What's new

Garritan CFX vs. Noire. Does anyone have both?

miket

Senior Member
I always thought I was a Steinway guy, and *not* a Yamaha guy, yet here I am suddenly realizing that these two CFX's have "the sound" I've been after, and haven't been able to find, from Steinway or otherwise.

I'm basically torn between them. The Garritan has incredible tone, and at least some of that is due to the multiple perspectives. Going by what people say, pretty much everything else about this one is perfect, too.

Noire's Felt variant is a selling point for me (two pianos are better than one), and the Particles thing is interesting, although I'm not sure how much I'd ultimately use it. I love the tone as heard in everything I can find, but I wonder if I would find it restrictive at times, since it's a single mix.

It comes down to two things, then: how well does Noire respond to reverb/simulating more depth, and most importantly, how do the two compare from a playability standpoint?
 

newman

Member
For playability and enjoyment (vs. music production) you might check this recent thread at PianoWorld:

forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2840647/1.html

Several users there have both The Garritan and Noire, including:
- Smaug
- slobajudge
- minstrelman
- nicknameTaken
- RobR

The Yamaha CFX probably was designed with some influence from Steinway.

I have only the Garritan CFX and it plays nicely; the pedaling is good. The samples are wet and a bit noisy (search my recent posts here for noise measurement links). Took me a bit of computer tweaking to get acceptable latency. I only like the "Full Default" mic perspective. I don't do any recording or music production.

I don't know much about Noire, but you should do some research on the pedaling.

(EDIT - added user names)
 
Last edited:
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
Thanks for that link. It's surprising, and disappointing, to see a few posts stating that Noire doesn't have true pedal-down samples. Could that really be accurate?
 

chopin4525

New Member
Thanks for that link. It's surprising, and disappointing, to see a few posts stating that Noire doesn't have true pedal-down samples. Could that really be accurate?
If it's the usual approach by galaxy instuments in building their pianos you don't need them. They layer the normal sampled note and an additional resonance sample at different dynamics per note for a richer and more controlled sound.
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
I see.

If anyone has Noire, and feels like posting some examples (preferably classical), I'd be very grateful. I know it's new, and that's why there isn't a ton of user content out there yet. The Garritan is very well represented.
 

scoringdreams

Jack of All Trades, Master of Marketing
I have both. Let me get some samples up...Noire sounds darker (if we don't play around with the timbre knob) and is closer to a Steinway D than the Garritan counterpart.

IMO, I think the Garritan CFX is more dynamic and musical in a sense.
 

tadam

Active Member
This is a very good walkthrough about Noire.


I have Garritan CFX and I love it, but at the low dynamics it is noisy indeed.

I didn't want to buy more piano libraries, but NOIRE is too beautiful and special.
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
Thanks for the input, everyone. I wish I could say it's made the choice easier. ;)
 

Pantonal

Member
Thanks for the input, everyone. I wish I could say it's made the choice easier. ;)
That never happens here! :shocked:

Good luck in your decision making. I have the Garritan CFX and a few other pianos (Ravenscroft 275 and the UVI bundle of Steinway D, Bechstein and Fazioli). Of those I use the Garritan CFX by far the most and the Ravenscroft second.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
I don't have the Garritan CFX, but I have Noire, and the VSL CFX, and a real 9' Yamaha CFIII (precursor to the CFX). I really like Noire. It has a nice, warm sound (much warmer than the VSL CFX, and my real CFIII). Also, the felt samples are great (very cool that someone was able to achieve that effect with a grand). I think Noire is much more of a hybrid, special-purpose instrument, for taking a piano way beyond what a real piano can do. If your purpose is mainly to find a totally realistic, no special efx added piano, there's an awful lot in Noire that is just not going to be very useful for you.

BTW, if you're looking for a very playable, versatile grand instrument, I personally think that SonicCouture's Hammersmith really needs to be in the running.
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
BTW, if you're looking for a very playable, versatile grand instrument, I personally think that SonicCouture's Hammersmith really needs to be in the running.
That's the one I've had for years, actually! Really amazing, but I've started to look for something else, tonally.
 

keepitsimple

Active Member
I have Garritan CFX, VSL CFX and NOIRE. The best for recording for me are NOIRE and VSL CFX.

