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Garritan CFX vs. Noire. Does anyone have both?

gdugan

New Member
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.

I agree, some of the velocities in this track could be tweaked to give a more natural result. The thing is, I just replaced the existing Garritan CFX with Noire, and re-rendered the track (I think I actually did massage the velocities on a few notes) and came out with a pretty decent result. I'm sure I'll ultimately go back and re-perform the piano so I adjust my playing for the instrument in real time.

Thanks for listening and for the nice comments!

-Gary
 

gdugan

New Member
… 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.

This is an excellent point. Monitor level makes an enormous difference in the performance.

Totally tangential:
One thing I've noticed on many sampled pianos is the middle octave or so around middle C is very hard to get sounding right. On a lot of libraries, there's this "hole" in the middle octave (say from the G below middle C to C an octave above) - some sort of phase issue maybe - that is really aggravating and spoils the illusion for me. The high and low end on most libraries are fine, but it's that middle octave that makes or breaks the effect. Noire seems to not suffer from this. The stage pianos I've played don't seem to have this middle octave problem either.

Also, I *never* seem to be able to get the same sound from sampled libraries that I hear in the youtube demos. I have a bunch of piano libraries that I bought because I thought the demos sounded wonderful that I never use because they just sound disappointing when I play them.

Maybe it's my playing...
 
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Michaelt

Michaelt

Formerly Mike T
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I've also noticed that issue in the mid-range of sampled pianos. The outer ends of the keyboard sound nice and have good separation, but that middle is often very smeared together and one dimensional. Even from demos, I can tell Noire avoided that.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
Also, I *never* seem to be able to get the same sound from sampled libraries that I hear in the youtube demos. I have a bunch of piano libraries that I bought because I thought the demos sounded wonderful that I never use because they just sound disappointing when I play them.

Maybe it's my playing...

Don't underestimate the 'polishing' which is often applied to these demos. EQ, saturation, compression & mastering can have a substantial impact on the fullness and clarity of the piano tone - sampled and acoustic.
 

ionian

Member
The thing is, to me, even Noire still gets "plinky" in the highs and a bit flat. Garritan CFX is the only sampled piano I've heard that gets the highs right and there's a certain dimensionality in there as well that I haven't heard in any other sampled pianos. I agree that it's a pain to fight the room sound of CFX, but for me it's a tradeoff for the dimensionality that CFX has that I haven't heard in any others, including Noire.

There's more leeway when doing a track that has a lot of stuff in it because the piano doesn't need dimension, but for solo piano, I still haven't found anything to beat CFX, in my opinion.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
The thing is, to me, even Noire still gets "plinky" in the highs and a bit flat. Garritan CFX is the only sampled piano I've heard that gets the highs right and there's a certain dimensionality in there as well that I haven't heard in any other sampled pianos. I agree that it's a pain to fight the room sound of CFX, but for me it's a tradeoff for the dimensionality that CFX has that I haven't heard in any others, including Noire.

There's more leeway when doing a track that has a lot of stuff in it because the piano doesn't need dimension, but for solo piano, I still haven't found anything to beat CFX, in my opinion.

Good point about the Garritan CFX top end. There's a real air, presence and 3D image in it which a close/mid mic'd piano with reverb applied just can't achieve. The treble notes rise up and mingle in the Abbey Road space so naturally with the Garritan CFX, unlike the 2 dimensional 'all treble-notes-to-the-right' result you get with many other sampled pianos.
 

gdugan

New Member
The thing is, to me, even Noire still gets "plinky" in the highs and a bit flat. Garritan CFX is the only sampled piano I've heard that gets the highs right and there's a certain dimensionality in there as well that I haven't heard in any other sampled pianos. I agree that it's a pain to fight the room sound of CFX, but for me it's a tradeoff for the dimensionality that CFX has that I haven't heard in any others, including Noire.

There's more leeway when doing a track that has a lot of stuff in it because the piano doesn't need dimension, but for solo piano, I still haven't found anything to beat CFX, in my opinion.

What are your suggested/favorite settings for Garritan CFX for solo piano?
 

newman

Active Member
I agree that it's a pain to fight the room sound of CFX, but for me it's a tradeoff for the dimensionality that CFX has that I haven't heard in any others...

What are your suggested/favorite settings for Garritan CFX for solo piano?
I run full>classic. Then turn down the gain on the ambient mics. There is something wonky with the limit on the master gain so turn off the limit light. I increase dynamic range dial to about 70-80%. Search for the CyberGene pedaling script.

I like this a lot and have spent years playing with other mics and adjustments, none of which I like.
 
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CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
I run full>classic. Then turn down the gain on the ambient mics. There is something wonky with the limit on the master gain so turn off the limit light. I increase dynamic range dial to about 70-80%. Search for the CyberGene pedaling script.

I like this a lot and have spent years playing with other mics and adjustments, none of which I like.[/COLOR]
Exact setup I use, including the edited pedalling script provided by CyberGene.
 

newman

Active Member
Exact setup I use, including the edited pedalling script provided by CyberGene.
Good show m8! This is a popular setup for classical pianists at PianoWorld forum; a few of the guys are also music producers in the classical realm.
 
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gdugan

New Member
I run full>classic. Then turn down the gain on the ambient mics. There is something wonky with the limit on the master gain so turn off the limit light. I increase dynamic range dial to about 70-80%. Search for the CyberGene pedaling script.

I like this a lot and have spent years playing with other mics and adjustments, none of which I like.
Thanks very much! I'll give these settings a try.
 

