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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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miket

miket

Senior Member
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

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

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.
 
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