VSL Synchron Steinway D is coming...

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by al_net77, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. slobajudge

    slobajudge Senior Member

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    Can I get that both :) ? That piano really sounds real from distance. I just want to sounds real close also but from the demos I can`t bring some valid conclusions. Too much reverb and distance sound. I hope I will change my mind once I get it.
     
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  2. Guy Bacos

    Guy Bacos Senior Member

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    No worries, there will be more demos, and some drier.
     
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  3. slobajudge

    slobajudge Senior Member

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    Happy to hear. BTW, fantastic playing Guy
     
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  4. Francis Bourre

    Francis Bourre Senior Member

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    I really appreciate this part as well.
    Getting drier demos would be a direct buy for me. Not a surprise for a piano junkie! :)
     
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  5. jamwerks

    jamwerks Senior Member

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    I have the Synchron CFX, and happily any combo of in-your-face - to ambient is possible. That's part of the treasure with these Synchron pianos!

    I agree that those demos were overly ambient to my ears.
     
  6. Gerbil

    Gerbil Senior Member

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    The question is whether it's captured the richness and warmth of the Steinway and the jury's still out on that one for me. It definitely has power and guts, no doubts, and I know it'll be playable as I have the CFX and that's excellent for performing on.

    I'm just hoping to hear some more intimate music with it, preferably dry so that I can process it using some external verbs. I don't mind the synchron stage but some of the mixes are too distant (and a bit large bathroom-ish).
     
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  7. MrCambiata

    MrCambiata Senior Member

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    I must say, as someone who is going to perform Mephisto Waltz in two weeks, these demos of the piece sound very real to me. I think I would be fooled to believe it's not a virtual instrument... But as others have said, it would be easier to tell with less ambient, hearing the resonance of the piano itself.
     
  8. newman

    newman Active Member

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    This graphic shows the room mics are a good distance from the piano. If the room sounds too ambient for your tastes, the full library adds three more mic positions within close proximity of the piano (ribbon, tube, mid).

    It would be interesting to hear a few demos with a selection of only the close and mid microphones.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Gerbil

    Gerbil Senior Member

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    I admire the versatility here but it would have to be truly exceptional (ie, far beyond what is currently available) for me to splash 500 doubloons on the full version. As it stands on listening to the current demos, the Embertone Walker sounds better. They captured more of that Rubinstein warmth. But I do really enjoy playing VSL's CFX even if I prefer others for final recordings so am genuinely interested to hear what this Steinway can do and have a bit of cash set aside for the basic version.

    I do wish they'd follow Embertone's example and release the different mics separately. It's unlikely I'm going to use them all so way pay the extra expense? This goes for a number of developers actually. Having to find yet more disk space to accomodate these monsters is a bit irritating.
     
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  10. Lee Blaske

    Lee Blaske Senior Member

    After listening closely to all the demos, I think VSL has another world class piano product here. I'm probably going to pick it up.

    I do think, though, that all developers are up against the wall of what sampling technology can do when it comes to pianos. There's a bunch of stuff happening in a real piano that traditional sampling methods just can't capture. They really can't get that magical interaction of multiple strings on a soundboard (a soundboard resonance IR doesn't really do it). They also can't get that beautiful blur you get when you re-strike an already ringing string and add more energy to it. Individual pedal-down samples are nice, but they won't give you that. Lots and lots and lots of stuff happening in a piano, and a sample library can only hope to give you a part of it. And, these are the types of things you really hear better on a dry and up-close recording (hence, the attractiveness of adding distance and reverb to a mix). For me, the closer the mix, the more I can clearly hear that each note was recorded as a separate event, and not played together. More distance makes things more convincing, as well as thicker textures with additional instruments. In some contexts, you can't tell the difference. But in others, you really can.

    I would definitely not say that having a convincing instrument (that sounds completely real, playing anything close up) will never happen, but it's going to take some kind of ridiculously sophisticated model to really get the job done. We're not there, yet, and I don't see it on the horizon.

    Interestingly, over time, the market (listeners and players) might grow used to the qualities sampled pianos have and prefer them to the real thing (at least, in some situations). Not unlike the Hammond organ. When the Hammond organ came out, the Hammond company really wanted it to totally fool the audience into thinking it was a real pipe organ, and at blind tests, a lot of people did think it was. Nowadays, we discern recorded sounds more closely, and no informed person is going to be fooled by a Hammond. But the Hammond sound isn't going away.

