Need Piano Help...Bad

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Robert_G, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Robert_G

    Robert_G It really is just an expensive hobby for me

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    I want to go to the next level with the piano instrument, but I'm torn between the VSL Yamaha/Steinway, path....or going Pianoteq altogether.

    I currently am using the Grandeur which I do like....but it can only go so far.
    I also have the EW Composer Cloud Plus so I have the Pianos Platinum. Unfortunately, they are probably the worst sampled pianos I've ever used or heard. The lower velocities are so muddy and flat which will ruin any transition that changes velocity.....making them basically unplayable IMO. I have tried adjusting every automation that exists in both Cubase and the Play 6 itself...These pianos just want to stay flat and muddy no matter what. With that said I'm not a EW hater....I love many of their products...

    I like a bright colorful piano....nice relatively hard tone...but it has to sound like that both quiet or loud.
    The playing realness of Pianoteq has me really considering it, but the sound of the new Steinway and Yamaha are bar none outstanding.....How are the VSL at really quiet velocities? Do they transition between notes as seamlessly as the demos suggest?

    I also need either, to not give me headaches with Cubase 10 Elements.

    I'm wide open to listening to suggestions and experience.
    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. SAM CA

    SAM CA Member

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    My experience with Pianoteq is been limited to their demo version, so I can't comment on that. If you're looking into sample based pianos, Ivory is an excellent option as well. They cover dark to bright pianos.

    If you want the piano to sound bright across all velocities, you're not really looking for a natural piano sound then.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Robert_G

    Robert_G It really is just an expensive hobby for me

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    I know what you mean....I own a nice Kawai acoustic....yes its not AS bright with the quieter velocities, but its not muddy/flat at all.
     
  4. SAM CA

    SAM CA Member

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    What about Arturia V2 :



    Not the best Piano but it has some pretty bright pianos.


    Ivory's low registers are very good:

     
  5. OP
    OP
    Robert_G

    Robert_G It really is just an expensive hobby for me

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    Feb 6, 2019
    that ivory one is interesting...but if you look at the end of the video...I noticed the timbre is set to 99 (max)…..but yes...nice lower registers.

    The arturia sounds nice, but I didn't notice much in the way of velocity changes...makes me wonder if he has it set to a high minimum....So many VST pianos demo that way to make it sound better than it really is.
     
  6. SAM CA

    SAM CA Member

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    oh both of these videos are mine with no post processing. What you hear is what you get. If I remember correctly, I'm using the default settings. With Ivory, there's tons of parameters that you can tweak to your liking.
     
  7. CGR

    CGR Pianist/Composer/Arranger

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    I agree with Sam CA above regarding Ivory. Don't own the Steinway B as in his demo, but have owned the American D for over a year and it's very good, particularly at lower velocities and it has a very smooth transition through the dynamic levels. Highly recommended.

    I'd also suggest Galaxy Vintage Steinway D (ditto with my comments re. The Ivory American D). This has many tone shaping controls and can go from very clear & bright to warm and dark. Works in the free Kontakt Player too if that is important to you.

    Lastly, Garritan's Abbey Road Yamaha CFX. About as close to Pianoteq's playability as it gets with sampled pianos in my opinion. A very clear but resonant & natural tone. Plenty of tone shaping controls. I'm a big fan of it.
     
    scoringdreams, SAM CA and chasmanian like this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Robert_G

    Robert_G It really is just an expensive hobby for me

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    Is there any chance you could whip up 30 seconds of note transitioning at different velocities on that Ivory...would love to hear it.
     
  9. SAM CA

    SAM CA Member

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    I'm nowhere near my Ivory setup at the moment, but for right now, I have this recording with a lot more contrasting velocities:

     
    James H likes this.
  10. harmaes

    harmaes Member

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    Hey Sam, I've read in reviews on the Ivory Studio Grands that a lot of people (including ones that have used Ivory before) found these lacking sound and playing wise and because of no sustain samples? Compared to the American Concert D which I recently own which has great reviews?
     
  11. marclawsonmusic

    marclawsonmusic Senior Member

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    The Galaxy D is one of the best piano purchases I've made. I am sure there are multiple ways to sculpt the sound, but I typically use it for darker-sounding passages.

    Pianoteq is also very nice and the sound is very customizable, but some people complain about the artificial nature of the sound (it is modeled).

    For a brighter sound, you might consider the Ravenscroft 275 from VI Labs. At least, my observation was that it was very bright when I purchased it. The ArtVista Virtual Grand Piano is also brighter in tone (Steinway B).

    Also, do yourself a favor and check out Rob's great demo on this thread -> https://vi-control.net/community/threads/best-vst-piano-to-start-with.78290/page-4#post-4351157

    The Sonivox 88 sounds very nice to me, but I already own too many sampled pianos so I will not buy another. :)

    In the end, this is a very personal choice (pianosound) and you will only be happy when you audition several pianos and find one that suits you. Good luck.
     
