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Topic: Piano Library Reviews

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  1. #1

    Piano Library Reviews

    If anyone is interested...

    Electronic Musician\'s David Rubin just released a fairly extensive review of piano sample libraries:

    http://emusician.com/ar/emusic_aint_grand/index.htm

    Ya just can\'t have too much piano info!

    Great to see that there are 24-bit Kontakt libraries on the horizon (Bardstown\'s Bosendorfer).

    -ttfn

  2. #2

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Thanks for posting the link!

    But am I the only guy that thinks these types of reviews are completely useless.

    they make all these pianos sound like they are of equal quality when they most certainly are NOT.

    This is why the only subscription I have nowadays is to sound on sound. I find their reviews to be more accurate and harder hitting.
    Its seems with the tons of retailers advertising in the mag that they do not have to \"play nice\" with manufacturers nearly as much as Keyboard and the other US mags.
    imho.

  3. #3

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Hi Ed,
    I can\'t share your opinion on the article; I believe Dave Rubin did a remarkable job job explaining what factors can influence a sampled grand piano sound. His article is very instructive and I find the fact that he doesn\'t state;\"this one is better than...\" give the impressions more value. After all the quality of a piano sound is a highly subjective matter; what sounds good for you, sounds horrible for somebody else.
    I believe you need to have several options when working with sampled grands; no piano works good in all situations. There is plenty of choice, they can all coexist in the market and they\'re not too expensive.
    I met David at the NAMM show and he is certainly not the kind of person who writes a \"nice\" word about a bad product. My conclusion is that all piano libraries are good to very good. They all have different merits.

    Michiel Post

  4. #4

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Hi Michiel

    I agree wholeheartedly. I\'ve always advocated that you can\'t really tell from demos, and since most libraries are below the magic $200 price point, there\'s really no excuse for buying them to find out first hand.

    I am particularly interested to hear about your next project? Are you in a position to comment yet?

    Steve.

  5. #5

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Any and all reviews are worthwhile. I listened to as many demos as I could but couldn\'t decide. John Grant\'s words here on the Post Bosendorfer made my mind up because I enjoy his work very much - my ears weren\'t up to it.

    The piano is simply stunning - I love it. I may have enjoyed Kip\'s bosey as much but I had to make a decision.

    Thanks, John and Michael.

  6. #6

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Michiel,

    Can you comment on the reviewer\'s criticism that your Steinway D has problems in the mid-bass region? Is this something that has been fixed in subsequent updates?

  7. #7

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    Originally posted by Z6:
    Any and all reviews are worthwhile. I listened to as many demos as I could but couldn\'t decide. John Grant\'s words here on the Post Bosendorfer made my mind up because I enjoy his work very much - my ears weren\'t up to it.

    The piano is simply stunning - I love it. I may have enjoyed Kip\'s bosey as much but I had to make a decision.

    Thanks, John and Michael.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Kip\'s Bosey is very nice indeed. Fortunately there are many great pianos out ther - to use for different stuff.

    I really like EM\'s new articles.

  8. #8

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    I do think sample evaluations can be objective at some level, not merely subjective; eg, the following statement/generalization: \"the very early sampled pianos really (objectively) aren\'t as good as the most recent stuff.\"

    But there\'s still a niggling subjectivity to much of the territory. I used to like the sampling side of my stuff; ie the sound of the sampled piano. Now I\'m hearing a lot of mushyness in the overall product that my ear couldn\'t possibly have heard a year ago. Powers of discrimination get refined (I hope) and/or personal judgements change. On the other hand, I\'m not entirely sure it\'s not just \"in my mind,\" that is, mostly or completely subjective.

    So Rubin et al might help: you can read him and listen for the elements he\'s trying to draw attention to. Kind of a \"listening aid.\" That\'s how I read these assessments.

    JG

  9. #9

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    I think I can answer Blues West\'s question re Post\'s Steinway, at least partly. Michiel Post has provided corrective patches to address the uneveness referred to. Personally, although I was very impressed with the sound of the Post Steinway when it first come out, the timbre troubled me (just going by the mp3s). But the newest edition of the Grandioso Steinway (at least the \"Light\" version) seems to have corrected the problem. I was VERY impressed by Micheil\'s lastest Mp3 of that piano. He provides the same Mp3 using his Bosendorfer sample, and it\'s a telling comparison. The Steinway, to my ears, now comes out sounding cleaner than the Bos (which I own and love)! It\'s a completely different sound of course, the Bos. The Steinway \"Light\" though, as a result of that mp3, I have now decided to purchase (99 US). Unfortunately, I can\'t find the demo of the Steinway Light at Michiel\'s site. The link to the demo is somewhere in one of Michiel\'s recent posts. Possibly http://stkitts.globat.com/~postpiano.com/demo/GRANDIOSOJAZZ/StwDLt.mp3

    Here\'s the Bos Mp3 for comparison:
    http://stkitts.globat.com/~postpiano.com/demo/bos/Bos290LE.mp3

    Note the BOS sample was recorded WET. The Steinway is pretty dry, which however makes it easier to dial in your own verb, if you want to.

    Note also that the stereo imaging of the two mp3s is quite different.
    JG

  10. #10

    Re: Piano Library Reviews

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Post Steiway D is the best out there at present, but what ruins it for me is the heavy-handed top end rolloff introduced (presumably to banish noise.) It\'s a shame the unprocessed samples were so noisy, as rolling that top end off takes so much of the beauty away. This new light version attempts to re eq it all back in, but at the price of added hiss. Was it not possible to reduce on the amount of hiss at the recording stage?

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