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VSL - Synchron Piano (out now)

SGordB

Active Member
I know the feeling :) But everyone has different taste, so I can only give you my experience with it, and can't say you gonna love it.
No need for a disclaimer :) I know that’s a given. Myself, for example, Garritan’s CFX has become my go-to - and that’s only the Lite version.
 

SGordB

Active Member
"The first piano in the Synchron series"

Uhm. Explain!
There’s a really good YouTube video of a pianist associated with VSL demonstrating the differing characters of the pianos in the Synchron hall. The other two, iirc, are a Steinway D and a Boesendorfer.
 

good

Member
I keep thinking whether to buy this VI or not.
Is it worth paying approximately $200/$400 and buying VSL CFX as a Garitan CFX user?
If I buy, will Standard edition be enough?

I expect them to upload the actual playing video to YouTube.
 

Casiquire

Senior Member
There’s a really good YouTube video of a pianist associated with VSL demonstrating the differing characters of the pianos in the Synchron hall. The other two, iirc, are a Steinway D and a Boesendorfer.
I saw that and much preferred the other two pianos, hence my interest in that statement.
 
I keep thinking whether to buy this VI or not.
Is it worth paying approximately $200/$400 and buying VSL CFX as a Garitan CFX user?
If I buy, will Standard edition be enough?

I expect them to upload the actual playing video to YouTube.
Also wondering if VSL CFX is really that much better than Garritan CFX. Wasn't really impressed by the official demos, and I've been holding out for Production Voices Concert Grand (Steinway). I'd rather have another piano than the same kind sampled differently.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Also wondering if VSL CFX is really that much better than Garritan CFX. Wasn't really impressed by the official demos, and I've been holding out for Production Voices Concert Grand (Steinway). I'd rather have another piano than the same kind sampled differently.
I think this is going to be an ongoing quandary for all of us who have already made significant investments in piano libraries. Are the new products truly better than what we currently own, or maybe just a bit different?

Add to that the fact that VSL will most likely be giving the same treatment to the Boesendorfer and Steinway they have a their Synchron Studio. Those will have a different sound. But, I also wonder if having gone through the process once with the Yamaha CFX, will they have gained some knowledge and experience and do a better job on the next subjects?

That said, I'm still really enjoying the Synchron Yamaha CFX. Still strikes me as being a real breakthrough. Really useful for a very wide variety of styles, and just feels exceptional my fingers and sustain pedal foot (in a way that a lot of other libraries simply don't). For a lot of things, it's now going to be my go-to sampled grand piano.

Of the other two pianos they have, I'm certainly interested in hearing what they do with both of them, but I'm thinking it's more likely that I'll be interested in the Steinway (seems to me it would be a good contrast to the forward, bright character of the Yamaha CFX).
 
I think this is going to be an ongoing quandary for all of us who have already made significant investments in piano libraries. Are the new products truly better than what we currently own, or maybe just a bit different?

Add to that the fact that VSL will most likely be giving the same treatment to the Boesendorfer and Steinway they have a their Synchron Studio. Those will have a different sound. But, I also wonder if having gone through the process once with the Yamaha CFX, will they have gained some knowledge and experience and do a better job on the next subjects?

That said, I'm still really enjoying the Synchron Yamaha CFX. Still strikes me as being a real breakthrough. Really useful for a very wide variety of styles, and just feels exceptional my fingers and sustain pedal foot (in a way that a lot of other libraries simply don't). For a lot of things, it's now going to be my go-to sampled grand piano.

Of the other two pianos they have, I'm certainly interested in hearing what they do with both of them, but I'm thinking it's more likely that I'll be interested in the Steinway (seems to me it would be a good contrast to the forward, bright character of the Yamaha CFX).
I'm glad to hear that VSL CFX is very playable! I'll probably wait for the Synchron Steinway and Bosendorfer pianos.
 

newman

Member
Also wondering if VSL CFX is really that much better than Garritan CFX. Wasn't really impressed by the official demos, and I've been holding out for Production Voices Concert Grand (Steinway). I'd rather have another piano than the same kind sampled differently.
I have the Garritan CFX, the Production Voices Concert Grand Compact (Steinway), and PianoTeq. My quick thoughts as one who uses this for playing basic classical piano live at home, not recording. Obviously these are completely different pianos recorded at different studios, etc.

I find the Garritan CFX is beautiful and more refined but the smoothness, ambience and noise floor does get a bit boring from time-to-time. The PVCGC is more wild and more engaging to play; it needs another mic perspective and could be tightened up a bit as noted below. PianoTeq plays so well but often sounds like a toy to me.