    I kind of feel sorry for developers who have lived with these instruments for huge amounts of time as they're assembled. They're obviously truly focused on the instruments, and have fretted about the sound, flaws and total effect of the VI. I'm sure they KNOW that as soon as they release the product and post the demos, people are going to immediately say: "We want to hear it totally DRY and CLOSE-UP!!!" This request is certainly not a surprise to them. But, it's like asking a big movie star to leave their house without makeup, styled hair and nice clothes. The paparazzi are always waiting in the bushes with telephoto lenses. ;)
     
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  11. Lee Blaske

    Lee Blaske Senior Member

    Interesting way to describe the Synchron Stage sound. ;) But, I think I'm sort of drawing a similar conclusion, myself, now owning most of the libraries recorded there. It's a certain kind of sound. Pretty bright, and a bit harsh. Not warm and full, IMO. I'm sure this hits everyone differently. There are probably people who absolutely love it. But there's a reason why when you buy, for instance, Altiverb, it comes with a TON of different room sounds. Being locked into one sound is a drag (unless it's absolutely, positively the sound you like better than all others).

    I know when I use my Synchron CFX library, I almost always use the close sound, and add the reverb I want, afterwords. I must say that some of the presets for the CFX are so distant sounding, they have a piano sound you'd hear at an actual live concert when you didn't pay enough to get a good seat. ;)
     
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  12. Guy Bacos

    Guy Bacos Senior Member

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    If I can add this, it's not just liking what you hear, it's also enjoying using the instrument, expressing yourself on it and having fun with it, and personally, I can say it passes that test. Of course the acoustics is 100% adjustable, so I'm not concern with that.
     
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  13. Gerbil

    Gerbil Senior Member

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    That very much comes across in your performances, Guy, and it's your video that sells it to me so far. Just need a bit of close mic persuasion to push me over the edge ;)
     
  14. Lee Blaske

    Lee Blaske Senior Member

    Well, if the new D is like the CFX, I expect it'll get high marks in that department. The Synchron CFX feels GREAT to play (especially on a nice controller, like the Kawai VPC1). The quality of assembly, predictability, consistency of the library is top notch. No clunkers. Nothing sticks out, and it really feels like you're playing it.

    Acoustic are certainly adjustable, but I wouldn't say "100%" adjustable. There's going to be a lot baked in in any library. Plus, the basic way the instrument is set up and voiced by the technician is going to have a big impact. The Embertone Walker Steinway, for instance, really sounds like a totally different instrument to me. It has a much softer, warmer sound.

    It's actually interesting to look at the VSL presets for the CFX. The more intimate ones really have an awful lot of high-end rolled off. I like having both warm, and bright piano sounds. But rolling off a lot of high end doesn't quite turn a really bright piano into a warm one (that's why we have a bazillion piano sample libraries these days). I'm guessing the technician at VSL must like things on the brighter side (or, whoever is curating the pianos at VSL is instructing them to head in that direction). I personally have a Yamaha CFIII concert grand in my studio, and I ask my technician to needle the hammer felt when it gets too bright.
     
  15. Mason

    Mason Senior Member

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    Guy, do you mind sharing your mix presets (mic settings etc) on your latest demos? It would be helpful for considering if I need the Full Version at this poin. A screenshot or something would be awesome
     
  16. Cartoon

    Cartoon Senior Member

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    I mean to find some space for the real piano would be much harder I guess :P
     
  17. JBacal

    JBacal Senior Member

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  18. Guy Bacos

    Guy Bacos Senior Member

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    True, I was more thinking within the Synchron Player, each mix setting or mic fader makes quite a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 11:57 AM
  19. Guy Bacos

    Guy Bacos Senior Member

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    For the Falla, I used in the factory setting: 01 Decca Tree Multi-Mic Presets/Steinway-Concert_DeccaTree, but reduced a bit the Main fader to what you see. There is a lot to explore in that area, I've only started. For the other ones, it might be VSL who chose the mix, so I'm not sure, but if you really want to know, Paul can fill you in on the VSL forum on the Steinway thread.

    PastedGraphic-5.png PastedGraphic-7.png
     
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  20. Lee Blaske

    Lee Blaske Senior Member

    This is a Hamburg Steinway. I don't think it is one of those rich and warm sounding Steinways. I just forwarded the link to this to a friend of mine who does a lot of touring, and is a Steinway artist (having Steinways brought in for various performances). His take is that the Hamburg Steinways have harder hammers (and he feels that even the newer New York Steinways are going in that direction). Not a lot of low end. Listening to the demos, his thought was that the new VSL D was the type of piano you'd get for a performance if you asked the rental agency for a "concerto piano." Bright and powerful, capable of being heard easily over a large orchestra. He mentioned that if you want the other kind, you ask for a "Debussy piano" or a "Chamber music/Mozart" Steinway. It seems to me, the new VSL D is an excellent representation of a "concerto piano." The Embertone Walker would be more of a Debussy/Mozart/Chamber Steinway.

    All excellent pianos, but they sound different, and would be selected for different purposes.

    Here in the states, I think a lot of us often run into the more vintage New York Steinway D pianos that have a much darker tone (and often take a LOT more effort to play). There are a lot of them out there.
     

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