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Generalmusic`s Beloved Monster Is Back: Meet The GEM Promega 2+

Generalmusic`s Beloved Monster Is Back: Meet The GEM Promega 2+

Generalmusic, an Italian company which used to be quite popular, has found the investor from Finland and now is trying to break through the fortification of the today’s market with its new digital stage piano Promega 2+ which will be produced as a Generalmusic instrument. The fact that it’s going to have “GEM” on it will surely attract many musicians. The keyboard features a classic interface, uses sample playback and physical modeling techniques to generate waveforms though offers a bit limited sound library for a contemporary stage piano. Anyway, it sounds really great leaving no doubt about the quality and the panels look fine – as compelling as its voices. We’re convinced it’s right what you need to take on stage but it comes with the price which might seem too heavy to do it.

GEM Promega 2+

GEM Promega 2+ is the next step from a not so popular GEM Promega 2 unit manufactured in 2000 which used quite powerful at that time RISC DSP - DRAKE, devised in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the mid-nineties and possessing 50 MIPS of computing power which equals to, for example, a typical PC power in 1995. And Promega 3 employed 2 of these processors in order to manage 320 voices! Meanwhile, Promega 2 had 160 voices, which we find quite impressive as well considering that back in 2000 its competitors used to offer standard-like 32-64 voices.

OK, back to Promega 2 plus. Its sound engine combines different ways of sound synthesis (as the previous model did). Some instruments (drums) use only samples, some of them (strings) – only physical modeling, there are voices (piano) which require both synthesis types. Natural String Resonance, Advanced Release Technology, Filter Algorithm Dynamic Emulation, and Damper Physical Model are featured.

The upgraded Italian instrument offers the same 160-voice polyphony, 64 factory presets and 64 user ones, 45 sounds in total (128mb PCM of stereo/mono samples and physical modeling sounds). There are also 3 operating modes available: “single” – one program, split (programmable) – the keyboard is divided into 2 zones, layer – 2 programs can be played simultaneously.

You’re free to apply any of the 15 reverb types and other effects with separate sends, to use the 4-band digital graphic equalizer.

The front panel of Promega 2+ sports 3 sections – piano, vintage keys and bass/orchestra. The controllers are put into blocks which makes it more convenient while performing live and adds to its efficiency on stage where it’s much more important to have the instrument with a smart layout than the preset monster. All the basic knobs and buttons are where they should be – clearly assigned to the corresponding sections – sliders/faders for volume adjustment per each section as well as output volume adjustment, pitch/mod wheels, 4 eq bars, buttons for presets, octave shift and other settings. Each section has its own allotted display showing numeric values. There is also a central OLED screen which is a bigger one.

The keyboard is a weighted 7-octave Fatar with graded hammer action and 3 touch levels + a user one. The dimensions: 1275 x 146 x 420 mm / 50 x 5,7 x 16,50″ - the width is the 88 keybed`s minimum due to pitch-bend&modulation wheels`position. The weight is 25 kg which is a ponderable hint of the materials quality. That’s encouraging because we purchase it as a stage instrument. All the 3 pedal inputs are programmable: volume pedal, professional volume pedal, sustain pedal, sustain pedal piano type, triple pedal; pedals by other brands are supported as well as the “native” controllers.

GEM Promega 2+

As for the integration features, there are 2 headphones outputs, stereo out (balanced TRS), 2 x aux out, digital out, stereo input with gain control, 2xUSB (MIDI and PC, A&B types), 2 MIDI DIN – IN, OUT/THRU. The synthesizer is encased into metal housing. There are two variants available: silver and black.

GEM Promega 2+ will cost you €3300 in Europe. The time will show whether it’s going to be a success in its segment or at least a mighty contender to such instruments as Nord Stage 2EX/ Stage 3, Kurzweil Artis/ Forte, Roland RD-800/ RD-2000 (or even those war horses KAWAI MP7 and Yamaha CP4 Stage/ CP5) which actually beat GEM Promega 2+ in parameters (regarding their quantitative indicators). Not to even mention the keyboards in other segments featuring similar functions – excellent Japanese top flight workstations Yamaha Motif XF and KORG Kronos 2.

It’s good there are investors willing to help (and thank them for that everlasting profit pursuit which sometimes appears to be truly beneficent), it’s good there’s choice and it’s good that GEM is striking back surprising us with a splendid Italian grand piano Fazioli emulation.

Published: 07:14 08.04.2017
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