    CGR likes this.
  12. SAM CA

    SAM CA Member

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    Yes, I've read some of those reviews, and I always wonder what they're talking about!
     
    harmaes likes this.
  13. keepitsimple

    keepitsimple Active Member

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    Vsl CFX is the best piano in software form on the market, sampled or modeled. My opinion of course. The only reason I keep other piano libraries in my hard drive is simply for the fact to compare them to the VSL CFX and gush about how good it sounds lol.

    I have pianoteq standard with 2 add-ons , ivory ACD, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan CFX, just to name a few....and the VSL CFX is the no brainer choice for me for a serious project that will be heard publically (album etc..).
     
  14. harmaes

    harmaes Member

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    It's easy for competition to place negative reviews to influence the buying process. ;)
     
    brynolf likes this.
  15. Michael Antrum

    Michael Antrum Only the good die young....

    I have all the Ivory II libraries, Piantoeq, Mercury, NI etc, etc, but for me there is only one, and that is Ivory II American Concert D.

    I combine that with a good reverb, normally Spaces or Fabfilter Pro R, and I am away with the fairies.

    There are a number of patches, but the Dynamic Concert American patch has a nice bright (but not overly so) tone in the higher range, and depth and power in the lower range with becoming muddy.

    Theres enough control to tweak it if you like, but the core piano is simply beautiful.

    I cannot recommend it enough.
     
    harmaes likes this.
  16. Michael Antrum

    Michael Antrum Only the good die young....

    I see you asked for a sample. Here is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago, it's just American Concert D piano with Spaces reverb played straight into cubase and bounced straight out. There are no effects/mixing going on except the Spaces Reverb.

     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    marclawsonmusic and CGR like this.
  17. If you're playing lots, pianoteq is fantastic, responsive and nowadays sounds better than most samples pianos
    Always getting bter, no noise buildup and so much tweakabiliity. Also saves you some RAM for the other stuff!
     
    Casiquire likes this.
  18. A few months ago, I've purchased a lite version of Embertone's Walker Steinway for only 10$ (probably the best spent 10$ ever). I was quite skeptical about their piano project for a while, but this purchase had completely changed my mind. Although I'm not planing to invest in a full version since I already have a nice selection of different Kontakt piano libraries, I can say that this library sounds anything but "lite", though it doesn't has as many velocity layers and also only one microphone perspective. I wanted to mention this library as a very nice alternative to The Grandeur, since Walker has quite brighter and thinner sound that greatly reminds me of George Winston's sound on his "Seasons" albums. Personally, I prefer darker sounding pianos for my solo piano work, but this Steinway from Embertone still has quite a singable voice.

    https://www.embertone.com/instruments/concertD.php

    I have quite a lot of experience with Yamaha pianos. I own C-series upright piano myself and was never quite happy with it's sound as it has a somewhat metallic character, especially in the middle register. To my ears, pianos from Yamaha are often brighter in tone than the other brands and I believe this is also mostly the case when it comes to their sampled / modeling counterparts.
     
    CGR likes this.
  19. scoringdreams

    scoringdreams Unsuspecting Person

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    I find the Garritan CFX (Yamaha) a good choice too.

    Recently bought the Bechstein Digital Grand (C. Bechstein) and I think it's unique in its own way too.

    Consider the Spitfire Hans Zimmer Piano (Steinway) too, but since you prefer brighter-sounding pianos - not really recommended.

    Can't say much about the other popular choices here as I don't own them, but I think Synthogy's piano selections are really good too.
     
  20. CGR

    CGR Pianist/Composer/Arranger

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    Australia
    This may be old news to some, but I thought I'd post it anyway . . .
    Broadly speaking, there are 2 approaches to sampling a piano:

    Method A
    1. Record sustained notes (ideally chromatically) with the sustain/damper pedal up.
    2. Record sustained notes (ideally chromatically) with the sustain/damper pedal down.
    3. Record release samples (the sound of the moving string/s being dampened) - ideally chromatically and at multiple velocities
    or
    Method B
    1. Record sustained notes (ideally chromatically) with the sustain/damper pedal up.
    2. Record separate resonances after the hammer attack with the sustain/damper pedal down.
    3. Record release samples (the sound of the moving string/s being dampened) - ideally chromatically and at multiple velocities

    Pros & Cons of Method A:
    Pros:
    Realistic resonances and a '3D' depth to the soundstage and overtones
    Cons: Limitations with accurate damper pedalling response (half-pedalling & re/catch-pedaling)

    Pros & Cons of Method B:
    Pros:
    More accurate damper pedalling response (half-pedalling & re/catch-pedaling)
    Cons: Unnatural sounding resonances and generally a 'flatter' soundstage with less complex overtones

    Coming from an acoustic piano background, and having played some of the very best piano brands and models both live on stage and in recording studios, the 'Method B' sample pianos always leave me wanting. Then again many of the 'Method A' sampled pianos, the best of which achieve a very convincing acoustic piano tone, are for me more times than not a struggle to attain a fluid performance with.

    In the collection I have (which doesn't include the latest VSL Synchron pianos) the Garritan Abbey Road Yamaha CFX comes closest to an ideal mix of the 2 methods. Character and tone is something separate to be discussed, but to me it feels, responds and sounds like the closest approximation of sitting at a high quality, well tuned & voiced grand piano in a natural space.
     

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