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Are there any piano libraries similar to Heavyocity's Ascend but even more?

jsnleo

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Hi I’m about to get Heavyocity Ascend but I was wondering if there are any others I should check out? I’ve got enough regular pianos, just wanna get a piano with lots of fx options specifically designed for cinematic sounds. Thanks!
 

GMT

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I have Ascend, Noire, and Una Corda. All are fantastic and do similar things (give or take), but Ascend is always the first one I reach for.
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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NI Noire has some similarities with Ascend. I haven't gotten it, because I already have Ascend, and absolutely love it. At the sale price it's a no-brainer.

I have Noire but haven’t tried it that much. Really like Ascend though. The reason I wanna get it is because to me it’s like a synth but with piano samples, a little bit more versatile.
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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btw. I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure I only used Ascend in this piece to see how far I could stretch its possibilities. It really can do a lot.

Cool! All right I'll be buying it. I have Una Corda, Noire, Alt Piano, Frozen Piano, and some other felt pianos, but don't think they're as unique as Ascend. I tried to find all the pianos like Ascend, I think Audio Imperia has something similar but maybe with less unique sounds.
 

AMBi

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How’s the cpu usage on Ascend?
Its so beautiful and I wanna pick it up soon but I’ve seen a few walkthroughs and saw the cpu percentage upwards to 50%+ for some people
 

GMT

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How’s the cpu usage on Ascend?
Its so beautiful and I wanna pick it up soon but I’ve seen a few walkthroughs and saw the cpu percentage upwards to 50%+ for some people
Good point. In my experience, if you layer three sounds in the engine and add lots of randomisation, reverbs, delays, and other contained effects, some of the patches can be pretty instensive on the cpu - very similar to Noire when you use the particles engine.
I haven't had major issues, but if you want a lot of instances open it could be problematic. Remember, in Kontakt you can purge to ease the strain.
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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Btw guys how does Ascend sound compared to other regular piano libs?
 

khollister

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Btw guys how does Ascend sound compared to other regular piano libs?

OK, but not in the same league as stuff like the VSL Synchron pianos, Garritan CFX, Ravencroft (and the next tier down ...) Noire, Ivory American D or Studio Grands.

The biggest shortcomings IMHO are dynamic range, an unnaturally abrupt release and general harmonic richness. The VSL and Garritan CFX can explode when played at high velocities, like a real full-size piano. The second tier stuff sounds good in a recording with a modest dynamic range, but it doesn't play like a piano typically.

I like Ascend a lot, but I never use the Core Concert D snapshot, only the warped stuff, which is where it excels. Noire is a bot of a better all-rounder because it does a very credible job on the basic felted and non-felted piano in addition to some Ascend-like things.
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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OK, but not in the same league as stuff like the VSL Synchron pianos, Garritan CFX, Ravencroft (and the next tier down ...) Noire, Ivory American D or Studio Grands.

The biggest shortcomings IMHO are dynamic range, an unnaturally abrupt release and general harmonic richness. The VSL and Garritan CFX can explode when played at high velocities, like a real full-size piano. The second tier stuff sounds good in a recording with a modest dynamic range, but it doesn't play like a piano typically.

I like Ascend a lot, but I never use the Core Concert D snapshot, only the warped stuff, which is where it excels. Noire is a bot of a better all-rounder because it does a very credible job on the basic felted and non-felted piano in addition to some Ascend-like things.

Even not at the same level as Noire? It says 47.8 GB uncompressed, I thought it would be pretty good.
 

GMT

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Here's another piece I knocked up using only Ascend (eight instances) which shows a little of the sound design capabilities as well as some more traditional sounds.
btw. All of the instances are pretty full of effects and so on, and my i7 3.5GhZ with 32gb ram shows the whole piece at 40%. I added Blackhole reverb, Waves Vinyl and API2500 and no problems.
 
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khollister

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Even not at the same level as Noire? It says 47.8 GB uncompressed, I thought it would be pretty good.

I think the 47GB includes a lot of the warped stuff. Heavyocity is usually pretty good on basic recording/sampling quality - there is no way the straight piano is 47GB

For playable, straight piano, I would put Noire, Ivory American D, Ravencroft, Galaxy Vintage D ahead of Ascend. Garritan and VSL are in a different league.

You can certainly get excellent piano tracks from Ascend, especially in certain idioms that are not requiring a more traditional "classical" sound or that use moderate reverb (the release anomaly). If you are targeting the typical Olafur Arnalds Scandi/Brit drama/crime soundtrack vibe, Ascend will do fine (although I would still prefer Noire). Ascend is all about the heavily sound design stuff. It is telling that the default snapshot that loads is not the straight piano but a heavily processed one.

I use Ascend, but I will always load Noire, VSL, CFX, Ivory D or even the Spitfire OA Toolkit/Stratus before Ascend for "conventional" piano. I also own Fracture Midnight Grand and Woodchester pianos, which are my go-to's for the felted, synth pad-backed type of thing.
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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I think the 47GB includes a lot of the warped stuff. Heavyocity is usually pretty good on basic recording/sampling quality - there is no way the straight piano is 47GB

For playable, straight piano, I would put Noire, Ivory American D, Ravencroft, Galaxy Vintage D ahead of Ascend. Garritan and VSL are in a different league.

You can certainly get excellent piano tracks from Ascend, especially in certain idioms that are not requiring a more traditional "classical" sound or that use moderate reverb (the release anomaly). If you are targeting the typical Olafur Arnalds Scandi/Brit drama/crime soundtrack vibe, Ascend will do fine (although I would still prefer Noire). Ascend is all about the heavily sound design stuff. It is telling that the default snapshot that loads is not the straight piano but a heavily processed one.

I use Ascend, but I will always load Noire, VSL, CFX, Ivory D or even the Spitfire OA Toolkit/Stratus before Ascend for "conventional" piano. I also own Fracture Midnight Grand and Woodchester pianos, which are my go-to's for the felted, synth pad-backed type of thing.

I guess I need to experiment with Noire a little bit more and decided whether to get Ascend or not, didn't know Noire can do something like that at all. Nowadays I just buy piano libraries and never open them... The idea of getting Ascend is because I think it'll be easier to get something cinematic that's more like synth pads, I don't think I'll use those ebow or brush presets that much. What I want is actually a felt piano or a warm sounding piano with delay and reverb, right? VSL can do something like that iirc. I also have some unique ones like Frozen Piano, Alt Piano and the free Sonuscore loki, but I never spent too much time with them.

Do you think Midnight Grand and Woodchester are worth getting? I wanted to get them but listened to some demos but didn't find them too different from those felt pianos I already have. Maybe I should get these two instead of Ascend?
 
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jsnleo

jsnleo

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Check Fracture sounds Midnight Grand and Woodchester upright piano libraries. Both are felt piano's but with amazing atmospheric layers and pedal, key, release and even player noises. Especially the Woodchester sounds so warm and intimate.

Thanks. I'll listen to more demos.
 
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