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Which piano samples?

thereus

Our feet shall stand in thy gates.
Wow,

We will have to agree to disagree.

I would rather have Pianoteq or the Hammersmith for playability over Vintage D any day of the week. They respond to every stroke with the broad palette of a piano in a way that Vintage D does not for me.
 

germancomponist

Senior Member
Wow,

We will have to agree to disagree.

I would rather have Pianoteq or the Hammersmith for playability over Vintage D any day of the week. They respond to every stroke with the broad palette of a piano in a way that Vintage D does not for me.
I agree with you about the Pianoteq playability, but the sound is not my cup of tea. Way behind the Vintage D.
 

PaulBrimstone

Far, Far Away
I always enjoy VI-Control’s seemingly endless “which piano” threads, but it always surprises me there is so little mention of Pianoteq’s extensive vintage instrument collection. To me, there is great joy in playing Beethoven on a modelled ancient Erard or Streicher, or Chopin on a Pleyel, and hearing the music as they might have done. That, plus the fabulous job they have done on their modern instruments, is why Pianoteq is at the top of my DAW template of (many) pianos, which includes a great number of those mentioned in this thread. I get it that Pianoteq is not everyone’s cuppa, but it is definitely my go-to. Anyway, the more the merrier...
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
Well, I have not been much of a Piantoeq fan at all over the years. I bought the stage version and hardly every used it as I did not like the sound very much at all. I have just upgraded to v6, but will have to hold judgement on it untilI get back home (been travelling).

Right now, Ivory II American Concert D is my go to - with a some QL spaces reverb replacing the built in one. It is sensational (IMO).

I doubt very much that Pianoteq 6 is going to make me change my mind, but I'm hoping that I too will see the big improvements everyone is talking about. But there does need to be be. I really didn't like 5 very much at all. I was very impressed with the reasonable upgrade cost too.

Also the Ivory II uprights collection is my guilty pleasure.
 
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SoNowWhat?

realised I can type here
I love the truekeys (American, German and Italian). Having said that, there's loads out there that I haven't tried yet. I just love these (the first two in particular) and haven't felt the need to look further yet. I'm interested in the Bechstein by Bechstein if I venture further.


...wait, Norwich has leaping nuns? I must pay a visit.
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
Imperfect Samples. They offer a certain realistic touch that I havent heard in any other piano library.
 

Will Blackburn

Senior Member
Soundiron Emo Piano is my bread and butter.
Imperfect Samples Fazioli and Steinway for super realism.
Olafur Arnold Composer Piano for softer/ambient stuff.
Wavefactory Mercury nice for anything Pop / Rock.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
If you're after pianos with character and soul, I recommend checking out the ArtVista pianos (Virtual Grand Piano - 1960 Steinway B, Malmsjo - old Swedish grand piano, and the hybrid of the two - Supergrand). They are also pretty light on computer resources, and very playable too.
 

AllanH

Senior Member
One of my favorites that has not been mentioned is SampleTekk: They have a beautiful Black Grand (a German D, I believe) and a Yamaha C7 (C7G, which I won). The MKII editions are much-improved over the older versions.

The black Grand MkII can be made very dynamic with a bit of compression or velocity curve adjustment. At least that's how it works with my midi controller.
 

DMerkel

New Member
It's been mentioned, but I've come to prefer the UVI True Keys collection as a default piano instrument. I have a couple others for unique sounds, personality and ambiance: Art Vista's Supergrand (love this one); NI's The Gentleman; and, SampleTekk Black.
 

Lode_Runner

Sample librarian
Summary (after a few edits).


If you want cheap but passable:

Waves Audio Grand Rhapsodie
AIR MINI
Ivy Audio Piano in 162
is free!

Otherwise, first buy Pianoteq and then if you have the cash to burn, work out what else you need. No need to buy more than one of each category:


Soft and intimate cinematic:
Native Instruments Una Corda [simply amazing]
Spitfire Audio Olafur Arnolds Toolkit [also nice]
Spitfire Audio Felt Piano


Big and dramatic cinematic:
Spitfire Audio Hans Zimmer Piano [big soundscapes, single piano, insane number of mics]
Native Instruments Giant [lots of drama from very variable sounds]


Classical detail in playing:
SonicCouture Hammersmith [My personal goto]
Garritan CFX
Vienna Imperial
[super detailed, super expensive]
Sampletekk Black Grand 2 or TVBO [nice and not too pricey, UI looks ugly]


Other character (ok, so you might need more than one of these for specific things depending on what you do):
Soundiron Emotional Piano [Designed to tug heart strings in a certain way but lacks something for me]
Cinesamples Piano in Blue [if you need that blue sound, this is the only place to get it.]
Native Instruments Alicia's keys [Meh...]
Spectransonics Keyscape [infinitely more than just a piano]
8DIO Estonia [unusual with a hint of exotic]
Art Vista Malmsjo [old, smooth, warm]
Sampletekk Rain Piano [beat up upright - there are a bunch of these around]
Sound Dust ShipsPiano3 [Pendle always delivers from the left field]
Cinematic Studio Piano [erm...]