- Garritan CFX: Great for playing/practicing, but a pain when recording due to the pedal-down noises in the samples, especially if you finalize it with a limiter in order to give it presence in a solo context. Dynamic range is superb and has the best growling bass of all 3.

- VSL CFX: Bright and vivid with an almost percussive character. You need to tweak the velocity sensitivity in order to tame down that "percussive brightness". Some registers sound weaker than others so you need to spend some time in the edit page to get everything gelling together. If you do your tweaks right, it sounds absolutely stunning in a solo recording.

- NOIRE: The most balanced (timbre wise) of all 3 and hands down the most versatile. Sounds very convincing in a recording. It retains a warm aura around it but you can still hear the strings pop when you push it. You can make it sound almost as pensive as the VSL CFX or as deep as something like Keyscape's C7. The reverbs included are absolutely stunning, ranging from rooms/halls to experimental spaces (like Piano resonance fx etc...).
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
I have Garritan CFX, VSL CFX and NOIRE. The best for recording for me are NOIRE and VSL CFX.

- Garritan CFX: Great for playing/practicing, but a pain when recording due to the pedal-down noises in the samples, especially if you finalize it with a limiter in order to give it presence in a solo context. Dynamic range is superb and has the best growling bass of all 3.

- VSL CFX: Bright and vivid with an almost percussive character. You need to tweak the velocity sensitivity in order to tame down that "percussive brightness". Some registers sound weaker than others so you need to spend some time in the edit page to get everything gelling together. If you do your tweaks right, it sounds absolutely stunning in a solo recording.

- NOIRE: The most balanced (timbre wise) of all 3 and hands down the most versatile. Sounds very convincing in a recording. It retains a warm aura around it but you can still hear the strings pop if push it. You can make it sound almost as pensive as the VSL CFX or as deep as something like Keyscape's C7. The reverbs included are absolutely stunning, ranging from rooms/halls to experimental spaces (like Piano resonance fx etc...).
Your videos have been very helpful, not only about these few pianos!

VSL isn't a consideration for me, for a few reasons, but I appreciate your other thoughts here. This *isn't* just for playing/practice. I'll be using it in recordings, so the noise issues are something to bear in mind, although the first demo that really caught my ear and impressed me (a Bach chorale) is also the only one I've noticed the noises on to any high degree.
 

keepitsimple

Active Member
Your videos have been very helpful, not only about these few pianos!

VSL isn't a consideration for me, for a few reasons, but I appreciate your other thoughts here. This *isn't* just for playing/practice. I'll be using it in recordings, so the noise issues are something to bear in mind, although the first demo that really caught my ear and impressed me (a Bach chorale) is also the only one I've noticed the noises on to any high degree.
Thank you:) I think you'll be happy with NOIRE. The amount of customization you can do is insane. They went all out with this one. They're also planning to release an update with more snapshots.
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
All right, all right... leaning towards Noire at this point. I'll need one more round of listening to convince myself, but then I have to round up the cash/see if anyone buys my Hammersmith license, so I'll have time to change my mind another fifty times....
 

gdugan

New Member
I have both Garritan CFX and Noire. For recording/mixing, I like Noire much more than Garritan, which I found hard to get to sit correctly in a mix. I just recently replaced the Garritan CFX piano with the Noire in a piece I recorded, and am very pleased with the result. The piano is much better defined and I didn't have to deal with the excessive room sound of the Garritan.

Here's a link to the piece:
 
OP
miket

miket

Senior Member
Thanks for that. It sounds great! I'm even more certain now that Noire is the way to go. The sound of Abbey Road behind the Garritan is very pleasant to me, but I think I'd ultimately rather have this tighter sound for most uses.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
Good to hear another piece with Noire. I keep telling myself I don't need another sampled piano and then hear tracks like this. One thing I notice in many pieces produced with sampled pianos (including some of my own) is that they often sound a little harsh/heavy handed. Maybe because the keyboard/software defaults to a velocity setting which triggers the mf, f & ff samples too easily, which can result in a harsh sound. I hear it a bit in the above track. You really need to dig into the keyboard of a good acoustic grand to get those levels, so my suggestion is to keep the keyboard/software velocity response in check, and also monitor at a substantial volume level when recording the piano parts in order to get a realistic idea of dynamics and the subtleties of the m, mp, p & pp range.
 
Top Bottom