German Upright 1904


This C. Bechstein upright piano was built in Berlin Kreuzberg in the early 20th century. Its distinctive vintage character, owing to its generous proportion of resonating wood, was captured with a multi-microphone setup at Synchron Stage Vienna's Stage B.

The upright’s very smooth action allows the finest gradations from pianissimo to fortissimo. In the main playing range its sound is more reminiscent of a small concert grand than of an upright piano. With its clear and accurate tonal development it conveys the intimate atmosphere of a small concert hall. The instrument’s mid range is very pronounced and focused, while its ageless character clearly asserts itself in all registers.

Standard and Extended Library

The instrument was recorded using 8 microphone positions. The Standard Library includes 4 of these sections, allowing you to integrate instruments recorded with a stereo Decca tree into your projects using our new Synchron Player software. Adding the Extended Library and thus getting the Full Library expands your possibilities to 5.1 surround and Auro 3D 9.1.

Microphone positions

Standard Library
  • Condenser - Close 1 (Neumann KM184 Sphere, X/Y)

    • XY setup with a pair of Neumann KM184 spheres aiming at the perfect representation of the player’s listening position.
  • Sphere - Mid 2 (KFM 6 Sphere)

    • The KFM 6 Sphere setup aims at the perfect representation of the entire dynamic range of an ideally balanced piano.
  • Main/Room Mic – Decca Tree Stereo (L/R)

  • Main/Room Mic – Decca Tree Mono (Center)

    • Decca Tree array (L-C-R) with three DPA 4006 mics. Used in a stereo mix, you can easily hear where the piano is placed. In a surround setup, the Decca tree microphones will be the feed for your front L-R speakers.
Extended Library

Even if you're not using a surround setup, you get more ambience variation and spatial depth out of the Full Library by adding the room microphones' signals to your stereo mix.

  • Ribbon - Close 2 (Royer SF24 Blumlein)

    • “Blumlein” setup of a Royer SF24 for a fast, direct and vintage sound.
  • Condenser - Close 3 (Neumann U87 Ai Cardioids)

    • “Quasi AB” setup of a Neumann U87 Ai with cardioids.
  • Condenser - Mid 1 (Sennheiser MKH 40)

    • “ORTF” setup with Sennheiser MKH40 behind the piano for a warm and dark timbre.
  • Main Surround – Stereo (L/R)

    • Wide A-B stereo setup with two Sennheiser MKH 800 microphones. In a surround setup, these signals would be used for your rear speakers.

The instrument Presets also include different mixer presets. By default the classic room mixes are loaded which include the Standard Library microphone positions. These are balanced in the stereo field to represent the respective instrument's position in the Synchron Stage set-up.

Immersive Sound and Auro 3D

Auro 3D is an immersive audio technology that allows for three-dimensional sound perception. The Belgian company Auro Technologies developed this technology based on a special speaker configuration, adding four additional speakers to a 5.1 surround configuration. These speakers (so-called "Heights'') are situated above the front and surround speakers and generate acoustic reflections that are perceived naturally due to the fact that sounds originate from around as well as from above the listener. Thanks to the comprehensive selection of discrete audio channels with the Full Library of Synchron Percussion I you may mix your instruments in Auro 3D as well as in Dolby Atmos.

About Pitch

For designating pitch, the Vienna Symphonic Library uses International Pitch Notation (IPN), which was agreed upon internationally under the auspices of the Acoustical Society of America. In this system the international standard of A=440 Hz is called A4 and middle C is C4. All pitches are written as capital letters, their respective octave being indicated by a number next to it. The lowest C on the piano is C1 (the A below that is A0), etc.

Walkthrough Videos

About this piano

Vienna Symphonic Library's German Upright 1904 was recorded at Stage B of Synchron Stage Vienna. This beautiful 69 m2 (739 sq ft.) live room with a 3.5 to 4.5 m (11.5 – 14.75 ft) height features a controlled acoustic environment with less ambience than the large main hall (Stage A).

Brought to Stuttgart by pianoforte maker and dealer B. Klinkerfuss, Württemberg’s sole representative for C. Bechstein and J. Blüthner, the instrument has always been in residence with families in the Stuttgart area. It was played by pianist and film composer Mick Baumeister, co-creator of the Hornberg breath controller, at different stages of his life. The upright was owned by Martin Friz who taught a young Mick improvisation on this instrument. Decades later, Mick purchased the piano from German actor Holger Daemgen’s family, and – as he puts it – it never ceases to inspire him and to find “the truth”.

Key Features

  • C. Bechstein upright piano built in 1904
  • Vintage character
  • Recorded at Stage B of Synchron Stage Vienna
  • Eight microphone positions for a multitude of timbral variations
  • Advanced release sample technology
  • Pre-configured main presets, signature and FX presets

Advanced Release Sample Technology

To capture the German Upright 1904 with all its subtleties, our engineers developed a highly precise motion-control system based on a solenoid that controls a noise-free "robot finger". The micro-controller moves the finger with super-human precision, providing flexible curvatures for down-strokes and release movements, the latter corresponding with the preceding note length and various release speeds.

Customize Your Personal Sound

In addition to the multitude of options from mixing various microphone signals, the German Upright 1904 comes with the free Vienna Synchron Pianos Software that offers multiple options for shaping your sound and your playing experience. Hosting a high-performance playback engine, the software provides a full-blown mixer with a broad range of effects such as EQ, compressor, saturator, algorithmic reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, rotary, and many more. Change the volume of body resonances, sympathetic strings and pedal noises right in the main Play window. In the Edit window you may even adjust EQ, volume, tuning, dynamic range, etc. for each individual key!

Included Presets

In the browser window of the Synchron Pianos player you may select from three general preset categories

Decca Tree Multi Mic (Standard Library)

The classic sound of a Decca tree stereo recording features a more slender sound with less diffusion compared to the "Room Mix" Presets.

Surround to Stereo Downmix (Full Library)

These presets include all available room microphones with various runtime delays, creating more diversity in the perception of room depth.

Surround (Full Library)

Designed to send the microphone signals to your available surround channels.


Our specially designed FX Presets offer you an easy way to achieve more drastic changes.