Effects
Audio Imperia Klavier and Red [modern sound design]
Spectransonics Keyscape/Omnisphere [you can really change stuff up with this combination]


After that then you are in buying for pleasure mode. Consider the rest of the others and the below (in rough descending order of awesomeness. Actually, I have no idea of ranking of some of these. Indeed, I don't have every on but have listened to as much of the others that I can find and read many many threads and reviews. Some-much-of-a-muchness products seem to have landed in the middle. It really depends what you like.)

Bechstein Digital Grand [next paycheque will go here]
Synthology Ivory II [very accurate sounds]
VI Labs Audio Ravenscroft 275 [workhorse but never makes it to final mix for me]
Imperfect Samples (Lots of them) [beautifully all over the shop]
Production Voices Production Grand 2
EastWest QL Pianos
Galaxy Vintage D
[may be in playing category above for some, nice samples but too few of them in my view]
UVI Grand Piano Collection
Accoustic Samples (various)
VI Labs Audio Truekeys
Orange Tree Rosewood
[nice but goes thin sometimes]
8DIO (1990 Studio, 1969 Steinway, 1928 Steinway)[I don't own these - reports differ wildly]
Arturia V [Not really there yet. Will no doubt improve]
Sampletekk WG2
Sonivox Eighty Eight
[underrated]
Native Instruments Definitive Piano Collection [never managed to make these feel special]
XLN Audio Addictive Keys [lots of people rave but i don't...]
WavesFactory Mercury [disappointing to me. Dull high range, HQ mode squeaks and spits on my system (i7 970)]


Others that I don't know enough to comment on.
Fluffy Audio Scoring [don't know it, personally - anyone else wish to comment?]
Impact Sound Works Pearl Concert Grand [don't know it, personally - anyone else wish to comment?]
Pro Audio Vault Bluthner One
Cinesamples Abbey Road Uprights
[don't know it, personally - anyone else wish to comment?]

This is a summary of the state of the market.

Everyone has an opinion. One of the other commenters has described my list as "questionable" and I absolutely agree. Question away. This is a highly subjective personal opinion about a highly subjective subject. Hell, I doubt even the categories above will mean the same things for everyone. For instance, I have a passionate hatred of having too few velocity layers which does not seem to be universally shared. Also, everyone gets attached to things - sounds, products etc. particularly those they buy and use. People are making different sorts of music with differing keyboard and programming skills, have affinities to different real-world pianos, are using different monitors/effects/controllers, have different needs in terms of flexibility and different budgets. Another total wildcard is "mixability" which depends so much on the particular situation that to me every template needs a new rehearsal for the piano parts. There is huge overlap between what individual products can do also, so different people will have different combinations to cover the same territory.

If anyone wants to "correct" me/make the list better, let me know.


Anyway...

Awesome extensive list - you must have got 90% of what's out there in Sample World (no mean feat in this day and age when there are so many piano libraries). I noted a few extras that didn't make the list - I would love to see where you'd rate them:
* Fluffy Audio's My Piano (one of my favourites)
* Galaxy 2 collection
* E-Instruments Session Keys S and Y
* Chocolate Audio's 88 Series Model D, Model 7 and Steinbach Upright
* Art Vista's Virtual Grand 3
* Steinberg's the Grand 3
* Soundiron's Old Granny Piano, Drinking Piano, Montclarion Hall
* Sampletekk/PMI Emperor and Old Lady (sadly no longer available, but still two of my favourites)
 
OP
dman007

dman007

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
I love the truekeys (American, German and Italian). Having said that, there's loads out there that I haven't tried yet. I just love these (the first two in particular) and haven't felt the need to look further yet. I'm interested in the Bechstein by Bechstein if I venture further.


...wait, Norwich has leaping nuns? I must pay a visit.

If you had to pick one of the True Keys pianos, which one would it be?
 
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