Halvardlund

New Member
Love these advices! Have played for 30 years.
I am trying to buy two of these:
(Black Friday-prized)
NI NOIRE
VSL Bösendorfer Grand Upright 130

(Or non Black-Friday priced)
Garriton CFX Lite
Garriton CFX Full.
VSL CFX

My use will be:
Composition of Jazz, Film Score, Soul, Classical etc.

And my focus will be: melodic, how the strings would harmonize like a real piano, and aftersound.

I loved these entries:

Keepitsimple, I liked how you said the Garritan CFX Full could not easily be used for recording. That is what I will do, semipro and pro recording.

Your comment: left me with NOIRE and VSL, though a nother piano by VSL.

I have not thought of Hammersmith Pro, will probably be left out for now.

ionion, you mention dimensionality - you don´t find it in NOIRE, and nothing beats Garritan CFX Full.

CFR, you mention real air, presence and 3D image vs the 2 dimensionality with other libraries.

On this last night before Cyber Sales go: I am weighing on

a) Buying the Full Garriton
b) Buying the Vienna CFX and not the VSL Bösendorfer Grand Upright 130, though I prefer Uprights for melodymaking
c) Buying NI Noire and Garriton CFX Lite
d) Most likely buyin NI Noir and VSL Bösendorfer Grand Upright
 

muziksculp

Senior Member
I have both, but NOIRE wins for me. It's a fantastic Piano, both sound, and playability.

Actually I deleted Garritan's CFX Piano Sample content from my PC, since I wasn't using it, and it was just occupying valuable SSD Space.

Hope this helps you decide. :)
 

SupremeFist

Senior Member
And my focus will be: melodic, how the strings would harmonize like a real piano, and aftersound.

I don't own the Garritan CFX, but the VSL Bösendorfer Upright has a tremendously rich and detailed intimate sound with a ton of resonance. I think from what you say that you would like it. ;)
 

Halvardlund

New Member
All: I asked Yamaha directly on samples, and they gave an unprioritized list:


ohernie:
NI NOIRE - 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended for large KONTAKT Instruments (Kontakt 6))
VSL Bösendorfer Grand Upright 130 - specs at 16 RAM, recommends at i7 and I have only i5.
Garritan CFX Lite - needs 4 GB RAM, which I have.
Garritan CFX Full - needs 4 GB RAM, which I have.
VSL Vienna CFX needs 16 RAM.

muziksculp:
1ST PRIORITY - I have decided for NOIRE as first priority and only buy for now.
2ND PRIORITY - Both Vienna VSL is out of spec range - and also price range. And I bet on a later offer in 2021 or 2022.
3RD PRIORITY - I am waiting for Garritan until later, since there is no sale, Garriton is on hold, timewise.
4RD PRIORITY: Pianoteq was good, I tried a trial, but my QL Pianos overlap these.
5TH PRIORITY: Hammersmith is still unknown quality for me, and does not seem to be on sale.

SupremeFist:
Thanks. Yeah. It is your comparison against Keepitsimple comparison.

Final insecurity:
I guess, I have to go to bed, here in Europe. And leave the final call until the last day. And I could steal 16 gb RAM from my seldomly used iMac.

And I am pressing in another buy for 90 dollar, which I could move to the final battle:

Between
e) NI NOIRE or
f) VSL Bösendorfer
or
g) both.
 
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Halvardlund

New Member
There is a final option,
1. I can buy Vienna and decide for any refund during the next hours.
2. And when have decided to keep or reject Vienna Bösendorfer Upright,
3. than I have either just NOIRE left - or both. AND NI does not give refunds.

PS! This would have worked, did it not take 7 days to deliver VIENNA key, which - together with not really needing an upright piano now - and I am not sure if I need this type of upright, I want a less GRANDPIANO-sounding upright, something more volum-tight, I am probably down to.

JUST NOIRE, on sale until Dec 7th.
Good night everyone.
 
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cfodeebiedaddy

New Member
There is a final option,
1. I can buy Vienna and decide for any refund during the next hours.
2. And when have decided to keep or reject Vienna Bösendorfer Upright,
3. than I have either just NOIRE left - or both. AND NI does not give refunds.

PS! This would have worked, did it not take 7 days to deliver VIENNA key, which - together with not really needing an upright piano now - and I am not sure if I need this type of upright, I want a less GRANDPIANO-sounding upright, something more volum-tight, I am probably down to.

JUST NOIRE, on sale until Dec 7th.
Good night everyone.

One option not really mentioned in your lists is to do the 3+1 voucher and combine the Bosendorfer upright with the VSL CFX. That would be my combo from the various possibilities!

Alternatively, the VI Labs Modern U (upright) is currently on sale for $110 and it's excellent. That plus the Noire at $75 from NI is about the best bang for the buck I can imagine for a great pair of grand+upright pianos.

For me, the VI upright is more 'instant gratification' right out of the box, but the more I play the VSL upright, the more I find to like about it.
 

jazzman7

Active Member
I decided on NOIR over CFX partly because the room sound of the CFX doesn't work in all situations for me. The NOIR is much more flexible. Ultimately, while they are so close to each other in sound, the NOIR just sounded better to my ear. However, The NOIR D3 sample (All velocities) is a bit "tubby" sounding to me. Muffled and off in phase. The C to a lesser extent. The only other complaint was I bought it just before it went on sale for half off! Beautiful sound
 

Thundercat

Senior Member
I agree, some of the velocities in this track could be tweaked to give a more natural result. The thing is, I just replaced the existing Garritan CFX with Noire, and re-rendered the track (I think I actually did massage the velocities on a few notes) and came out with a pretty decent result. I'm sure I'll ultimately go back and re-perform the piano so I adjust my playing for the instrument in real time.

Thanks for listening and for the nice comments!

-Gary
It's really lovely. Thanks for sharing xo
 
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