VSL Synchron Steinway D-274 Lite vs Std vs Full

cadenzajon

Active Member
I'm frustrated with most concert grand pianos I've tried (Galaxy D, Ravenscroft 275, Embertone Steinway 1955) at my inability to make them sound like they're realistically positioned in a concert hall (i.e. to blend with an orchestra), even with reverbs like Spaces. The most convincing samples I've heard with respect to this are coming from VSL Synchron, and I like the tone of their Steinway.

I'm not concerned with loads of mics, half-pedaling, a million samples and round robins, etc. I just want it to sound like it's in a concert hall. As far as I can tell, the Lite version (included with the Synchron SE vol 1, coming up on sale for a great deal) comes with a room mic that could fit the bill.

However, VSL's demos for the the Lite version (two on the page below) sound, to my ears, awful... like there are maybe 3 dynamic layers instead of 30. (The velocities just don't seem very natural-sounding.)

Can anyone with the SE version of the Synchron Steinway D chime in and give some idea of how limiting the dynamic layers are? I'd love to hear an example with the "room" mic in use if anyone has something they'd like to share. If I need to splurge for the Standard edition in order to be satisfied, I'd rather know that sooner than later.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
As far as I can tell, the Lite version (included with the Synchron SE vol 1, coming up on sale for a great deal) comes with a room mic that could fit the bill.
The VSL Steinway Concert-D 274 Lite is only included in the SYNCRON-ized Special Edition VOL 1, which is not listed in the sale. The VI Special Editions VOL 1-4 will be on sale, and can then be upgraded to the SYNCRON-ized versions for an additional € 48.
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
Attached an example of the Steinway Lite - (synchron algorithmic reverb turned off, no EQ, room mic position only at 0 dB). Note - I did not record this while playing the Steinway Lite piano. The MIDI is actually fine-tuned for VSL Synchron Yamaha piano.

Compared to my VSL Synchron Yamaha CFX full version, the playability of the Steinway Lite feels a bit off, but not too bad. I do think it might be related to some velocity mapping of the reduced number of layers. I've read on VSL forums that people really like the velocity mapping curve of the Steinway, though, so the standard/full versions are likely very good feeling for sure - I know the Yamaha full playability feels great. So, you may want to ask around more about the feel of Lite. Maybe it's just my synth keybed, but at the same time, I don't feel I had the same awkwardness with the Yamaha CFX full version.

I think if you're going for a concert style tone, you might want at least the standard mic positions, not just room mix only. You may want to use something like the mid mic with an external reverb, and maybe a touch of room or tree in addition to that. I don't think the default room mix is quite a concert hall sound - the early reflections are wider than that, and the long tail is slightly shorter than it could be.
 

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Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
My favourite piano has always been the Ivory II American Concert D, with the inbuilt reverb turned off and fed through Spaces II.

However, since I bought the VSL Syncronized Special Editions Bundle, the Concert D 274 Lite has become a second favourite.

I was, however, surprised to see that there is very little in the way of a discount when upgrading from the lite to the standard or full version.... (It shows an 18 euro discount to upgrade from lite to standard over normal RRP).
 
FWIW the lite version has 30 velocity layers, that is more than any competitors offerings in that department apart from Pianoteq, so that is not an issue. The full version has 100 velocity layers.

I have it and it definitely has more than 3 layers. They would have had to remove 97 velocity layers.......
You can always return the product to VSL within 30 days if you are not happy with it
 
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Just head over to the website and chat with the sales team, there is a chat feature, or confirm it with @Ben who is helping you with the issue you reported on another thread.
 

Ben

VSL Support
@Dimarco I can confirm tihs policy. You are not happy? Return the product within 30 days.
Also the Upgrade path from VI SE 1 to the SYNCHRON-ized SE 1 is a good way to get it at a really low price.
Don't forget to install the Synchron Piano Player! And don't mix it up with the old Bosendorfer piano included in the SE1.
 

Rob

Senior Member
one thing I love in this piano is the ability to change tune/eq/volume per key... the eq is so precise that it allows to edit single partials, getting rid of unwanted resonances. Timbre-wise it's a bit clinical, a little cold to my ears, but a very serious piano nonetheless.
 

staypuft

Member
Is this really true? How many does the standard version have? Also where is the official info on this. I’m thinking about picking it up for Black Friday.
Yes....full //11 microphones and std //6 microphones have 100 layers. Lite has 30 layers. I got that from the official vsl forums when I was deciding which version to buy.
 

Ben

VSL Support
Is this really true? How many does the standard version have? Also where is the official info on this. I’m thinking about picking it up for Black Friday.
As @staypuft said, the difference between Standard and Full are the included mics. Some velocity count for both versions. The Lite version has only 2 mics (RoomMix, Close1) and only 30 velocity layers.
 

Rob

Senior Member
I know you're looking for a concert hall sound, but the more I play it the more it gets close to my idea of sitting on a real piano (close sounding). Lovely hi-mid zone, very balanced dynamics... think I may upgrade to standard at least. Oddly, the player preset that's supposed to recreate the feeling of being at the piano sounds off to me, it's such a subjective thing
 

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Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I've got the Synchronised SE Version, and I love it. My absolute favourite piano is Ivory II American Concert D, but these days I do keep reaching for Lite D274 as it is just heavenly.

So I'm going to have to upgrade to the Standard Version. Looks like almost my entire BF Budget is on its way to Vienna .....
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
I know you're looking for a concert hall sound, but the more I play it the more it gets close to my idea of sitting on a real piano (close sounding). Lovely hi-mid zone, very balanced dynamics... think I may upgrade to standard at least. Oddly, the player preset that's supposed to recreate the feeling of being at the piano sounds off to me, it's such a subjective thing
So good to hear a demo like this Rob with the VSL Steinway. Beautifully played, and I can really hear the notes singing out, which is hard to assess with most the demos on the VSL site.
What preset did you use for this, and is there any external saturation or compression going on?
 

Rob

Senior Member
So good to hear a demo like this Rob with the VSL Steinway. Beautifully played, and I can really hear the notes singing out, which is hard to assess with most the demos on the VSL site.
What preset did you use for this, and is there any external saturation or compression going on?
Hi Craig, thanks, I think I started with a close preset, but have changed most of the settings... not at the pc right now, later on I can post the preset if you're curious. Only external effect is a bit of upward compression in the 4-5k range to give some spark to mid-highs
 
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Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
Well I upgraded to the standard version. And I’ve only just surfaced after doing precious little else but play this wonderful instrument.

I’ve been totally blindsided by this piano, it’s now officially the no 1 Piano in the undemocratic republic of my house.

The full version is going to ordered as soon as I get back home from a family trip to the cinema.

It’s simply beautiful.
 
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ptram

Senior Member
In the VSL catalogue, I’m still liking the Imperial more, even if it lacks half-pedaling. This, only based on listening to the demos and playing the Lite Steinway and the full Imperial. If you can compare them, how do you like the new piano more?

Paolo