-- The Garritan CFX is a favorite for practicing & live playing classical music at the pianoworld forums. It is well sampled, plays evenly, is responsive and has good pedalling. The ambience of the room is an integral part of the samples so that might be an issue if you don't like or want the room. The samples have a rather high noise floor but that might be part of the reason the ambience is so nice. The most popular setup for classical pianists at pianoworld is the close + ambient mics that default on the Full version; I don't think many players are using other mic perspectives.

-- PVCGC is an "lid mic only" version which I see as a beta-sampler. PV said they will release full versions with additional mic perspectives soon. I also enjoy playing this piano. The samples are very clear and the room ambience is pleasant, albeit less "obvious" than the room ambience in Garritan CFX. The piano, samples and scripting are a bit rough so PV has just a bit more work to complete in my view; pedalling also needs a bit of tweaking. Sounds and plays a lot like the "lottery-luck" wonderful Steinway grand at my piano teacher's house. I strongly prefer this beta version using earbuds vs. monitors. In my view, this could be a wonderful Steinway after:

1) Combining close mics with the lid mics (this WILL happen with release of Full version)

2) Sorting the pedalling and "normalising" the samples a bit (HOPE this happens - so close to top-tier)
 
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wbacer

Senior Member
When loaded directly into Cubase 9.5 (Mac), it works great but if I have Synchron Piano (full version) instantiated in VEPro 6 running either on my Mac or PC slave, as soon as Cubase connects to VEPro, VEPro crashes.
I've contacted VSL support and sent them the crash dump file but I have not heard back from them.
I'm running the latest version of Cubase, VEPro etc.
Anyone else experience this issue?
VEPro Error Message.jpg
 
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I have the Garritan CFX, the Production Voices Concert Grand Compact (Steinway), and PianoTeq. My quick thoughts as one who uses this for playing basic classical piano live at home, not recording. Obviously these are completely different pianos recorded at different studios, etc.

I find the Garritan CFX is beautiful and more refined but the smoothness, ambience and noise floor does get a bit boring from time-to-time. The PVCGC is more wild and a perhaps more engaging to play; it needs another mic perspective and could be tightened up a bit as noted below. PianoTeq plays so well but often sounds like a toy to me.

-- The Garritan CFX is a favorite for practicing & live playing classical music at the pianoworld forums. It is well sampled, plays evenly, is responsive and has good pedalling. The ambience of the room is an integral part of the samples so that might be an issue if you don't like or want the room. The samples have a rather high noise floor but that might be part of the reason the ambience is so nice. The most popular setup for classical pianists at pianoworld is the close + ambient mics that default on the Full version; I don't think many players are using other mic perspectives.

-- PVCGC is an "lid mic only" version which I see as a beta-sampler. PV said they will release full versions with additional mic perspectives soon. I also enjoy playing this piano. The samples are very clear and the room ambience is pleasant, albeit less "obvious" than the room ambience in Garritan CFX. The piano, samples and scripting are a bit rough so PV has just a bit more work to complete in my view; pedalling also needs a bit of tweaking. Sounds and plays a lot like the "lottery-luck" wonderful Steinway grand at my piano teacher's house. I strongly prefer this beta version using earbuds vs. monitors. In my view, this could be a wonderful Steinway after:

1) Combining close mics with the lid mics (this WILL happen with release of Full version)

2) Sorting the pedalling and "normalising" the samples a bit (HOPE this happens - so close to top-tier)
Yes, I own all three of these libraries as well, and I completely agree with your opinions on them.

I also feel that the full version of Production Voices Concert Grand has so much potential. To my ears, the compact version is the best-sounding Steinway library I've tried yet. It's a lot closer to sounding like a real Steinway than other Steinway libraries.
 

good

Member
I bought Standard library. This is so realistic than I expected.
I worried about the ambience issue before I buy, but it reached a satisfactory level after touching some settings. First I loaded Player preset, and increased the level of the close & main mics, which has strengthened the stringy sound, but decreased (too much) distant tone. I also decreased the reverb (especially close mic's reverb) and Room-mix mic's volume.
Someone said the high register is little thin, but wasn't to me.
I put this instrument on the top tier of my own VI.

The only weakness I think is the loading speed. However, this has little effect on pulling down the instrument from the top tier. This issue is solved by setting up the instrument about 10 minutes before using it. (HDD point of view)
gorgeous.
 
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re-peat

Senior Member
The only weakness I think is the loading speed.
SSD makes a dramatic difference. Over here, the CFX loads in a matter of seconds; literally.
(The Player-plugin takes longer to load than the library.)

Anyone can get the Note Volume (in the 'Edit' tab) to work, by the way? Doesn't appear to be doing anything at all.
Maybe I'm overlooking something, or else it's a little bug.

_
 

Francis Bourre

Active Member
I bought it, shame on me, I'm a kind of virtual piano collector.

