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Topic: What is the best piano library for...

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  1. #1

    What is the best piano library for...

    . . . repetitive, hypnotic, pedal-depressed modal arpeggiations, in the style of La Monte Young's Well Tuned Piano, or the works of Terry Riley, Lubomyr Melnyk, maybe even G.I. Gurdjieff?

    So many libraries to choose from, so many libraries . . . . .

  2. #2

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    Nothing? Nobody here likes "repetitive, hypnotic, pedal-depressed modal arpeggiations, in the style of La Monte Young's Well Tuned Piano, or the works of Terry Riley, Lubomyr Melnyk, maybe even G.I. Gurdjieff"?


  3. #3

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    If it's repetitive, I'd say, go for SampleTekk's TBO. It has the most sampled dynamics. Playing repetitive motifs on a 4-layered instrument will soon become static and loopy because the same samples are being triggered in very short intervals of time.


    Alex

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    I am very familiar with Lubomyr Melnyk's music and I have several current piano libraries including Post Old Lady, Emperor, Bosendorfer 290, Sampletekk's TBO, which I just purchased and the Vintaudio C7, which is the library I find the best for my purposes.

    I use these libraries ( except for the Bosendorfer 290 which runs in Kompakt) in Gigastudio3 Orchestra on an AMD 3200+ computer( specs below).

    Playing pattern music with the pedal depressed is not possible on this setup; there is not enough polyphony to be convincing.

    With careful repedalling you can get close, but it is not at all the same as holding the pedal down and building up huge shimmering vibrating shifting clouds of harmony.

    Perhaps someone with more experience than I can say whether or not a more powerful computer would help.

    Patrick

    AMD Athlon64 3200+
    Asus K8V SE Deluxe Motherboard
    2GB DDR Ram
    Antec Sonata Case 380W PSU
    1x 80GB Seagate SATA Drive – System Drive
    2x Seagate 120GB SATA Drive – Mirrored 240GB Raid
    1x Seagate 80GB SATA Drive – Gigastudio Work Drive
    Radeon 9550SE 128MB Videocard
    LG DVDROM 16X
    Windows XP Pro Edition

  6. #6

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    My system is very similar (Asus A8V Deluxe, Athlon 64 3000+), and I agree that you can't hold the pedal down forever, if you play many notes at all. The problem isn't the CPU, it's the disk drives. The CPU meter stays relatively stable as the poly meter goes into the red. Re-pedaling is required.

    I agree with the earlier poster that you want a many-layered piano for repetitive playing. you don't want to re-trigger the same sample often. You also want a piano with long tails for a nice sustain sound - but not too long or you eat up your polyphony with near-silent notes. The best solution may be a shorter sustain, but a longer reverb.

    One trick would be to divide your piano into multiple instruments, and then put it on multiple hard drives. At the extreme, you'd put all of the Cs on one drive, the C#s on another, the Ds on another, etc. Then again, music in the key of C hammers Drive 1. Thirteen drives would be killer. Drive 1 would have C0, C#1, D2, D#3, E4, F5, F#6... You could take the same approach with two, three, four drives - whatever. Eventually the CPU or PCI bus becomes the limiting factor.

    BTW, I just bought the Black Grand recently. I don't know if it would be right for your style, but I'm really happy with the sound. Not so dark that it becomes dull, and not so bright that it's popie. I need to take the time to split it between my two sample drives.

    BTW, the advantage of manually splitting the instrument, rather than using a RAID are that 1) there is no overhead - Giga just grabs the sample it needs directly from the correct drive, and 2) you don't risk one drive failure taking down both drives as you do with RAID-0. The disadvantage is that you need to do some pre-programming in the Giga editor.

    -JF

  7. #7

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    My approach for over the top polyphony parts is splitting the midi data in several one-octave ranges. Each octave range is rendered (freeze in Logic/SX) off-line to it's own track. You can split midi data with the midi effects (make 8 copies of your midi data, one for each octave, and delete all data outside the relevant octave in each copy).
    This way you can build 1.000+ voice polyphony very fast without asking more from the old disk drives that they can deliver.

    It's funny that a real piano with just 88 pairs of strings can produce this huge resonance-rich sound and that a computer is on it's knees before it even comes close.

    Another nice effect that can help in Giga3 is achieved with the GigaPulse wet/dry balance and perspective controls. If you route these controls to a fader or mod wheel you can "build" up larger amounts of resonance with the Sustain pedal down gigapulse presets.
    Best regards,
    Michiel Post


  8. #8

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    This discussion is fascinating -- please keep it up!!

    Incidentally, for those not familiar with Lubomyr Melnyk's work:

    He developed his own style of playing called "music in the continuous mode." He self-released a number of beautiful albums of side- or LP- long compositions for solo piano. Lush, swirling, slowly-shifting, ever-evolving, never-ending, keyboard-covering arpeggiations, made more robust and organic via judicious use of the sustain pedal. Like the perfect midpoint between Gurdjieff, Philip Glass and Terry Riley.....

    He has written at some length about the mental/philosophical training that
    he employs to control his fingers... his claims of being able to play
    "over 19-notes-per-second in each hand simultaneously" are borne out by
    the recordings that I've heard...

    Anyway... quite by accident I found that he now has a web site:

    http://www.lubomyr.com/

    It also appears that his long-out-of-print (and only available in crazily
    limited music gallery editions when they were in print) LPs are now
    available on CD... although, it seems, don't get him started on the relative merits of CDs versus vinyl...

    Holy smokes, Batman, online instruction is now available... He even lists
    a personal e- mail address -- HOTCHA!!

    Anyway, there are a few .mp3 samples on the site, suitable for auditioning, downloading or wrapping fish. . . . . Worthy of a few minutes' attention, dare I say...

    Unfortunately, he doesn't offer a sample from my favorite album, "Song of Galadriel." Still, the excerpts from "NICHE/NOURISH" (for double piano), "The Fountain" (for double piano), "The Voice of Trees" (for 3 tubas and 2 pianos), and the mind-bendingly virtuosic excerpt from the LUND-St. Petri Symphony" (for solo piano) give you a decent enough idea of what he's about. The other songs are a bit too, er... "sentimental" for my taste (don't mean to trivialize -- they are quite beautiful, actually), but YMMV...

    Alan

  9. #9

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    Michiel, perhaps your systems are infected with the 'Zoloft' virus - it won't allow the pedal to remain depressed...

    But you're 100% correct. I have been playing a nice C7 and the case resonance in the room (Lodge at Pebble Beach) is amazing. (Is a case resonance impulse reasonable to do, and could it help the sustain issue?)
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  10. #10

    Re: What is the best piano library for...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Post
    My approach for over the top polyphony parts is splitting the midi data in several one-octave ranges. Each octave range is rendered (freeze in Logic/SX) off-line to it's own track. You can split midi data with the midi effects (make 8 copies of your midi data, one for each octave, and delete all data outside the relevant octave in each copy).
    I've used this very technique with a 5-way split for a different purpose. To use source-based reverbs like GigaPulse or TC's VSS4 to position each keyboard section. I find doing this can have a beneficial effect on the imaging and presence of the middle octaves.

    Howard

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