrument has had no love from Steinberg for years. Excellent news.

I used to use this piano in Kontakt years ago: TBO MkII by

So this is actually a very old sampled instrument. Hmm.

The same piano is used in Nord Keyboards by Clavia. (Studio Grand 1) found here: Studio Grand 1 | Nord Keyboards since 2011. (I’m also an old user of Nord keyboards :wink:)

It’s a GREAT piano indeed!


It seems to be the same samples as the Mk1, which was released in the last half of the 2Ks, I believe, but reprogrammed and with added key/pedal noise. The Kontakt version was released in the Kontakt 4 days, so not entirely new in its Mk2 iteration either.

So why is Steinberg suddenly releasing this as if it is something new - which @dspreadbury says directly, although it must now be interpreted as a new instrument for Steinberg but not a new sampled piano. Strange. And if they have some partnership with Sampletekk why don’t they release the whole set of pianos available from that company? That would be better.

1 Like

We have partnerships with a bunch of different sample library developers to release products on our HALion platform, among them Sampletekk. It’s up to Sampletekk which of their libraries they wish to build for HALion, though I’m sure my counterpart who looks after our instruments and our HALion partner program has some input into what they might like to release in partnership with us.

There is new programming and scripting involved in this new version of TBO MkII, but the samples themselves are not new. I’m OK with calling this a “new piano instrument” (obviously, since I wrote it), but those are only my words, not an official bit of marketing copy that was handed to me by my colleague in the instruments team.


Hi @Andro,

as far as I’m concerned, I’d certainly appreciate it to be able to use Sampletekk’s…

Seven Seas Piano MkII


…as a Steinberg HALion 7 instrument.
Why? → Well defined near microphony perspective.

The new “TBO MkII” also sounds pretty decent, for my taste, but I’m still not sure if I’d have as much fun (and feeling of immersion) by directly playing it, as compared to using it in a video / film track mix (reason: a somewhat less defined upper register and less tonal clarity than, for example, Steinberg’s own “Eagle”, and much less velvety sound than Steinberg’s own “Verve”.

Especially since I don’t find most near perspective recorded piano libraries all too convincing. They either sound quite convincing / realistic for directly playing them (piano practice, or for live use), oder they work considerably well by putting their recorded MIDI tracks into a mix. Most of the time, it doesn’t seem to work to do both equally well (and both tasks are often rather demanding, editing-wise, as far as professional results are concerned).

Of course one can achieve fine results in a mix by using Steinberg’sEagle” (as part of the Absolute Collection), or “The Grand 3” (which - to me as a piano guy - still sounds and feels as dry and inert as a pile of dino bones, but can of course be shaped almost indefinitely whenever used in a mix).

Apart from those few mentioned, my current favorites for a “fully satisfying dual experience” are these two (sadly, both are Kontakt / Kontakt Player bound, whereas the latter is in ongoing development, although in a rather advanced state):



  • (all the existing Vienna virtual piano editions)


[ - post edited - ]


Thanks for the recommendation Daniel, I purchased my copy today and I am liking it a lot.

I got the old error message that the files couldn’t be installed: with an alias to the copy in Downloads. I was able to manually install them.

1 Like

… and actually, the sound is a bit disappointing. It sounds really “covered”; not bright at all; and almost phased in places. I’ve tried several different programs.

well there is a limited demo of the TVBO which is a (much) more expensive and theoretically more sophisticated version but that sounded pretty tinny to my ears. Of course it’s possible that the demo is not fully representative of the full package in tonal quality or that Steinberg has worked some magic with their version so I wouldn’t dream of trying to pronounce judgement directly, but having just acquired VSL’s legendary Vienna Imperial on sale, I don’t feel the need for anything else just now.