I wanted to participate to this thread to say: "Be careful... I mean, not everyone will like it. There's no ultimate piano, and imho this one is far away to enter the category if there is one." Btw, the quest for the ultimate piano is pointless, because every acoustic piano sound is different, so how you would compare them, and more than that, the context matters, definitely. Last but not least, it's fully subjective, and this subjectivity is the fruit of your own experience/culture. Mine is coming from a jazz pianist background.

So from my own experience and needs, I was disappointed, because the sound is too thin for my use, and not only in the high. It lacks of body as well. It's too clean, I can't feel the instrument under my fingers, so I can't believe I'm playing piano, and without wanting to be rude with the product, I would say it sounds a bit dead. I should add that I'm not super fan of the Yamaha C7 sound in general, but that's fine in the right context. About VSL version, I will never use it as it is for a (live or recorded) solo performance. When you go beyond the scope of the hype cinematic pianos drowned in a hall reverb (I think most of the virtual pianos are good enough to play in this category, because the requirements are such low), there's not so much products left to deliver an enjoyable intimate dry acoustic solo experience. And when you find some, the marathon is not over, you have to deal with many sample inconsistencies (eq, release...) spread on the keyboard, and many times, find some tricks to make your experience less clinic (adding noises, harmonics, colors...).

To conclude about VSL, it still has bugs with sustain pedal and samples release, I made a report, and I'm sure they'll fix it asap. I would recommend to test it it if you're interested in. I'm pretty sure you can be reimbursed later if you change your mind before the limit date (14 days?). I did it with VSL Synchron Strings. Just be careful about the general enthusiasm, there are definitely lot of alternatives that can give you better time depending on your own background and needs.
A positive note to end this post, I'm using the closed mic as a layer for a bigger piano patch. I like the tone it adds to the final sound. And yeah, it's weird, but you can mix piano samples together to create new sounds, if you didn't try yet, you should definitely give it a try. :)
 

good

Member
SSD makes a dramatic difference.
Of course I thought that way, but I have 128GB SSD at C drive that don't have enough space for this CFX.
so I'm looking for one more SSD that has about 256GB.

First I'll copy&paste only the microphone I need in ssd.

Mine is coming from a jazz pianist background.
I think this CFX is rather suited for classical music than jazz. For thin tones, it can be supplemented slightly more by Mix settings.
Yes, this has a few shortcomings, but imo this is the most realistic piano VI I've ever played and heard of.
 
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yafna

New Member
I always think that virtual piano is still developing fields.
In the first place, system that soft and MIDI keyboard composed never work well like a expensive grand piano.
but,these are evolving day by day and I need to use virtual piano. so I always look for something better.
I think this library is top now.
 

Francis Bourre

Active Member
I think this CFX is rather suited for classical music than jazz. For thin tones, it can be supplemented slightly more by Mix settings.
Yes, this has a few shortcomings, but imo this is the most realistic piano VI I've ever played and heard of.
Ok, to be more efficient, I should illustrate what I'm talking about.
This is one of the virtual piano I'm using. I recorded some notes from the low to the high to compare the realism, the subtleties and the expressiveness.

Now, this is the same excerpt with the VSL

For me, VSL doesn't do the job.
 

good

Member
Ok, to be more efficient, I should illustrate what I'm talking about.
This is one of the virtual piano I'm using. I recorded some notes from the low to the high to compare the realism, the subtleties and the expressiveness.

Now, this is the same excerpt with the VSL

For me, VSL doesn't do the job.
Yeah, obviously VSL CFX isn't suited for jazz than other proper piano:) nice playing!
I just thought VSL would shine when it comes to classical music.

Anyway, VSL updated CFX to v1.0.582. Paul said that he found the great solution for some issues. It seems VSL solve the issue of sustain pedal chopping samples. They also added per-note tuning parameters to Edit view, and improved release samples/half-pedal sound behaviour, and CPU usage.

I applaud their efforts for feedback :)

Here are download & ChangeLog links.
http://www.vsl.co.at/en/MyDownloads/Software_Installers
https://www.vsl.co.at/en/MyDownloads/Software_Manuals
 

Francis Bourre

Active Member
Yeah, obviously VSL CFX isn't suited for jazz than other proper piano:) nice playing!
I just thought VSL would shine when it comes to classical music.
Thanks for the kind words.
I got hard time to find a classical midifile that soundcloud authorize me publish, but I found one.



And yes, I appreciate their efforts as well, you're right to mention them. I just wanted to highlight a simple fact, I don't share the common enthusiasm shown in this thread, and VSL synchron piano won't be my goto piano, in any genre. Matter of taste and opinion as I said before. :)
 
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